Sunday, August 22, 2010

Life at the convent.

The convent is completely cut off from the outside by a 10-20 foot high wall. I feel safe here and yet I feel boxed in at times. Being protected from the people I came here to help.

Living among nuns is a strange experience. They are so gracious and yet so down to earth. They've been understanding of my confusion and laugh when I try to speak creole. They seem to be keeping their expectations of me pretty realistic even if I wish I could do more. Yet through it all I'm still recovering mentally. My communication is limited to the other volunteer (Monica) and my time on skype. She’s been great because she can translate the French but she doesn’t understand Creole either. I’m frustrated because I’m a talker you all knows this, yet for now I'm relegated to the use of body language.

Yet this has taught me that life is about the little connections. For example, Valarie, a nun from Brazil, doesn't understand computers and I don’t understand her. Communicating in my broken Spanish and body language we come to the mutual understanding that the internet here is slow. I proceeded to download a file for her that we couldn’t print… So we tried to put it on her thumb drive, which was full… She vehemently told me to delete everything but 2 folders full of her treasured pictures and it just wasn’t enough. When I told her it wouldn’t work she looked distraught. I gave her my spare thumb drive, which really seemed to make her day. I didn’t think much of it at the time being as I got if for free but ever since then she has greeted me warmly and been more patient with my Spanish than it deserves. These little connections are all I have here.

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