Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Little Things

Last Friday I had to make a trip to the nearest town to see a doctor.  I developed a cough a few weeks ago and it hasn't really subsided, probably due to "too much party" as my host mom referred to it.  I say I had to go because I'm the complete opposite of a hypochondriac; I was just ignoring it and wishing it away, but my host mom was not having any of that.  So before she resorted to thumping me over the head and dragging me to the doctor, I called the PC nurse and reluctantly made an appointment.

It's kind of a funny story because here I am with this cough, not really caring, and my host dad, an older man who is ill and taking a lot of medication and needs daily help from my host mom, was very concerned about my health and actually took me aside one day to have a serious conversation about how I can help my cough.  As he was lying in bed he says to me, "Courtney, come here, you need to listen to me.....I have something to tell you.....you can either do what I say or not, it's up to you...*deep breathe in*...you are sick......you need to turn off your fan and your light...*another deep breathe*....because the fan circulates the heat radiating off the light......and it's making you sick."  What a thoughtful host dad I have, that through all his troubles he is so worried about me.  It was so sweet that I didn't have the heart to tell him I hardly ever turn on my fan. *sigh*

Anyway, making a long story even longer, since I was in the "city" for the day, I decided to take the opportunity to do some shopping and pick up some things that I can't get in my community.  I stopped into a pharmacy because I needed some cough drops and I wanted some new nail polish. (a mildly entertaining story for another time.) 

This pharmacy had a huge upstairs area with a lot of school supplies.  Please forgive me if I'm stating the obvious here, but the schools in Jamaica are in needed of supplies; pencils, sharpeners and rubbers (haha, those are just erasers, sicko!) to be specific, so when I find a place that sells such items, I usually pick up some so I can lend them to the children with the intention that I will get them back. (It's pretty much a crap shoot if you do or not.)  So if you don't, I just go get more.  I enjoy shopping for supplies, so I pleasantly took my time there poking around (very much needed after sitting in the waiting room for 3 hours at the Doc's office).  I picked up a giant glue stick, very handy when making posters and charts for the classrooms, extra pencils, and a fancy sharpener.  I went for the deluxe model sharpener - you can't cheap out or I'm pretty sure you are getting big foot's old blades throw out after a few hundred full-body shaves, not ideal.

Well, I'm back at school now, where the children are constantly asking for a rubber or a sharpener or a pencil to borrow (so typical).  So today I started to carry these items around (minus a pencil, too pointy!) in my pocket at all times because of the continual asking for said items.  It's very convenient because when I get a request, I just whip out my fancy sharpener (that's so sharp it works in a matter of moments!) and get to work on those dullards, or when a child makes a mistake?  Guess who's there rubbing it out with my deliciously-cute purple heart-shaped eraser.  So instead of crowding around the trash bin to sharpen the pencils, or waiting in a jumbled "line" to use a sharpener that is already in use and most-likely doesn't work, or worse yet, grabbing another classmates rubber out of his hands and then getting in a fight about it, the children just come to me and I can generally get the job done much faster. (This doesn't always work as sometimes they just end up crowding around me rather than the bin, but that will often happen weather I have supplies on me or not.)

So after this long, drawn out story - my little thing that makes a big difference?
Always carry a rubber. (and a sharpener)

Thankful for today:
My fancy new sharpener
Light weight sweater, perfect for the "fall" weather here
Meeting tomorrow in B-Town a.k.a. "the city"
Thanksgiving week
I get to see friends this weekend (and hopefully have some wine, num num num)
Fried chicken
Helpful PC nurses who genuinely care
Internet (when I typed this one, I sorta sang it in my head and imagined me waving my arm about, it's all very exciting)
2 blog posts in 1 week, whoa!
Pats Win!
Cute shoes
Coconut bread
Eggs and tomatoes

I love your comments! (wink, wink)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Tale of Courage

Oh I see you, you rodent-sized-disease-carrying insect.  I saw you in the kitchen a few weeks ago, and I was so scared, I just crept past you and little your friends.  And I saw you last week, creeping in my bathroom corner, and then the other night, you were right next to the door that so conveniently leads into my bedroom.  Now you're a little too close for comfort, so it’s time I take a stand.  I choose not to live in fear anymore; I will rise above and become the hunter.  

I know, it’s not easy; it’s no picnic, not for anyone involved.  I mean, perhaps there is a world in which we can co-exist and live in peace; we could be friends even!  But, mi amigo, this is no poorly-written Jerry O'Connell MTV 90’s movie, because if it were, you all would be wearing top hats and donning canes singing the closing number of “A Chorus Line”, while I stand by applauding in awe.  This is no straight-to-DVD-romantic comedy, where we would plot and scheme together to find my prince charming and land me the perfect high-paying job through hilarious shenanigans involving a life-size, creepy, cock-roach-human sporting a trench coat and fedora, gallivanting about town to sabotage my arch enemy who only wants to wreak havoc upon my life.  Oh no, in this version of the story, there’s only me, you and the bottom of my shoe.  Harsh, I know, but only one of us can be the victor, and I choose me.

Oh, and you think your furry little friend is going to somehow distract me from your ultimate demise? 
It happened one night not soon after the discovery of you in my bathroom, that certain little pink-eared fur-ball squished itself into a seemingly impossible flatness so as to fit under my door.  The little brown mouse flew out from the corner to find me, peacefully eating my nutella-on-bread = doughnut dessert. Shocked and a wee bit scared, I jumped up, frozen in place, not knowing what to do.  However, reminding me of the basic rules of nature, big > little, my little Mickey froze in his place as well upon seeing me at my full stature, pulled up a frightened shoulder, spun around in his place and scurried back to the corner only to get momentarily caught there in fear, and then eventually to find the crack under the door from which he came.  It happened within moments, yet my heart was beating at full throttle.  Although, I have to admit, he’s such a cute little guy and under different circumstances, perhaps we, too, could be friends - if I were animated, wearing pink and had a fairy god-mother.  (And it doesn’t count because I only pretend I’m a Disney Princess on occasion.)

Well, Fievel hasn’t been back since, but you, you walnut-sized, slow-antennae-moving, creepy coacky roach, you will be back. And guess what?  I look forward to it.  I can't wait.  Because now, the fear is gone; I’m a soldier, armed with my New Balances and broom, I dare you to come out because you don’t bug* me. 

*Play on words


Thankful for today:

Internet connection
Beautiful day
Went for a walk and met some more locals
New nail polish
Doce de Leite cookie wafers
Fried Chicken
Pineapple juice
Borrowed computer cord for the ENTIRE weekend!
Got to catch up with some old friends over the phone (I missed you guys!)
Eggs and tomatoes