Monday, June 13, 2011

Slight insomnia or la pereza?

It’s been a while since my last post, maybe around 3 weeks, but I feel bad so here it is, 4:16 in the morning (I couldn’t sleep for other reasons) but I figured I might as well take advantage of stare-up-at-the-ceiling time, the dim glow of street lamps that paint my room.

(I also moved recently – I used to sleep in near complete darkness, light seeping in from behind a couple of room dividers, but now my entire room stays faintly awake all night.)

Part of the reason I haven’t been writing is all the rushing around. I changed houses, my supervisor came to visit, I’ve been traveling for the last couple weekends and frankly, things are just starting to seem banal. When I’m walking around my town, buying fruit in the market or eating fried chicken in my comedor, it doesn’t immediately strike me as an interesting thing to share (or so it seems). Then I realized, while laying in bed, that maybe I should just describe my state of mind.

For one, Peace Corps is starting to feel normal. Living in Guatemala – yes, it still makes me smile when I say it or realize it, using it as a refrain with friends to explain when something ridiculous happens. But it’s also more and more normal – I just passed 10 months here in-country, and I guess things seem less novel. You just shrug off bucket baths in the dark with cold water. You sleep through the late, late night crowing of roosters. You try to ignore the booming explosions of fireworks – I can hear a 30 foot roll of Black Cats going off right now, which means that someone’s birthday has begun. You just sigh when your new landlord lags for days on promised repairs, or you return to your new place and the floor is inexplicably covered in a ½ inch of water. It’s just Guatemala.

Then I write this stuff down and I realize, “Oh…that is kind of amusing.” :)

One other thing, about the traveling I’ve been doing recently – it’s tiresome, just the sheer hours I spend on rattling, janky buses, barreling down roads full of potholes or around fallen trees or piles of landslide from recent rains. It’s 6 hours to Panajachel, or about 7 hours to Antigua, which are the two locations, respectively, where I spent the past couple weekends. That’s each way, and then I have to go back home, and that’s why I spend so much time loading up my phone with podcasts. Here are some favorites, all available on iTunes (lemme know if you have any suggestions!)

Al Jazeera
KCRW’s Left, Right and Center
The Economist
APR’s Dinner Party Download
The Nation’s The Breakdown
Talk of the Nation
This American Life
Slate’s Culture Gabfest
KEXP’s Music That Matters
Elevator Hip-Hop

Also, here I am at my new place, having just taken a tuk-tuk across town with all my possessions.

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