YOP – November

I’ve passed the 11th month of my Year of Presence project. At this point, I should be all like, “Yeah, I am so good at living in the now!”

Sadly, that is far from the truth.

In November, as I reached the half-way point of my service and was inundated with reminders of another holiday season spent away from family, much of my thoughts were on home and coping with missing home. As I continue to feel the one-year mark blues, I am caught up in my own emotional distress and thoughts of life after Peace Corps that I forget to enjoy the moment before me.

I am not proud of my wandering thoughts and inability to see blessings currently bestowed to me, but I do accept that I am human and am going through a particular difficult part of my service. So what if I didn’t do so well this month, I will make it up next month and the twelve ones after it instead of berating myself.

Let’s focus on the positives of November:

My students performed a few special songs to me as a thank you for being there teacher.
Unexpected people from home reached out.
83 percent of my Form B English class passed.
I am running more miles than ever before.
SDSU beat USD in the revival of the rivalry (pictures and headlines of the game from the Argus’ front page and sports page now hang in my hut).
I was surrounded by love on Thanksgiving and Fakesgiving.
I visited a new district and learned to value simplicity more than ever before.
I completed my first novel as part of the National Novel Writing Month. I have no real plans for it but, after the advice of a friend, I plan to heavily revise and develop it further.
It rained a lot, giving crops the nutrients they need and making local farmers very happy.
I had and survived bed bugs.
I laughed with my host family lot.
I laughed with other volunteers a lot.

I wasn’t perfect at presence, but I am never sure I will be. And that is OK. To be myself up about it, would be the exact opposite of what I am trying to achieve with this project. Instead, I will say it was a great month and look forward to the next one.


4 thoughts on “YOP – November

  1. Sounds like you had a lot of positives!!
    I know I didn’t have any special songs sung to me!
    I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have received an 83% in a foreign language class-much much lower. Plus, good job on the running. I have given up on long distance runs (when I have “trained” in the past- my joints rebel and I end up losing any progress I’ve made, ugh!)

    But look- teaching, travel, writing, fighting bed bugs. Where do you find the time? All I can think is no TV. HA!?
    Lately, I’ve purposely carved out time to do more artwork. And because I hate the marketing part I’ve decided to do it to help with local fundraising. (There are 2 this weekend, I’m anxious to see the response.) I just felt that since I can’t travel somewhere exotic and do good, I’ll try to make my little spot better. See what an inspiration you’ve become!

    Keep up the good work!

    • Ginger, you are so sweet. Thank you for all the encouragement. I have lots of free time without school right now (and no TV) but it is a nice break. I think it is absolutely AMAZING that you want to do more in the community. I believe that is harder to do than what I am doing. I desperately want to see your artwork sometime. I am sure that it is amazing. Thank you for everything!

  2. This is Tyler Black Spotted Horse From The right turn again still trying to figure out how you do it. to be away from home but your helping others is what i want to do it nice for your students to sing a song for you. haveing positve thoughts is always great im going to have to work on that my self seems like it help with certain things . i like how you still keep up on the new around here in the stated and south dakota its cold around here now does it snow in africa probably not ok that all i can thing of today .

    • Hi, Tyler!
      Thanks for the message. The absolute hardest part about my work is being away from family. I miss them so much it hurts some days. However, they are very supportive of me and my work. It does help knowing that I am contributing to the world and can be a better daughter, sister and friend because I am learning so much about myself. It is very hot here right now which is unlike South Dakota! Hope you are doing well and good luck with your studies!

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