Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring and Things

I had the interview at the college. They called me back for a walk through of some of the building and laboratories I would be working in and around and with. I'm calling it a second interview. I was informed that I'm the top candidate for the position. That's a wow for me. It's a job I think I could like. The whole process is a little long and drawn out. I submitted my resume at the beginning of March, got my first interview at the end of March and if everything checks out I'll have the job by the end of April. Two months to get a job. It's a little more condusive to someone already working and living here. I'm lucky I'm in the situation I'm in.

It's springtime. I know mostly because of my allergies but also because of the show of flowers here and there and the occasional warm day. Last week there was a day I had to be outside. I decided to have a picnic lunch and sit in the sun and allow my skin to feel its heat. There is a park behind my apartment. It's a long skinny park with several playgrounds, some large boulders and patches of daffodils. I found a sunny grassy area behind a large boulder still in site of the road and maybe 20 feet from a playground. While still enjoying my lunch and listening to some tunes a man approached me and told me I needed to move. I was in a very dangerous area where men do crack. It was very dangerous. I actually did see some men go down the hill behind me and thought they were likely involved in drugs but I also was aware of the middle school kids going through the area I was sitting, the young man who thought one of the boulders would be ideal to sit on so he could write in a notebook and the little ones with their adults on the playground 20 feet away. Was it enough for me to be aware of my surroundings in the middle of a warm sunny day?

Some friends are coming into town this weekend. We're going to a couple shows including Sizwe Banzi is Dead. I find out what's going on around town when I listen to NPR and found out about this show while listening. Though I never read it while I was in The Gambia I know this play is part of the West African Exam Council's curriculum and I remember one of my Peace Corps friends teaching it to some of the grade 10 kids. I'm really looking forward to seeing this play.

For a month or two I was aware of a mouse coming to visit the apartment. He left his evidence in some of the drawers and on countertops as mice do. Late last week his addiction to peanut butter got the best of him and he was caught. A week or so before he was caught it was evident that the air mattress I've been sleeping on since October was no longer suitable for sleeping on. I realized Saturday as I was folding up the mattress and realized that it was likely the mouse who lead to the end of my days sleeping on an air mattress. I think he wanted to burrow into my bed. It came a little earlier than expected, but I'm finally sleeping on a real mattress, not even a futon. It really is just so nice. I'm not so happy that a mouse visited my apartment but maybe I am happy about it...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Not the Little Apple

I kept thinking I would update this thing and it's taken me a while but here goes.

How am I adjusting to being back? I'm here. I eat a lot more now. I think having a job will help a lot. I'm constantly thinking of my host family and how my little girls are doing. Hawa had a baby in October. There is nothing like being surrounding by children who love you and a family that doesn't judge me on the things my family here does.

I wasn't going to post until I got a job. I guess I have a job. Two actually but I'm not working. I'm a tutor for two different companies but I don't have any students yet. One company I will only have private clients, likely middle school kids wanting to get into private high schools. The other I will be working with the No Child Left Behind kids. It could be interesting.

I have an interview coming up. It's for a job I think I could like. I would be working at a college around here. Just having a job would make me feel a little more adult. It's sort of like I've been on this extended vacation only I don't really have the money to do the fun things. I also recently found out I qualify for a government job but it seems that the paperwork takes a long time to process so I'm not holding my breath for that one. It could also be interesting but I think I'd like the college job better.

Something that's helped me not lose my mind since I've been back--my fiance. It was a total shock to me to be proposed to in Amsterdam on my way back to The States but it's been good. We're planning a nice outdoor wedding in October in my hometown which is not here. It's hard not being there to plan things but it's coming along. I just need a caterer and a DJ. And a few other details. I'm just not a wedding planner but the day will happen.

I go back and forth with the whole consumerism thing. I mean, I have things. I'm pretty happy with things. Sometimes all I can think about is how much I have. Too much. Then not long after those feelings I just want to go shopping but I don't have money. I would buy more of everything. We'd go out to eat more often. We'd actually have cable. I'd buy more clothes even though I don't have a job and wear jeans or my fleece pants everyday and I already have about 50 tshirts of which I only wear maybe 5. I haven't even bought new underwear since I've been back. I used to buy new underwear about every three or four months or so but I have enough so really why do I need more? Having things is great. Having new things is fun. But I just don't need it. Money is kinda tight right now. Will my attitude change once I get a real job? Maybe I'll end up spending it on other things like travel or a house or kids. Who knows.

I had the chance to have dinner the other night with some future family. Two nights in a row really. I realized that I'm totally out of sync with pop culture right now. Nearly all my knowledge of pop culture has come from whatever is on NPR. I don't watch American Idol. I don't really see commercials. My local grocery store doesn't even have the good gossip magazines. I really only know a little bit about some things that most people know nothing about nor do they really care. I know when each of the state primaries is and the outcome of each. I guess I'm managing.

If anyone has a good job for me, let me know. I'll always be in search of the perfect one!