After my vacation to Senegal (Dakar and M'Bour) for Christmas I was feeling super refreshed and ready to attack all the problems that have been plaguing my first three months of service. I really was finally feeling proud of the people around me and seeing the beauty in the small subculture that I live in after comparing it to the other cultures nearby. But just as it is in the states when you return from a long vacation, no matter how much you have changed (perhaps you got your hair braided on a beach in Bahamas or a temporary tattoo in Mexico -not reccommended), once you open that door that's been locked for multiple weeks, everything's back to normal. Everything is exactly where you left it (hopefully) and you pick up you life like you just went to the grocery store not Italy. This experience hit me, and my new found energy, pretty hard and sent me right back to the point I was at before vacation.
I guess the one concellation is that my vacation goes by quick and now I've been here 7 months instead of 6. So no, my life didn't change with a different attitude but I am definitely moving forward. The little problems and annoyances aren't as bad and I know how to deal with them better (the influx of care packages for Christmas helped a lot too!).
Work is .......work. I'm getting better at the pacing of a lesson and presenting material but no matter what, these kids do not learn. It's really really frustrating to feel fully confident in the subject and the notes but when these kids are looking for the definition of how ions form so they can memorize it they really aren't learning anything. So again, I'm moving forward but instead of the American sprint pace directly towards progress that I'm used to, it's more like a gentle stroll interupted with lollygagging in the general direction of progress.
Well, for once I won't put on a sugar coat and say things are awesome but I'm not knocked down just a little dazed, if you will. I really can't express my gratitude for all the support I get from you all. Please please PLEASE send me a letter if you find some time and slip a few photos in there too so I can see your beautiful faces! I hope you all are doing great back home! Say hello to the sandwich meat drawer in your fridge for me, I miss it.