As the honeymoon period ends and I grow angry over the many nuances of living in a small, poor country, I’ve realized that all my blog entries are so happy and hopeful. But this year gets more real every day, especially after hitting the 6 month anniversary, as the rain season is in full bloom. The frustration alive and present through my work here has often been overcast by the joy of the work, and the rewards I feel we are harvesting. But today frustration shone through as rain showers uncovered a list of the many things that have been pricking at my heels. I no longer have a boss, in a sense this is fantastic, because there is no one looking over my shoulder making sure I meet deadlines in processes that are impossible to date. Carolina was my “bossa-lady”, an engineer used to quantifiable, calculated and tightly scheduled projects, who found the organic, laissez-faire attitude in community-arts very messy and in need for a corset. But not having a boss sucks because practically all my administrative support is gone. Little perks slip through my fingers, and I feel more orphaned than when I first arrived. From the beginning of our youth group my ex-boss, and then I, made a clear promise to the kids that we would take them to Copan at the end of the year. Copan is a tourist, Mayan-ruin site in Honduras, very, very far from where we are. With the departure of Carolina the funds for the trip are compromised, floating in the air like a coy, elusive butterfly, whose actual size I’ve never seen. Now our youth group bears the weight of fund raising. Fund raising can be uncomfortable here. Although there are wealthy families with expensive horses and lots of cattle, there are also very poor people, who are supported by an amazing, motherly, web-like, intuitive system that keeps the most vulnerable in the community afloat. The reality is that there is not a lot of disposable income, and I feel guilty at times, fund raising for a hedonistic (yet highly cultural and educative trip), when most workers here have never really left their valley and struggle financially in their own way.
The rain has also slowed down our mural painting, and it is clear that we are at the mercy of the clouds. Today we faced a wet, ingrate wall that rejected our brushstrokes. All efforts dripped dissatisfied. Mosquitoes, bred in a frenzy brought on by the rains, bite the fattier parts of my body. Each bite is a possible infestation of dengue (the “classic” version – 7 days of aches and fevers – or the more dangerous “hemorrhagic” type – where you apparently bleed from any hole in your body). They are everywhere now, and are especially active when we paint the exterior high-school walls in the afternoon. Todays wishes: I wish people would never, ever, promise to do something and not do it. I wish the weather-watchers were more accurate about these temperamental valley rainfalls. I wish my blood wasn’t so tasty to female mosquitoes on the hunt.