Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Waiting for nothing

This culture is all about waiting.

-I wait for the bus to fill up
-I wait for class to start
-I wait for people to show up to a meeting
-I wait for the girls to start working
-I wait for my ride to training
-I wait for water to come
-I wait for my mangoes to ripen
-I wait for work to happen
-I wait to see what will happen

The first time that I realized how much this culture relies on waiting was during a tropical rain storm two months into my service. I was on my way somewhere and I got stuck in the rain with no umbrella and no ride home. What did I do? I waited for three hours under a tarp out in the middle of nowhere with a woman I did not even know (as of yet).

The refresher was just last night when I was outside on my porch waiting for nothing. Absolutely nothing. I was there with three cats (two of which are mine), one frog, and one horse. What were we all waiting on? Again, nothing. But we were still waiting.

People wait all the time for things to happen here. They wait longer than they need to for a bus just to catch the one that they want. They wait for friends to pass by in town just for a little bit for company. They wait for something to happen.

This is a nice change from the fast paced world of the States. There is never waiting in the states that is patient. When you are waiting, it is not a good thing. Here, waiting can be your life. I love this idea of waiting. In fact, I love it probably a little too much. I must sit out on my porch for hours every night just being and waiting for nothing.

This is the time when it is just me, when I am all alone except the toads, cats, horses and lizards running around. This is the time when I collect my thoughts from the day, prepare for tomorrow, and see things in a light I have never seen them. Why? Because I never slowed down in the States.

Just when I was on the brink of not slowing down here, I was gently reminded by another PCV that maybe life should be different than it was in the states for us. In fact, that is true. Slowing down and really enjoying this life while I have it here is what I need to do.

That is why I wait. Wait for nothing and wait for everything.