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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sleepless and Satirical

So I've not reported in on my sleepless nights because I thought by now they would have gone away. But, since early April I've not been sleeping well. Waking up 8-10 times a night and finding it really hard to go back to sleep. Mostly it's just my mind wandering around and not able to focus on anything. This not only affects me at night but during the day as well. With that, its made this last month or so really tough. Mostly I just fight through the day and try not to appear too tired to stand. Even when I get home its impossible to take a nap because not only is my house filled with people and always noisy, my mind just won't settle down. This wasn't a problem until i started to get a low nagging headache everyday. That's when I decided to contact our doctors here. I can live with being on edge and tired all the time, what I can't live with is a constant headache. So, this past Friday I went in and talked with the doctor about my problems.
Her conclusion was that my biggest problem was lack of sleep and that if I got more sleep I would feel better about a lot of my other issues. (Home-sickness, bad work conditions, boiled meat, lack of power and water a lot of the time, students who don't care about my effort, etc.) So, the doctor gave me some all natural sleep aids and so far I've slept pretty well the last two nights. I'm not too crazy about taking 3 pills a day, but whatever. She also had me take a depression survey that she is forwarding over to Washington. I don't think they'll get much out of that except a good laugh. (I was allowed to make comments out to the side of the questions.) I felt like writing: 'no I'm not depressed any more than you would be after eating boiled lamb for 9 months in a row.' All the questions were on a scale of 0-5 with 5 being the most extreme. I think the highest I went on any of them was 1. So don't fear, I'm not depressed, just tired and in need of a vacation. Only 4 more weeks of school to go!

Not all is doom and gloom. There was not one but two rainbows yesterday! One of them was the brightest I've ever seen.

And, in other news; I got a letter from my U.S. Senator Jim DeMint this week!
Now rather than just telling you what was in the letter I thought since it was short enough I would just re-type it here for you to enjoy:
Dear Andrew,
As your United States Senator, it gives me great pleasure to thank you for your service in the National Peace corps during your time in Georgia. Words can never fully express the gratitude of our nation for your work to promote peace and friendship in other countries by your diplomatic efforts to improve other people's understanding of America.
Throughout your time of service, you have taken part in supporting American principles, encouraging progress and development, and enhancing the relationship between nations. As you have met and exceeded high professional expectations and worked diligently to support our nation, I am proud to know that South Carolina can claim you as one of her own.
On behalf of the entire state of South Carolina, I want to thank you for your choice to serve our nation in the Peace Corps. Please do not hesitate to contact me if i may be of any assistance to you or any of your family in the future. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless America.
Jim DeMint
United States Senator
Now when I read this quickly the first time I thought: Wow. Thanks Sen. DeMint! But my cynical side just wouldn't let me keep that smile. I quickly remembered that it is an election year and Sen. DeMint is a douche-bag. So I thought I would use some space and write him a response:
Dear Senator Jim DeMint,
Thank you for your kind letter Sir. It is nice to know that you made one of your aids take time out of their day to not only look up the names and locations of Peace Corps volunteers from South Carolina but that you also let them use your fancy printer to replicate your signature at the bottom.
While I was so happy to hear that you and South Carolina are proud to call me one of your own, I can't help but wonder how long you plan to speak for our fine state?
As we all know you are considered by many to be the most conservative member of the Senate. How proudly you must wear this title. I mean Senator, you are strongly opposed to the idea that the Patriot Act in any way harms civil liberty. While you say that you support our troops you voted no on limiting their deployment to 12 months keeping them away from their families and in harms way for longer periods of time. You have a great record on wrecking our environment by voting against no less than 11 Bills that would help reduce our carbon emissions and protect our country's national wildlife. Congrats!
You so far have done nothing but reject funding for state public schools and testing standards, you've voted with nothing but the GOP on health care issues despite your own state's recommendations, you're against affirmative action and same-sex marriages, and against the idea that an abortion is a woman's right.
You Sir are truly a son of South Carolina! And while we may be a state that clings to our traditions, we do not need a representative like yourself to drag us backwards. What we need in South Carolina is a Senator who is willing to stand up for our rights. Our right to decent air to breath and clean water. Our right to good public schools free of hand guns. (Don't think I didn't notice that you voted to reduce the waiting period on those from 3 days to 1). We deserve a Senator who is willing to listen to the needs of the people not the desires of his own party. We deserve a better Senator than you.
Sir it is true that Hell would freeze over before I would ever vote for you. But, I would again like to thank you for taking time out of your aid's day and money out of the budget to send me such a nice letter.
Andrew Jenkins

