I think I have gotten even more sweaty during this month than I was during the peak of the summer. Maybe I should consume more electrolytes. Anyway, Easter was a lovely affair, but I can't really go into too much detail, because my arms are fairly sore at the moment. This is SUCH a welcome change. The last time my arms were this sore was when I decided it would be a good idea to see how many crates I could fill with eggs before muscle failure. Okay, that never actually happened, but I did look at egg-collecting as a great exercise. Sadly, I see no promise of the hens coming back to the Ciudad. There's still time in the year, I suppose, but I'm still...well, you know, sometimes I hated that job. I guess I just miss the consistency of it, and I do miss feeling tired at the end of most days. Except the days when they made me clean up the sick chickens' quarters. Those days I just was bitter.
Enough about chickens! I have sore arms because I have been moving boxes upon boxes of books. When we first arrived here, our apartments already were occupied...by libraries. Shelf upon shelf of random book. It had its charm, don't get me wrong, but it can get mighty claustrophobic, and I don't know the next time I'll need to know how to perform Thorax surgery with the help of an outdated Spanish text. I refer to that particular book a lot. There's also about 10 million copies of Princess Di books. We might burn those, not out of spite for the late celebrity, but out of spite for the books themselves. Whatever. Anyway, we packed up the books in Alyssa's and Tania's apartment and moved them over to the computer room. It truly was a joyous day. Of course, it leaves the question of what we'll do with MY books...because I am farily sure that there are more books and shelves in my room than in theirs. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it!
Anyway, life here is very good. I've had some struggles in maintaining my spiritual life, but I'm getting back into that. I'm able to understand people who used to fall into the category of, "I'll listen to what you say and make noncommittal noises to show you that I'm listening, but in reality I have no idea what you're saying and therefore cannot contribute meaningfully. Or at all." This is nice, because it makes me feel like I have managed some amount of progress. Though I can't really pat myself on the back for that, as I have no control over what, how, and when my brain decides to absorb information. I'm just...here. Thankful. More comfortable with myself than I have been for a while, but also getting more driven to be better than I have been in the past.
Okay, before total muscle failure, I would like to talk about Hermano Polo, supervisor of the pabellón San Juan. He was in the military, is naturally gifted with music, is short, has gigantic hands, and used to really intimidate me. I'll still use the formal "usted" as opposed to "tú" with him, because I think that he functions better in that capacity within San Juan, but I can just get along a lot better with him as an almost-peer these days. Part of this has to do with his Harry Potter glasses that make it almost impossible for me to be scared of him. He is one of very few people who can really pull the look off, but I'm glad he can. Anyway, he's a bit of a joker. On Tuesday of Semana Santa (Holy Week), he told me as I was walking to the meeting room before being sent off to do work in the afternoon: (Though he said it in Spanish) "Michael, the Sisters called and wanted some help taking measurements for the Altar of Repose they're going to make and put in the chapel for Holy Thursday. They were looking for somebody tall, preferably lighter-skinned, and handsome. I told them I didn't have anybody like that, but I had you, so I'd send you over." He was very proud of this joke, and rightly so.
Then, last week, he was teaching kids some new praise and worship songs, and one of them begins: "Jesús, el más hermoso de los hombres," or "Jesus, the most beautiful of all men." Hno. Polo took a moment to have us reflect on this line. "Yup, most beautiful guy. Nobody's prettier. Not one of you in the Ciudad can beat him. Not even Michael." And then as the entirety of the population of the Ciudad broke into laughter, he stood there grinning, evidently very pleased with himself. Now the ladies on staff call me "Pretty Boy."
Life in Ciudad has been tumultuous, trying, lovely, and fun. This is a lame update, but I figured I should write something so that people don't think I'm dead. Though speaking of death, my left arm has given out, so it's high time to publish this post. Chau for now, folks!