Monday, July 04, 2005

An Apology of Sorts

So far I've been really bad at posting what's been going on during Training. That's too bad, because one of the things I wanted to do with this blog is capture the ins and outs of Training, both for my own sake and for those who are heading toward Peace Corps service and would like more information. The truth is, I've had little time to write over the last month. Which is not to say I haven't had some free time, which I have -- although not as much as I'll have once I'm at my site, apparently. But what free time I have had usually is occupied with sleeping or listening to music, which is for two reasons:

One, Training can be exhausting. Not because of any physical exertion, other than walking from home to the Training site (about one mile) and back every day in the hot blistering sun -- which, I should add, is astonishingly hot even at 8:00 in the morning, when it is already quite high in the sky -- but because it is mentally exhausting. We spend several hours a day, five days a week, sitting and listening to presentations or lectures or information sessions, and all throughout we take notes and struggle to stay awake. The lectures aren't boring, any more than a college lecture, but combined with the hot room and the difficult time comprehending the accents, it can be easy to phase out and let your mind slip. For this reason, I've had a tendency to take a major nap when I get back home from training, sometimes for as long as four hours. When I finally wake up it is time for dinner, and then I talk with my homestay parents for a while, and often times a group of other trainees staying along my street will meet up at a small local rum shop at the end of the block to "lime" a while. From these get-togethers I generally return at 9:30 or 10:00 p.m., just in time to go to bed so I can get up at 7 a.m. and begin again.

The second reason I haven't been writing as much as I'd like is because of the heat in the bedroom where I'm staying. It can be quite hot in there (I've measured it as 96 degrees Fahrenheit during the day). I have a fan, but only one electrical outlet in the room, and so I have to decide on whether the fan or the laptop will be plugged in at a time. If I have the laptop plugged in and the fan off, I can write or play video games or whatever for as long as I like, but sweat is pouring down my skin unpleasantly the whole time. Not a conducive environment for writing. Sometimes I do what I'm doing as I write this, which is to leave the fan in and operate from the laptop battery. But that only lasts so long -- in the time I've taken writing these three paragraphs, the battery has gone down from 89% to 81%.

So this blog entry is an apology of sorts; not necessarily only to my readers, those of you who would like to know what my experience is like so far, but also to myself for getting so far behind. My last entries covered the first few days of Training. That makes me basically a month behind. I'll make an effort to get caught up as soon as I can and get some of these things down for posterity.

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