Friday, May 14, 2010

May May Go Away!

So really there isn't anything to report on the goings on here in Georgia. Just trying to plug away through these last 6 weeks of school and stay focused on finishing out the school year. I'm finding that harder and harder to do this month since the rains have finally stopped and the weather is nicer.
I've had a chance to travel around the last few weeks since the new group of volunteers are here and I've been out west twice now to help them with their training. I did a session on transportation safety and one on classroom management. The sessions went well and the west side of Georgia is very pretty. Sorry no photos to post this time, but I'll try to remember to take my camera next time.
I did have an interesting trip back yesterday from there though. Another volunteer and I caught a marshrutka (small transportation van) from the west for a two hour trip back to the capital. There were only two seats open when it stopped, so I ended up being squished between two very fat Georgian men and had to spend the whole ride back hunched over and unable to sit back due to neither of them even attempting to make room for me on the seat. Typical here since Georgians may be known for their hospitality, but not their common decency. The trip ended up taking two and a half hours since part of the road was under construction. Not a fun ride. By the time I got back to the capital, I was just hungry and wanted to relax. So, I met up with another volunteer at a coffee shop in the capital, had some lunch, good coffee and we played cribbage for a few hours. But, not paying attention to the time we had to rush over to the banya for a quick bath and then head to the marshrutka station to catch a ride back to our villages. (Note I made the choice to take a shower rather than skip it and get home early. I like showers.)
The last marshrutka to the town down the hill from me leaves at 8pm everyday. I was there right before eight and noticed that there was still plenty of room and seats available. Bonus. I took a seat that seemed the least likely to draw the attention of any larger passengers and sat down. But did it leave at eight? Eight-thirty? Noooo. The driver waited till almost nine o'clock to leave ensuring that every drunk that was headed our way was able to get a seat. Thankfully, there was a fat guy sitting next to me who was not drunk. Better to be cramped than harassed. The typical 45 min. trip took over an hour since of course we had to stop half way for the passengers to buy more beer and take a bathroom break. Man I hate Georgian transportation!
Thankfully, I called my host family and my host-brother came and picked me up saving me from a 45 min. walk in the dark up hill to my house. I ate some dinner and talked with the family and then passed out in my bed thankful that I made it home in one piece.
The only news that I think you may have missed is from the host-family. One of my sister-in-laws had to have her appendix removed this past week and should be coming home from the hospital today. And, the 9-month-old host-nephew had his leg broken last week. His mom was walking down the stair with him in her arms, tripped and fell and landed on top of him breaking his femur on his right leg. But, after a big scare, both mom and baby are doing just fine.
In other news, today is the Birthday of one of What's Next's? biggest fans. MAC's birthday is today and this blog would like to wish him a very happy birthday and hopes that he and his family are doing well in Texas. Well, as well as one can be while living in Texas anyway. Hey, at least it's not Muganlo.
Please, before anyone asks, I will get a post up soon about the baseball season. I know you're all awaiting my opinion on how this season has started off. And, MTV will be back on the air soon. Well, as soon as I can find something interesting to put up anyway. Like I said at the top, I'm just trying to make it through the next 5 or 6 weeks. And, my ADD is not helping me focus my efforts.
Hope all is well in the land of Freedom and BBQ.