It’s been four months since I’ve been at site, and I’m surprised at how life here is so “normal.” I haven’t had any panicking thoughts (omg, what am I doing here?!), nor have I really faced serious harassment. All of my reservations about being at site (good site mates, cooperative counterparts, etc.) haven’t materialized yet. However, I tread cautiously with my work here, afraid that some minor thing will snowball and bam!… I’ve ET’d (early termination) and I’m sitting back home.
Everybody says that the greatest numbers of early terminations are in the first three months. I’ve heard stories of volunteers arriving at site and packing up their bags within days. So I wait with abated breath until March 9th, when the three-month mark arrives. I know it’s ridiculous to think that I’ll be “safe” if I can survive three months…I mean, there are a fair number of people that ET after a year. But it’s mostly a mental thing for me.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely things that frustrate me here. The awkward host family, the obnoxious nature of students at school, and the general feeling that I’m not really making any impact on the way students learn English or how teachers learn innovative teaching methodologies. But I try not to dwell on these things, in the hope that change comes slowly. Also, there are much worse things that can make service unbearable, so I’m pretty lucky that these are the worst of my frustrations.