Come rain or shine, sleet or snow, northern or southern hemisphere, it would seem that my semi-annual illness is non-negotiable. I am typing while in bed, recuperating from a very unpleasant stomach and fever whammie. The worst, it seems, passed about an hour ago, which is good, because it was a very turbulent time when I had to stand up and my stomach immediately informed me via violent revolt that it wholeheartedly opposed this idea.
My stomach's complaints have piped down a little, so that's good. This week has been a crazy one!
I'll start off by talking a little bit about the retreat. It was so good to be on a staff (essentially) retreat with the other people who work here in the Ciudad! There's a bit more of a substantial basis there for saying hello or starting conversation now. Also, the opportunity to talk about stuff on my level, as opposed to the level of 16-year-olds, was hard to beat.
The Capuchin brothers here are saying that I'm going to be joining the order and bringing the Capuchins back to the Pacific Northwest. I told them that anything is possible but that fewer things are probable, but don't think the thought hasn't crossed my mind. Though being in the presence of several girls my age who were exuberant and genuinely excited and very vocal about their faith (our retreat leaders) was like a scent of paradise.
This week was more difficult than many others. Lots of heavy lifting on Monday, which I liked, but left me exhausted. Tuesday I was cleaning eggs. Wednesday we TRIED to get our money converted, but that didn't work. Thursday was a bit more successful. Friday they had me spraying the hen house with disinfectant, which probably contributed to my feelings of awfulness yesterday and today.
Once again I found myself frustrated with the kids, mostly just because they can't get it into their heads that if they just work when they ought to, the rest of their time will be so much better, because I won't be on their cases, Hermano Polo will be much easier to be around, and so on and so forth. I don't know if I've gotten intolerant or have finally just gotten stubborn on insisting that they don't walk over me. One kid keeps pestering me about romantic possibilities with pretty much any female that I've ever known. This began to irritate me almost immediately only because of the persistence with which he did it. I finally just told him that I wouldn't speak to him if he talked to me about this, and we shook hands and declared peace. It was doomed to be a temporary peace, however, as the memories of some of these kids are about as high-quality as the bootlegged movies they watch every other weekend (i.e., not high-quality). I have to remind him of it every time we approaches me, because if I don't, he will start the conversation in a loud voice asking about the possibility of romantic attraction to either Alyssa or Tania, my fellow CapCorps volunteers. So while I know how to keep him quiet, he's done his damage: many other guys in San Juan will now ask me the same thing. On the one hand it's cool because it means that they're interested in at least some portion of my life and want to know more about me in the way that only seems natural to an adolescent boy, I'm sure. On the other hand, it gets SO repetitive and annoying! And, of course, the fact that I'm irritated only drives them to peck further, because they're boys and it seems to be an instinct ingrained in us that I think might disprove Darwin's Survival of the Fittest theory, because playing the game "how many times can we poke the lion before it gets REALLY angry?" doesn't seem conducive to anybody's survival. Except the lion's, after he eats the pests.
But anyway, I can only tell them so many times that I really am not wanting anything more than friendship at the moment, but I could do that until I'm blue in the face and they will still bother me about this issue. Do we get more resistant to testosterone over time? Is it the sudden abundance of this hormone to their systems thanks to adolescence that attributes to this? Probably the whole fact that they don't see girls as often as others also contributes.
This time of illness has awakened my mind to another fact. Yesterday, as I missed dinner, I realized that I didn't mind it at all. I didn't mind missing breakfast this morning, nor lunch. In fact, I'm in need of some other food aside from rice, which is a shame, because that won't be happening in the very near future. Missing home food right now.
So things aren't their best at the moment, but I'm okay with that.