Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lessons from Peace Corps. . . mellow out


Tis almost that time of year. Harvest time. The DR is a small country on a small island shared with Haiti, the DR calls the island Hispaniola and Haiti calls it Quisqueya. In the South of the DR, we harvest coffee from late September to mid December. On the other side of the same mountain range, the North, they harvest from February to May.

It is early August, and the stress sits just on top of my shoulders. In early September, when I make my pre-harvest prep trip, I'm sure the stress will sit closer to my neck. I've made enough trips to know how I react by now. There is always so much to do on these short trips, many phone calls and follow ups precede my departure. If I were to list my to do's, it would look pretty lame: walk the entire farm, spend a few days playin' in the dirt, balance the farm money books, possibly build some more raised beds, check in with all my friends, visit the Nuclio de Cafecultores de Monte Bonito, meet with my lawyers in the capital and stuff. Lots of little things, but not 9 days worth . . . .

If I had a helicopter and good weather, that could all happen in 4 days. But I travel like any non-vehicle owning Dominican: bus - guagua, mule - mulo, truck - camion, on foot - a pie, and my favorite public taxi - carro publico. I learned after my first year of Peace Corps service to: have faith that I will arrive at my destination before night fall (and if you don't, ehh [shoulder shrug] you will find a bed or not), leave a little wiggle room in all my plans, focus on the fundamental point of it all not the task at hand and mellow out.

Almost always at some point, I wonder if I should take my return flight home. . . then I realize that I have bills to pay and the point of it all is bigger than me playing in the dirt.

[in the picture I have a bull's tail as a goatee]

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