“Sounds like you have a case of the Mondays,” Rachel told me during one of our many conversations this week. I felt like I was stuck in a rut with everything seeming to go wrong. At times like these I am known to be a crybaby, and I had many teachers trying to help me when they saw me looking down.
Between rude comments, too many teachers being absent (causing me to watch many classrooms at the same time), lack of food (it is not good going through the entire day with only a few crackers in your belly until evening), and many other little issues at school, home and our secondary health project, I felt like a wreck. I was gifted a migraine headache that would not leave, making me feel like a ghost in my house.
I was not the only one going through this. Rachel and I talked forever about our problems, and it felt like in some ways, the other person had it rougher. This is a time period I thought we would all be at our high point. We were about to celebrate one year, and looking over that year it was great. But I was not in the mood to celebrate. I was on a downward spiral, and could not find a way out of this funk.
After a full weekend of feeling like a bad Monday, I decided that I would take action, so each evening, I went for a jog, looking for something fun to do. On Monday, I visited a few different church youth groups in other villages to watch their practice for White Sunday. Tuesday, I headed the other direction, and in addition to watching kids sing and dance, I got to play volleyball with people two villages over, which was a blast. Since I was still down, on Wednesday, I was really determined to change my outlook. I needed someone I could talk to, someone I could relate to, I was going to visit Elisa, and enjoy that great palagi connection we share.
I started running, and it began raining. I ducked inside a church and watch some of my students practice their singing. They were so cute with their dance moves, it quickly brought a smile to my face. The rain stopped, and I had a lot more ground to cover before I even came close to Elisa’s house, so I kept on down the road, and hearing all the people call out my name felt so good. Here I am feeling so depressed, and I have hundreds of people who appreciate me for being here and being a part of their lives. Even though I was tired, and it was hot, it gave me the strength to keep going. I stopped off at the store, picked up some bread for her family, and turned down the plantation road to her house.
Elisa was also not at her all time high. She had just come home from working on the health project, and was trying to think of ways to make it successful for her village (as well as not make her crazy with being overworked). The two of us talked about our problems, talked about the good experiences we were having, had a delicious meal of macaroni and cheese with garlic bread. (It is amazing what you can cook when you only have access to a hot water boiler.) It was great talking to her one on one. I had such a good time, I didn’t want to leave, but nightfall had come.
Elisa came with me to wait for my parents on the main road. We sat there talking, admiring the stars, and I was feeling better. We talked about all the good things about Samoa, as we stared at the Milky Way and watched out for shooting stars.
I am glad I have Elisa nearby to help me out when I need her. She is a good friend to have, and a great peace corps sister.
I am feeling a lot better right now, and I hope it stays this way.