Work has weighed me down this week. Despite the stress of dealing with some serious issues with a certain staff member, I’ve managed to keep on trucking and not let her get me completely down.
Thursday was a fairly easy day – we had a staff meeting that was fairly upbeat and there was catering which I always enjoy. After the meeting I decided to make it a light afternoon and work on some posters that I promised the cooks a while back. Nick, our new PCV, stopped by and we watched a movie while I worked – not a bad work environment, really. After that I ended up helping Abigail, one of the grandkids that stays with my host family during school holidays, fill up the water jugs at the tap at the end of our street. She was doing it all by herself and I wasn’t doing anything important so I thought I could at least keep her company. She finished filling up the two she had and then I pushed the wheelbarrow back to the house. She didn’t think I could do it – so she kept asking if I was alright. When I came in to the house, the family was so surprised – I don’t normally help with this because Setlou does it – a cousin they pay to help out with household chores. We went back to fill up some more and I pushed the wheelbarrow again – she wanted me to stop half way and then she would take over but I wouldn’t let her. She does this kind of manual labor all the time and I was enjoying the exercise and feeling a bit useful to the family. Plus they all got a kick out of it.
While we were out there filling up the jugs you just sit and wait and watch the people passing by. Usually there are tons of people gathered around the tap, waiting their turn but it was late in the day and we missed the crowd. But just sitting out there made me wish I had done this sooner – Abigail was so happy to have some company and we just chatted about life. And I wondered, when there was a crowd, what kind of things they all talked about and if this was how the gossip or local news was spread. I told Abigail that I would be leaving in September and she said that she wished it would never come, she’ll miss me too much. I told her sometimes I felt the same way. How can I leave my friends here, my family, and continue on to the next phase of my life? I don’t want my friendships to stop; I don’t want to cut these people or these moments out of my life. I’ve been having these thoughts a lot lately – on one hand I’m completely ready to move on, I miss Jason so much and I am tired of being in a long-distance relationship but these people are important to me too! I do really wish that I can continue working in this community and visiting my friends after I return to South Africa.
The next morning while I was working on my computer Abigail knocked on my door. I told her to come in and she asked if I was going to work today. I told her yes but that I was finishing up some stuff here before I left to meet people at 10. She just came back form walking someone to the road and saw Nick, the new PCV waiting for someone. She thought maybe he was waiting for me so she worried that maybe all the heavy lifting from the day before had strained me and that I didn’t sleep well, that maybe I was sick today. I had to laugh but her concern was sweet. All my recent exercising must be paying off because I’m not even sore!