Last night I discovered that the rumors about Peace Corps Jamaica are true. Clothes do mold here. I had heard this before I came, but having never lived anywhere with any real level of humidity, I was in denial that things other than food items would actually sprout mold. So it was a sad resignation of this fact when I looked into my dirty laundry bag and saw a sports bra covered in tiny blackish spots. Gross. I’ve been pretty good about airing out my nasty ass workout clothes before I shove them into a confined space, but apparently I let this particular sports bra down. It was being overtaken by little spores of some unknown microscopic creature, egged on by my massive amounts of sweat and the water vapor in the air. I guess I will be washing my clothes to not only rid them of smell, but also of small opportunistic creatures. I’ve always known I prefer the dry wicked heat of the sagebrush death valley in southern Idaho to the humid like-walking-through-Jello moisture trap of the tropics.In other news, we started the practicum section of training this week. Our training group is split into two, with one group going to the SOS Children’s Village and the other going to Homestead. SOS is basically an orphanage in an apartment style setting, with house mothers keeping track of all the little people. Homestead is a home for girls whose parents, for whatever reason, can no longer take care of them. A lot of these kids have been through things that many of us have only seen happen to people on TV. For the past two days we’ve spent about two hours in the afternoons with them, playing fun games, singing and talking about goal setting, planning, and whatever else they wanted to talk about. As we get more comfortable with each other, we will do sessions on more serious subjects, such as life skills and sexuality. All of this happened and will continue to happen in a semi-organized state of chaos with the volume turned up.
I am in the group of trainees sent to Homestead, and if you know anything about me, you know that I have issues talking about anything serious. This fact, combined with me having zero training or experience with talking to teens with issues, made me rather nervous about engaging with the girls on any level past surface. When faced with actually having to talk about something other than how my hair stays fluffy and how ridiculously sweaty I am all the time, I decided that I really didn’t want to be left alone with a group. So for the first day of small group discussion I stuck with a fellow trainee, Karen. We pretty much just made fun of each other in front of the girls, talked about why you would want matches if stranded on an island, and how you would go about becoming a nurse. It was clear that these girls just wanted someone to talk to, and we ended up just listening to them for a majority of our time there. I found surprisingly wise words flying out my mouth and me responding better to the stories of the girls’ than I thought I would. The imagined horribly awkward situation of me just staring at them after they said something rather shocking did not happen. I discovered that I am capable of not being a sarcastic asshole at all times and can actually say something constructive. Look at that, just over a month here and I’m already learning more about myself.
Anyway, enough of that serious talk. If you’re bored, type ‘Sergio the sexy sax man’ into YouTube and thank me when you have that god awful George Michael song stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.