Sunday, July 13, 2014

I am a Man With Some Short Pants and a Shoooooooort Jacket

Bum.  Bum, bum bum bum.  Bom bim bim do bom bom do.  If you're not singing Cake's "Short Skirt Long Jacket" by now, you're not my friend anymore.

As for the title, it's referring to my unusually short warm-ups that I'll be wearing for the Microgames.  Now although I won't be running, I will be coaching in style! Preparing for the flood style.  Damn my long leg genes!

The entire track team is now staying at one of the elementary schools on Pohnpei in order to create some team bonding before the Microgames start.  It's called "so-pene" which means to come together.  I've been asked if I'd like to "so-pene" with them, but Peace Corps rules and the desire to spend my last weeks with my host family are keeping the ball and chain still on my legs; my unusually long legs for Pohnpeian clothing standards...  Anyhow.  The team is still in good shape.  We're practicing two times per day: one easy stretching workout in the morning accompanied by a more hardcore long or short distance run in the evening.  But I, being the lazy coach out of the two (a very helpful Australian lady named Kerry is helping me coach), have decided and decreed out into the land that I shall not wake up at 5 a.m. to workout.  That, my friends, has been delegated to the woman who is more motivated and closer geographically to the elementary school.  For that, I owe her my life and probably my alarm clock.

I suspect that we'll perform well, but like everyone else, we're worried about the quality of athletes that will be landing from Guam.  I've heard the Herculean stories.  They've been to the real Olympics.  However, Coach Canfield don't give a damn!  Coach Canfield's athletes are going to rock the house.  Coach Canfield's story will be sold for movie rights to MGM soon after his journey!

Third person narration, done.  We're going to have a fun time representing Team Pohnpei.

Last night I got a glimpse into what life could/will be like in China.  My Chinese teacher invited me over to her family's apartment for food and drinks, more drinks than food to be quite honest.  The food was great, but the lesson in Chinese eating culture was even greater.  As I have done with every other first cultural eating encounter, I watch first, then eat.  [Side story: One time I went over to my friends house in Denver whose family is from Mexico.  I didn't know the proper eating etiquette, so I wanted to observe before making a fool of myself.  So my friend starts out by putting a tortilla into his left hand and just holding it there.  It idled for like 2 minutes.  So.... I did the same thing.  I held the tortilla, but I didn't do anything with it.  I my elbow started to hurt from it just resting on the table holding up that warm flat bread.  Finally, my friend asked me what the hell was I doing holding the tortilla.  I asked, "Isn't that what you were just doing?!"  He countered with a, "Yes, because I was preparing stuff to put into it."  In all, I thought I'd avoid making a fool of myself, but instead I tripped on the cultural rug and severely dented a "bozo" imprint into my forehead.]  Sometimes it ends up biting me in the ass, but this time it went well.  The part that was really interesting was the drinking.  They served me a type of liquor made from soga that went down smooth like a friendly vodka, if there ever was such a thing.  I thought the bottle would run out sooner, but it didn't.  I didn't get too sloshed, but let's say my Chinese was flowing pretty fluidly, and by fluidly I mean the words were bashing into each other quite un-respectfully of grammar.  So it was fun, and I came home reaking of delicious Chinese food and Culture; that's Culture with a Capital "C" for Crunk!  {ref: 2008}.

As my time on Pohnpei comes to a close, I tend to think back on all the experiences I've had.  I know that I have many stories and anecdotes to tell, but I keep forgetting them because a story isn't a story if it seems normal.  I feel that once I return to the U.S. and recognize how my life has been a girl named Abby Normal, I'll be able to appropriate reflect on my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  I can't wait for that moment when I realize, "Wow.  I made it through, and what a Space Mountain it was."

16 days left, and every one of them is going to be a bittersweet goodbye.  (Note: I prefer milk chocolate.)

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