My hands are very cold and I just got an email from our medical staff warning against 'chillblains'. It seems like something out of a Dickens' novel, but apparently it still exists. Work, for the first time since getting to Morocco, has actually picked up and I'm busy. Not totally sure if that's a good or a bad thing. It does help, though, to keep my mind off of the fact that I'm by myself.
I thought that I would spend 2 years in Africa absolutely alone, possibly traveling up to 10 hours on any given weekend in an effort to see another American and commiserate over our loneliness. But instead, I met Krista.
Depending on who I'm talking with, she is either my site mate, my work partner, my girlfriend, my wife, or 'the other american, the white one, she teaches too'. Non-big-city-Morocco is not very positive on the whole non-marital relationship thing. Given that guys often don't marry until they have a job, and there's a massive youth unemployment problem, that makes for a lot of unhappy dudes. Then when they do get married, it's usually to people much, much younger; case in point, Krista's 21 year old host sister considered marrying a 35 year old truck driver she'd never met. So we are an oddity. We don't go on many double-dates is what I'm saying. This is my ode to her.
Krista is perfect. I mean, we moved in together about 2 months after meeting each other, to an apartment in a backwater minor city in Muslim Africa and we're doing damn good. That's amazing. When I'm having a bad day or week or month, she pulls me out of it. She is a constant, constant source of help, optimistic ambition, humor, good conversation, hard work, emotional support, linguistic aid, and everything that is good. Everything.
And not only is she a huge Bonus in my life and in my peace corps service, but she also has probably saved me from insanity. Like Cabin Fever. Or The Shining. Last fall I lived by myself for a few months on Martha's Vineyard as it descended into winter.
It started innocuously enough; singing in the shower, talking to myself, locking certain doors. I guess I realized I was starting to lose it when I bought a Gumby costume (long story) and hung it over one of the doors. Many times I would turn away and then see it again with its big plastic googly-eyes and scare the hell out of myself. Sometimes more than once in a single day. Then I started to think I was seeing other things- scurrying away at the edges of my vision. In retrospect, this may have been a combination of an extreme caffeine addiction thanks to my job in a cafe and the dozen or so espresso shots I'd consume in a day; and regularly going on multi-hour, flashlight-runs at night in absolute darkness. Then again, those seem pretty nuts too. So yeah, when I'm alone, I go crazy. So that's what I expected coming here.
But then I met Krista and I am insanely glad that I did ('insane' here being a positive thing). She has been gone the last week, helping to teach the new group of volunteers in a small town near Fez. This is the first time we've been away from each other for more than 4 days in the last 10 months. I'm still holding it together. No hallucinations yet.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, nor any other governmental or non-governmental organization.
Nor is anything written here necessarily drawn from my own views, opinions, and observations. Please consider all postings and pictures complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality. For legal purposes, please additionally regard the author as utterly imaginary.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, governmental or non-governmental organizations.
Nor is anything written here necessarily my own views, opinions, or observations. Please consider all pictures and texts here to be complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality, this one or any other. For legal purposes, please additionally consider the author to be utterly imaginary.