In my last post, I didn’t even try to hide the fact that I’m often frustrated. I think that’s partly because I’ve learned that burying my frustration just breeds more of it, and it gets ugly when it finally rears its head. It’s also partly because it’s absolutely to be expected (see drawing above, which shows the cycle of vulnerability of a volunteer). I went from a place that I knew with friendly American faces and a very rigid schedule to a place with only one friendly American face and no schedule to be heard of. I went from being occupied and working most of the time to literally doing nothing because that is what Peace Corps wants us to do for the first three months at site.
Really, though, it isn’t manifesting itself in a really ugly way. I am lucky enough to live with a wonderful family; every day I’m meeting new people that make me feel like I’m in the right place; and the teachers and students do things every day that warm my heart. When I do feel frustrated, I try not to react (although sometimes my eyeholes get the best of me) and instead take Peace Corps advice and do anything else possible to channel that frustration to a good place instead of a dangerous one.
I color, I cross-stitch, I journal, I ride my bike, I go to the beach, I play rugby, I do yoga, I take a nap, I call Marty, I text my PC friends, I watch TV, I go to the gym…whatever feels like it will help most in that moment and is most accessible, I do. And if that first thing doesn’t work, I go to the next thing. Or I just go to the next thing because these are all things I like to do and would be doing even if I weren’t in need of a mood-changer.