pinch, bite, prick, suck, buzz
swarming my body at night
small bastards that fly.
the net has been hung
square yellow sanctuary
why do i have bites?
my house was a plant
holes and spaces everywhere
thank god for Bygone.
you want to fly here?
dream on bro, not when there is
fast electric fan.
lamok lamok na,
cuz of rainy season woes.
trust me, you will die.
they say candles work
newsflash: they don’t. only thing,
sitting and browsing
harsh stinging on back of neck
swap it, there is blood.
endless summer ‘pines
if this place was a desert
no more mosquito.
Mid Service Training wrap up: I’m so proud to be part of such a diverse, creative, intelligent, loving, passionate, amazing group of people. I’ve never in my life forged such intensely close friendships and relationships with colleagues. Peace Corps Volunteers truly are the best.
This is a poem written by my good friend and fellow PCV Bheki Scarborough. She lives in Quezon City, adjacent to Manila proper, the most densely populated city in the world. She works in Youth Development.
I wanted to share it with all of you.
I arise to a world which is not mine to claim. I put on my disguise.
My Rose Colored Glasses.
The smell of burning rats transforms into stretched silicon, much like the smells from a red balloon animal, sounding like the friction of skin to rubber.
A frame of a sick child squatting and hovering over her uncontrollable bowel movements quickly is replaced by a game of leap frog.
She plays in her defecation, creating finger paintings of her hopes dreams.
My smile shall remain as radical as the environment. My fear will be covered by tightened facial muscles and of course my Rose Colored Glasses will remain in place.
A young boy with special needs has not been given the time to be taught to clean himself, he’s been given a lonely confused life-with my Rose Colored Glasses- his kisses and hugs are sweet and longed for. My Rose Colored Glasses allow me see his wrist watch. My hand is his to hold and so is my time.
The clinging sound of pesos being bet on two small children surrounded by a crowd of adults. The last one standing will win.
My eyes refuse to see such ludicrous.
My Rose Colored Glasses see a team of supportive adults cheering for a bright future.
I seek refuge from the human baha in a neighbors house only to find the epicenter of the earthquake.
My fear at night turns into the weight of the ocean. Air supply is limited. Breaths become fast. Inhaling toxins and exhaling insecurities. This ocean has become my safe place thanks to My Rose Colored Glasses.
My Rose Colored Glasses see my acquired weight as strength and courage. My ocean has become fluid and warm.
Gun Shots become celebration sounds of fireworks.
Shabu crystals become gems.
Battered wives become battered cookies.
Drunken men become colorful clowns.
Rows of caskets become windmills.
Dead bodies are given second chances.
TB & HIV are just apart of the alphabet.
A simple fever is not a death sentence-only a hot fire of passion burning from within.
People are people, not 1,2,OR 3.
A hold up victim is held up to reach higher.
a crying child is crying out of joy from love and not hunger.
When I am brave. I remove my Rose Colored Glasses. I look down at that crying child and I am surprised to see no other than myself staring back at me.
I hand her My Rose Colored Glasses.
tumbling-travels asked: This isn't a question, but I just finished my Peace Corps application yesterday and reading your tumblr got me really excited about potentially joining! Thanks for sharing and being so honest.
Great! A few words of advice.
1. Don’t get discouraged. The application process is very, very long, but eventually, if you are persistent about being a PCV, you will be one. Just be patient (which is hard, I know).
2. Be open to going anywhere and doing anything, within your scope of skills, of course. Don’t even put a geographic preference on the application, as any country will be interesting and surprise you in ways you don’t expect. So be open to that. Don’t limit yourself.
3. Don’t fixate on having the Peace Corps “experience”, meaning some profound “authentic” cultural experience that will change your worldview forever. Many do not have this, and is really not what PC is about. You will, however, most certainly change.
- Rice and rice fields
- Concrete homes (this while pointing out the largest homes in town)
- Regular apples
- Free college education
- Fried fish (head, eyes, scales, fins, literally the whole fish in a frying pan)
- Fish in general: small (sardines), large (tuna), and the in-between ones
- Frequent and free access to premium healthcare
- Jeepneys (really)
- BBQ stands
- San Miguel Beer
- Red Horse Beer
- Native chickens
- Puroks (beachside nipa huts)
- Beaches in general of all different sand kinds
- High paying and secure jobs immediately after obtaining a degree
- Bananas and banana leaves
- Coconut trees
- Stores that only sell Spam. Spam stores.
- Fast and frequent public transportation everywhere
- Lots of $$$ everywhere, all over the place. Everyone has it, just by breathing.
- Beautiful people everywhere
I am never asked about sari-sari stores. Perhaps the assumption is made that we already have them. Odd that I think this a valid assumption, given the aforementioned inquiries.
(Overheard in Department of Agriculture Office at the Local Government Unit in Hinunangan while Sister Act was playing in the background at approximately 4:17 p.m.)
Coworker: Drew (while pointing at computer screen), they are all nuns in real life, no?
PCV: No, they are all actors.
Coworker: I mean the other ones except that one (Whoopi Goldberg) and that one (that one nun with the reddish hair and never wore a habit).
PCV: Like in real life or movie life?
Coworker: Real life. They look like nuns.
PCV: No, they are all actors. They are actors in a movie. That movie. None of them are nuns.
Coworker: But the rest, they all look like virgins. They are nuns.