I know this is a great experience, a once in a lifetime type of deal. Being overseas however, away from family and friends can be overwhelming. Not just a little overwhelming, but an intense "HOLY CRAP, I'M OVER A 20 HOUR FLIGHT FROM HOME!" overwhelming. Yeah, it's that big.
Something that helps me though, aside from my parents telling me to get a grip, is to think of the question, "Have you ever?" It feels good to be able to answer the questions with an affirmative. I'm not away from home for nothing, I can now answer yes to the following questions:
Have you ever had a student climb up a coconut tree for you? Why actually, yes. Today some of the boys (my famous -of paper boys) played along with a joke about me getting buko juice (young coconut juice) and delivered me a sliced open coconut at the end of school today.
Have you ever watched a sex ed lecture that began with the words "We all have a deep love... for God." Couldn't say yes until yesterday. But now, oh yeah, I can.
Have you ever watched goats outside your classroom door while you teach? Everyday.
Have you ever seen a dog in the drivers seat of a motorcycle? yes, but my favorite is seeing the babies driving.
Have you ever used chalkboards to teach with? So far, that's been all we've had. My dream is to have a chalk eraser that sucks the chalk dust up with a tiny vacuum while you erase.
Have you ever watched a cockfight? I love hearing the sound of all the betters shouting while I'm walking back to the house after school. It's like a distant roar. I'd say that's one of the true unspoiled sounds of the Philippines.
Have you ever had students over to your house? We play uno, and I make them American food. Last week was spaghetti, and this week they're having their first ever peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches. I know that would never happen in America, I'd be fired probably. Here though, it's no big deal.
Have you ever did a home visit to one of your students where it took you almost an hour to get there and when you finally arrived, you found yourself at the top of a mountain? It was one of the most eye-opening experiences ever. One of those experiences that leaves you with more questions about life than you'll ever be able to answer.
Have you ever watched a kid look at a book like it's something amazing and want to know where it came from? It gives you a pretty cool feeling.
Have you ever lived without airconditiong? I wouldn't recommend it.
Have you ever had a bucket bath? It's amazing how much you can do with just one bucket full of water.
Have you ever eaten an entire pineapple? It's good.
Have you ever bought tofu out of an open bowl at the open market? I admit, I was hesitant at first, but it beats eating seafood every meal.
Have you ever been told by the priest that you're getting "sexier and sexier?" um, so that one made me blush... a lot... but it should be known that sexy is an everyday word here, and you'd be feeling bad if you didn't get it said about you at least once a day.
Have you ever watched The Office, season 5? I can't say yes to this one... but I can say it after tonight because it's finally coming on tv here. YAY!!! No, it's more than yay, it's a DOUBLE YAY!!!