August 29, 2009
As I mentioned yesterday, my roof is leaking. My dad and my brothers came into my room to investigate the leak that I was talking about only to tell me that I was wrong about the origin of the leak. There was a clear water mark on my fabric ceiling (the roof is corrugated tin with some rafters and it’s vaulted and then I just have a fabric “ceiling” hiding everything else from view) that I contended was the water source. They assured me that they knew best and would fix it. My younger brother took it upon himself to fix it with duct tape and a hammer and nail…interesting. Anyway, that was yesterday afternoon. Last night I entered my room to go to sleep and my bed was wet, water was steadily dripping from the ceiling and the men in my family were confounded that they had not fixed the leak. Ensuing conversation:
Dad: I thought we fixed the leak
Brother: I was on the roof and stopped up the hole
Me: I think the leak is above the water mark
Dad: I don’t think so
Me: The water is dripping from the mark
Brother: The water is coming from the roof
Me: Yes, the water is coming from the roof from this exact spot
Dad to Brother: Get on the roof and fix it again
Me: Please, no not now there’s lightening outside (a HUGE storm is going on)
Brother: It’s ok I wont slip
Me: You will get hit by lightening on the metal roof
Dad: It’s ok we don’t want water in your room
Me: No it’s too dangerous
Dad: He’ll be fine. It’s only water
Me: (Giving up on explaining lightening and metal) I don’t want him to get wet and cold. I’ll just move my bed and put a bucket on the ground until tomorrow
Dad: Fine we can fix it tomorrow
Yes, this really happened. We then moved my bed to discover mounds of dirt and what I believe to mouse poo. Great. I slept with my bed pressed up against the doorframe and all of my stuff piled in a corner. Today, the roof I believed was fixed and we had to tackle cleaning my room. I am trying to take a little nap during lunch when my mom walks in. Conversation:
Mom: You need to sweep your room now
Me: Can I sweep my room after the finish fixing the ceiling so it doesn’t get dirty again
Mom: No, it needs to be done now
Me: But, it’s just going to get dirty again
I give in and sweep my room as my entire family and some neighbors laugh at the Toubab doing work. It was insanely frustrating. Especially when they told me I don’t know how to use a broom. Aka a bunch of sticks held together with a string. No handle. You must squat and sweep to use it. Everything is squat position here. Anyway, I finished cleaning. They finished fixing the ceiling/ creating another mess and then my mom comes in and tells me my room did indeed get dirty again and I needed to do some more sweeping. Kill me. Now. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. So frustrating.
This made me snap. I was doing really well this time around in the vil, but is it really worth it? I don’t have to live in a building with a corrugated tin roof that leaks so why should I? I’m really trying to see the benefits, find the good, and reap the rewards. They are really hard to find.
Although my day was extremely frustrating I got some texts from fellow volunteers that I want to leave you with since they put a smile on my face.
“Note to self: clothes sitting in bleach left in the rain come out green tie-dye”
“I just played with kids and touched a goat. I should wash my hands.
And the piece de resistance…
“Well nothing spells feeling instantly dirty again quite like finishing your bath to the sounds/ smells of someone taking a crap on the other side of the wall. Yay!
Oh Peace Corps. This is my life now…
Messy, but Warm
10 months ago