Kathryn's Peace Corps Adventure

The opinions expressed and experiences described in this blog are mine personally. Any musings that you read here are not affiliated or endorsed by Peace Corps or U.S. government. Or Starbucks. And I'm not making any money from any of this, so don't send a lawsuit my way. Got it?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

ours is a stormy kind of love

My friend Adam came to visit me about 2 weeks ago in San Ramón. I was super excited because he was the first person outside of my boss to come and see where I live…but then again, I just started formally inviting people up to come and visit me. We arrived at my house around 2 pm. Adam was looking at my photo wall when someone knocked.

“Is he here?!”
“Yeah, come in.”

Two of the boys, Heltón and Ramón came running in to see Adam said hello and immediately ran out of my house. A minute later the knocking returned and there were Williams and Brayan.

“So he’s here right…?”

Again with the introductions. Again with the running out of the house.

They all came back as a group a few minutes later and the cold war started. Adam watched TV while they would stare at him, then me, then come over to me and whisper nonsense in my ear…basically everyday conversation that could have been said out loud but wasn’t because they were shy or overly protective of me. Adam did try to talk to them but all they did was give him dirty looks or say something under their breath in Spanish, which was ridiculous because Adam is a bilingual teacher in Honduras so he understood exactly what they were saying.

Later, I gave Adam the grand tour of San Ramón…the church, the grade school, the colegio, the ‘social center’ and the health center (all of which took 15 minutes), then we went back to my house to chill because it was too rainy and muddy to stay out for long.

The boys come by again, this time yelling at me and saying, “Out with the old. In with the new, huh? Once you have new friends, you forget all about us. You don’t love us anymore. We’re not coming over anymore so you can have all the gringos you want come over.”

That fight went on for quite awhile with them (mostly Williams) saying pretty horrible things to me. “You’ll probably sleep in the same bed with him tonight because that’s what all American sluts do.”, topped the list of mean statements.

Jeez guys, I just wanted my friend to visit. Calm down. Seriously.

It really wasn’t worth fighting over because I knew how hard headed they could be and there would be no convincing them otherwise. Besides, do I need to defend myself to 13 year olds?

A few hours pass and they come by again, apologizing and start talking to Adam. (How quickly teenage emotions change at times…) He wrestles and jokes around with them. They all enjoy play fighting with him and he was really great with them. When they left, they kept saying, “He’s so cool. Way cooler than you Cati.” (naturally they’d think that…)

The next day though Adam wasn’t feeling well so I told the kids that they couldn’t come over because all he wanted to do was rest. Then the fighting started all over again. Williams was the most vocal. “I’m never coming back here. You only care about yourself and don’t care about me anymore.” Again it was a fight that wasn’t worth putting my energy into. I sat out on my front porch with them listening to them speak poorly of me while Adam rested and I stayed outside with them until they left, just to try to prove to them that even though I may have other friends besides them doesn’t mean that I’ll love them any less.

It’s a hard concept to explain in any language.

It’s alright now though I am worried to bring other friends over because I don’t want to fight with them every time someone comes to visit nor do I want to put my friends in an awkward position.

I give credit to single parents out there…it must be so difficult putting your personal happiness aside for the happiness of your children. Or it could be that I’m too selfish to understand that kind of unconditional love.


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