Hey world, it's been a while. That last post was a doozy, I thought I should wait until I could write a happier one to update here.
Life has been great here. Aside from the occasional stress of teaching, which now at the end of the second trimester of the second year has started to take its annual toll on me. Most of the teachers at my school right now have to mentally smack an occasional grimace off of their faces, and a common comment in the teacher's room is, "break's almost here!" This year, however, the near end of trimester two is tinged in sadness, in bittersweet knowledge that I'm approaching the last leg of this journey.
I have a lot to look forward to in my future and I'm allowing my excitement for the next few months to remain at the foreground, saving the sadness that I've been dreaming of for the day I sit at the airport and let go of the right to call this island home.
My friend from Assomada just made it out to visit for a weekend and I passed one of the most incredible weekends in recent memory with him and dear friends. I'll admit it was not a typical Cape Verdean weekend, but served as a welcome reprieve from test preparations.
After an afternoon of drinks and catching up, the girls split up from the guys, and when we met on a cobblestone path that winds parallel to the ocean the boys were waiting with flowers, chocolates and wine. I'm almost embarrassed to say this; I know we're Peace Corps volunteers, and these seem silly things to dwell on. But it this set the stage for an amazing night and the unexpectedness of this attention made it more potent. I may not be able to afford a vacation right now and whisk off to a faraway destination where I'm anonymous and free to relax fully, but mentally this felt like settling into a tub of warm bathwater after being dirty for months. We ran along the beach for an hour drinking wine and splashing in the warm foam that lapped up with the waves. I fell in love with my friends and life all over again.
After a wonderful dinner I snuck away from my friends, drawn to the beach by a bonfire surrounded by fishermen. I plopped down in the cold black sand and passed an hour talking about living on the beach, befriending a small boy who told me about the different types of fish he likes to catch. I helped to keep the embers smoldering, and ignored the quizzical looks the men gave me, my fingers dipped in night-chilled sand still damp from the tide, sitting in the soft screen of heat emanating from the driftwood sprinkled with glitter that changed from autumnal orange to crimson, with a constant smile tattooed on my face.
I've found in the past that sometimes I've felt bad here, when I go out with American friends and spend my time doing something "touristy." But this night I realized that I can allow myself time sometimes, in the light of stars with people I love and who understand how sometimes the days here can be more weighty than they seem. We pull each other up, sometimes before realizing that our friends or even we ourselves need help. I guess I needed it.