Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Things They Carried

Been Rereading the "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien recently. If you haven't read it, I suggest you stop reading this, go ASAP to your local bookstore/library/amazon.com/e-reader, whatever and read it. Actually I don't suggest, I request. It's a decently short read.

Anyways, the first chapter is about the men in this unit and the things they carried during the vietnam war and how it described them as people. I thought about my own stuff that I carry everyday and thought it would make for a good blog entry.

I'm removing the obvious stuff that I carry (wallet, phone, kindle, keys) because that's pretty darn obvious. And a bit boring. But here are six things I carry with me every day
My Fake Wedding Ring
A week before I went to South Africa, my dad asked me to get a wedding ring. From his research, he figured that it would help keep some of the men away if they thought I was married. I was a little freaked out at the time, as I had just broken up with my then boyfriend and the idea of being married, even fake married, freaked me out. But he kept on insisting and since it was one of the two things he asked during that period* I went out and with the help of my best friend who was visiting at the time, went wedding ring shopping. Going into a jewelry store and asking the salespeople to help me find a fake wedding ring was pretty entertaining. We ended up picking this one out, a simple silver band that I ended up putting on my right hand. However, while in africa, I have never taken it off and put it on my left hand. One reason is that I stayed in my training village. Saying I was married in my training village with 30 plus trainees and lots of gossiping sounded like a bad idea, plus I was always with at least one other trainee, so men hit on us less often. Once I was unmarried I couldn't really be suddenly married. And I guess I was uncomfortable with being married, even fake married. Thus, I needed a fake boyfriend. My friend Wyatt readily agreed, and for the early part of my service, I told everyone who asked he was my boyfriend and showed pictures of him when asked. Wy, thanks for that, I owe you a beer. Around June things started to get complicated...but that's for later in the entry. 

My hair tie
This  is an easy one. It gets pretty darn hot in Bundu, so I tie my hair back in order to get some relief from the heat. Unlike almost every other peace corps girl in my group, my hair is still longer than shoulder length, so this hair tie gets used most everyday. Also my host sister loves tying my hair into knots using this hair tie. She is luckily cute enough to get away with it. 

My Vision Quest Bracelet
When I was finishing up my senior year of high school, half the senior class and I went on a vision quest. I sat in the desert by myself for three days, no food, no communication with anyone save a local coyote (school sponsored. Yes, I went to hippie school). Funnily enough, after three days in the desert starving, I got a lot of insights about myself and how I want to live my life. We all received commemeration bracelets after we came back together as a group. It's been more than five years and I still haven't taken mine off. Ever. Yeah, that was pretty important. Most people mistake it for a hairtie so I very rarely get questions about it. 

My community doll
My sister got me this doll for my birthday right before I left. It's the mascot of greendale community college, based in Colorado...which is the setting for one of our favorite tv shows, Community. I hold on to it because its tiny, reminds me of my family, makes me laugh and reminds me that I'm at least doing better than all of the characters on that show. Except for the people in the Air Conditioning Repair School, but hey they have a guaranteed job for life. You can't beat that. 

My Picture
This is a decently bad picture of my boyfriend. We met in May, started dating in June, he left the country in August...and we decided to keep on dating. Long distance relationships are well acknowledged as idiotic ideas, but we are both confessed idiots. He left this picture along with several other items in my house before he moved back to america (I still can't quite figure out the compression bag and the coffee maker), and I've been carrying around ever since. 

As you can see, I've been collecting many bug bites during my time. Most came during the time I went to see some friends to watch the election results. I'm now calling them obama love bites. 

*the other I didn't do and thus I'm apologizing for here, Dad, I should have been pack 24 hours before like you asked. As usual, you were right. I'm sorry 

1 comment:

  1. I still laugh about that fake wedding ring adventure we went on. Those snotty women at the jewelry store made that ten thousand times more entertaining than it needed to be!

    Also, I think I contributed to your not packing 24 hours ahead of time, so, I'm sorry too, Mr. Fine. :)