makethislast

what are you a product of?

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on February 8, 2011

The best-kept secret in this field is that treatment is prevention. You need to let us treat more people, not less. And it worked.

– Dr. Julio S. G. Montaner on preventing HIV infection

NYT: An H.I.V. Strategy Invites Addicts In. I’m intrigued – tell me more about this.

I woke up feeling the cold literally creeping its way into my warm, warm bed! Now my toes and feet are freezing even though I’ve got socks and boots on. Oh, tis is the sweet PC life.

The night sky was so clear last night that I had to take a moment to sit on my roof and admire the starlit sky. While I was up there, I sat back on my little chair and let out a big exhale. Breathing in the cool night air, I let my mind wander wherever it pleased.

It made me think of a discussion that happened during the regional meeting. A volunteer’s sense of impact, or there lack of. I thought about my program assistant’s comment – there are at least 10-12 staff members who were directly or indirectly impacted by a PCV at one point or another. Now they are working for PC.

I thought about my service. What  or rather who impacted my life early on so that it led me to this place? How is it that I wanted to serve in the PC? How is it that I wanted so badly to learn about another culture and its people that I willingly gave up one lifestyle for another? How is it that I’m not scared to…do something different? Try something different? Get to know someone different? Sheesh, learn a whole new language in hopes of accomplishing those things?

There’s so much I’m willing to do…that I wish others wouldn’t impose their fears onto someone who is willing to be different.

Then I got to thinking about who might I have an impact on? What type of impact will I have on the people here? Will I have any impact on them?

There’s Little Fatima. She’s my 9-year-old best friend in site. She comes to my house almost daily to say hi (and basically check on me, I think, haha). She knows the scoop on the town in a non-annoying way and she shares it with me. She’s chatty. She’s smart. She’s genuine.

I found out today that she’s never been to Essaouira. She put me in my place. I go there perhaps 1-2 times a week, if not more sometimes but less so lately. I made a deal with her: if she gets at least an 80% on her next report card, I will ask her grandmother if I could take her to Essaouira for a day. Same deal for her little brother.

In the past, I make an effort to keep the private and professional spheres of my life separate. I don’t bring personal matters into work, though I now realize I had trouble keeping work out of my personal life. Anyway, increasingly so, I realize that’s not the case with my “job” as a “volunteer.” My life is my work and my work is so much of my life here. The people…this experience…all of it is permeating into the pores of my being.

Since I’ve been in country, I haven’t had a really heartfelt-cleanse-and-replenish-the-soul type cry yet. My guess is that it’s only a matter of time. There is good to be found here. Really good.

Random Essa update: strawberries are 20 dhs/kilo. In addition to the fish, dry goods, and vegetable stalls I’ve designated “mine” (haha), I’ve added donut stall to the list. The vendors at all these places recognize and greet me warmly whenever I appear. Some even know my preferences. I wish it were this easy to see/experience the good on a more regular basis. Swiya b swiya (little by little), my friends, swiya b swiya.

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