martes, 20 de marzo de 2012

Born to Run

I kicked my own ass today. I needed to go run after a series of frustrating events. So I went out on a road that has large potholes/mud holes and a portion that is a steep hill. I ran down it, and up it, and down it, and up it...three times. Every time I was in the last 50 yards of that hill my lungs felt like they were going to explode (once again, we are at 12,000 ft). It really hurt, but it was also a release, and deep down I knew that these hill runs are slowly contributing to me becoming a bad-ass.
So what's so frustrating out here? The authorities don't respect me as a professional, for example, I don't get invited to participate in important community meetings, where other institutions are present, although I am representing an international agency. When I must frequently coordinate with a particular teacher at the school (all the high school teachers, and the director are men), I am immediately "linked up" with him, and the rumors begin. While the parents and kids are generally warm and friendly, there is little to no consistency in trying to sustain an ongoing activity. The culture here is reserved and the people will usually smile and say yes no matter what-they say what you want to hear-ok, I get this, but it also means that even when you really try to get out there, and invite people, most don't ever show. This is so much a part of our lives as PCV's that almost every one of us has some crazy story about bribing people to come, or telling them to show up three hours early, because then they may actually get there on time ("la hora Peruana" rules).
So these are my complaints. There have been accomplishments, yes, and the effort is always worth it. Just thank God that much of our work revolves around casual community life, chats, and playing with kids, because dealing with authorities get you some lip service of support and some sexual harassment at best, and trying to organize groups of people is just about one of the toughest things to take on-especially when the cultural divide is so wide. I commend Obama; and they say that being President is the toughest job you'll ever love.

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