Saturday, October 9, 2010

I heart the Talisman

Let’s talk about hair.  Those who know me know I have a lot of it.  When my assignment initially appeared to be one in Africa, I was determined to keep it long in order to be able to easily keep it out of my way via braid or some other such method due to the fact that it was likely that I would rarely have an opportunity to wash it.  Once I found out I was coming to Macedonia, I thought it would be a better situation to manage the mane, therefore I took the opportunity to chop it off.  I mostly regretted it within two weeks.  This may sound like a trivial or silly issue to some… but I seriously have a lot of hair and it is a task.  Not that I’m complaining, I am grateful for my luscious head of hair, including the screamingly bright singular grey hair right in front (my host mama said if you only have one its good luck, so I let it live).  But over the years, I have grown to give les s and less of a sh*t about performing any kind of management process regarding my hair on a daily basis.  I secretly pray that one day my hair will take on such a character that I can literally just wake up and look like I made some kind of effort to look presentable without actually having to do so.  Is it laziness? I don’t think so… perhaps impatience and higher priorities. Did I bring hair tools to Macedonia? Yes. They told us to pack for ‘business casual’, which in my mind means, ‘look like you know what you’re talking about’, which then means not like you just crawled out of bed and walked to work.  But today, I decided to return the hair straightener to the suitcase and embrace my inner half-wavy-half-straight-whitechick-fro.  Will my hair be large and unruly? Perhaps.  Will it grow in accordance with the humidity level like Monica Gellar in the Caribbean? Not quite.  Will I be able to grow my hair back to the length I am comfortable with without it being fried by the time it gets there? Yes.  And this is the goal. 
In other exciting news, the bar/café we hang out at plays the greatest music ever, and I have struck a deal with them to trade all of my music for all of theirs.  Which means I am about to obtain a ridiculous amount of deliciously groovy tunes as well as spread the joy of the music that I love as well.  Can I express my excitement appropriately in this public forum? I think not. 
I must also provide a shout-out of love to my continuously incredible host family, who even when I come home from hanging out with other volunteers at nearly midnight somehow wake up and make sure that I have been fed and will not go to bed hungry, and to make sure that I’ve had fun and am warm….all with smiles on their wonderful faces.  How can I verbalize the immense gratitude I have for a family that expresses love and care so unconditionally and abundantly… I hope that I will be able to do so when the time comes.
We also were privileged to have a seemingly private PC performance of a traditional Macedonian band this evening.  We were told about the music earlier in the week, and I was expecting to show up to a large musical event.  When we got there, it was 6 band members in the office of the cultural center/museum in Kratovo.  They were all playing different instruments, and there was a young boy sitting in a chair near a computer, whom I thought was just there to watch or was with one of the band members.  Then, he started singing….with this amazing voice that was far beyond his years.  It was literally jaw-dropping… so beautiful.  I felt very grateful to be there and it was a wonderful experience, as the live creation of music always is :)
PST continues, the weather grows colder, the more I hike up this hill the shorter it seems (except for when it is pouring rain and walking home is similar to climbing up a mountainside creek bed) and we find out our placements in about two weeks. Craziness! I’m very excited to see what I’m going to be doing for the next two years… 
p.s. Christine and I went on a hike today and were privy to some pretty epic views of the fall landscape, I’ll post pictures soon!
Love and gratitude,
Em