My Current Mental State

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June 9th 2007
Published: June 9th 2007
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My Current Mental State

MAYBE, I’m going mad? Maybe it was my great big hit on the head when I passed out at Craig Cove on government payday (imagine a gas station in the middle of the desert where 2x a month everyone in a 50 mile radius comes to collect their pay. Here on Ambrym it’s where the only bank is and well everyone was there to witness my fall. No worries, mom, I’m ok and the PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officers) will run all the necessary tests when I’m in Vila next month.

So anyways, talk about cabin fever, I live in a small village in the bush, so every time I want to go some place I must find an escort-otherwise it’s unsafe. So I stay put for the most part. Then when I get to Vila my brain is all mush. Island life has slowed my brain down! You’d think I’d be reading and writing a lot but that too has slowed down. This is no good, so I’m changing all that for fear of going crazy. Or at least fear of not being able to adjust properly when I get back to civilization. So that’s why you are reading this crazy blog in efforts to keep me from going mad.

Life here is going ok. They’re finally making my new house-slowly. The men drive me crazy. The women rock! I also finally got a manager to work with on the RTC. Which hopefully we’ll be able to work together before too long. It is a male, which means, maybe, if he listens to me, so will the others. Also means he can do a lot of the leg work, since he can walk about freely.

I’m also discovering about getting over some mental challenges/fears. I nearly climbed a volcano (a very active one, too) but my stamina did not stop me, my vertigo did. I had two friends from Norway come visit, once I see their blogs, I’ll copy/paste some of their own words for you to read. Anyways, I’m thinking If I can climb that volcano and all the loose narrow ridges of ash plains (no kidding-VERTIGO) you must delicately walk to reach the volcano, I’m thinking I’m officially hardcore.

Now remember back to those fruit bats I told you about-flying foxes-well this brings me to my second challenge-eating unusual “meals.” The other night as I thought I was feeding my dog chicken innards (it’s dark at night, of course) I learned they also eat insects-the kind that eat trees, they tell me-huge termites? And their larve! “Bebet” as they call them, about two inches long and about an inch wide. I held them not thinking anything as Jack ate them from my hand but when asked if I wanted a plate full of bebet-I was like WHAT?! Or “Wanem?’ or “Sa?” (Bislama/lanwis) Of course God knows what I have eaten and not known- there was a small “bebet” in my breakfast this morning. And part of the reason that I stopped eating ferns (yes, Kristin, the stuff you loved on the last night) is because I discovered almost every time, I was also eating spider webs. So there you have it, my next mental challenge!

Climb a volcano and eat larvae. Yes, no one would have a chance of beating me at Survivor. Also, I must mention I’m in the best physical shape my body has been in since high school. In addition, I’ve now seen all the places they filmed Survivor Vanuatu and well-no comparison to my life on Ambrym!

So do I set myself up for these mental challenges and chance never being able to readapt to American society again or not? You think I’m kidding but I warn all of you when I come back expect me to hide or expect blank stares as you will wear me out otherwise (reverse culture shock-does happen!)

Ok so now I will close this letter to my sister to post on my blog. You now will all think I have gone mad (maybe it will prompt you to write more letters and send goody packages!) and my sister will finish this off with a lovely recipe which doesn’t call for flying foxes or bebets.

Healthy Mango Chutney Chicken Salad

Cooked chicken breast (2 cups diced)
Mango cutney ¼ c.
Golden delicious apple 1 cored and finely diced
Celery 1 c. finely diced
Red onion ¼ c. diced
Low fat mayo 1/3 c.
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together-ENJOY!

Disclaimer-The opinions presented in this blog are the opinion of the author only and do not represent the opinion of the Peace Corps.


10th June 2007

Well Christa, your life is certainly exciting and different now isn't it. I bet you will find that when you return to "civilization" you will miss it. I am glad to here that you are well and adapting. All our Love
11th June 2007

Expert psychological evaluation
Christa - take it from your psychologist friend when I tell you that if you can adjust to life on Ambrym, you will be able to readjust to life in the U.S. or European cities, or wherever you end up after this adventure. What you are experiencing is not madness or mental lazyness or anything of the sort. It shows that you have an amazing ability to adjust to living in almost any environment. You amaze me.
11th June 2007

Hang in there!
Hi Sweetie, This sounds crazy! You're so courageous! Where can I send the goodies? And what are your cravings/what can I send? I know I have asked you before but I am so unorganized that I forgot. Lots of love, Jazz

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