Well the last few posts have been about things, good things, but I haven’t really talked about how I am doing these days.
We volunteers just got back from an AMAZING weekend, spent in Tegus at a pretty swanky hotel. Every 6 months we have a retreat, where we go somewhere to spend time together off the Ranch and regroup. (We lucked out this time with a small group, so we were able to stretch our retreat budget and stay at the said swanky hotel. This might be the only time it happens.)
This retreat seriously came at a great time. The last few weeks have been a little crazy. I feel like every day I am struggling with something. Recently, I have realized that people (basically, everyone outside of the volunteers) have expectations of me, but I don’t really know what they are, so I am constantly failing. Yes, this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but to an extent, not really. Because there is still a language barrier, and it seems that culturally, people don’t really let you in on things anyway, there is indeed some things that I don’t get, or miss, or what not. And, of course it’s my fault (please note sarcasm), so people get annoyed with me. And, let me tell ya, it’s frustrating. I am trying to let things like this roll off my back, and to focus on the little things (like actually getting told that I am “in charge” of the internal clinic this week, while the external is closed b/c all employees have off, BEFORE the week has started… crazy, huh?) that have worked out well. It’s not easy, but I am trying.
Inside the house, we have had some interesting changes in our group dynamics recently. With any type of unexpected change, there are some frustrations, awkward moments and resentments that if not controlled quickly, will overrun us and become a poison inside our community. It was getting to that point, but we have talked about things as a group, and feel confident to move on and not dwell on the past. Again, our retreat this past weekend helped solidify us as a group, reminded us how much of an influence every person has on our community and that we are in constant need of each others support and love.
We all had to set some goals, as well. One of my goals is to really look at the positive things that happen everyday. I am still struggling with feeling content and happy everyday. As you all know, I was so, so, SO excited to come here before I left, and beat myself up for not feeling the same everyday. Don’t get me wrong, I am not sad and depressed everyday. But, I just don’t have this overwhelming joy that I thought I was going to have while I was here. My work is hard, the language is rough, and people are not as accepting as one would think. And to deal with those things everyday, really clouds the things that really are going well. One of my friends here told me that it’s really ok to not feel happy everyday. It’s not something that I am doing wrong or not doing enough of. I have felt a little encouraged by this, and other volunteers saying up until their 6ish month, they still struggled with feeling like they belonged and that everything was great. So, here is to trying to look at the positive things, relying on the other volunteers, and relaxing a bit more to enjoy the moments here.
Now, here are a few pics of things from the last little while. Seriously, sorry I have sucked so bad about blogging lately! :)
All of the clinic staff at Heather's despidida (good bye party).
Most of my boys one random night... some being silly!
A little birthday present for my mom, back in May!
The amazing pizza that the Italians made us. :)
Me and Julia... one of the newest babes! :) How cute is she!?
The pool at Hotel Maya!
Hunter, Michelle and I hamming it up. :)
(Please look how long my hair is!)
Last day of retreat, enjoying the pool!