I arise early in the morning and enjoy the relative peace and quiet. Waking up before 6am is not a new routine for me–as I’ve grown older, I’ve become more of a morning person and delight being awake before most people. Living in a country not of one’s own can be an exhausting experience in many ways, and therefore routines that re-center and renew one’s self and soul are important.
I arise early in the morning, and from somewhere in this high rise complex a rooster crows. The chorus of crickets from overnight grows fainter. It’s cloudy this morning, but the sun is rising, revealing a sheen of wet pavement from rain overnight and in the previous days. I open the window and feel the cool Autumn air. Soon the noise of cars and people going about their day will increase, and I will have to fulfill my tasks for the day.
It’s Tuesday, and I do not have a class to teach, though I still have much work to do. On the days I have a class, my commute to campus has been an hour and a half each way. Three hours on busses, sometimes standing packed next to 50 people. There may be a bus route with less time, I’ve just been told. As it is now, I’m out from 8am-6pm on days when I only have to teach two 90 minute periods. It would seem that the lunch break is best use of what little time I have on campus to socialize with students. That sort of arrangement doesn’t yield itself well to the type of cultural integration Peace Corps hopes for us volunteers. But I’m only at the beginning of service, there’s plenty of time to be creative and form relations.
I arose early this morning, car horns now blaring from the street below. Now it’s time to start my day: cleaning my apartment, grading the students’ work, shopping at the market, and exploring my city.