Sunday, November 28, 2010


In the past few months I mistook exhaustion for satisfaction. A night where my feet were tired and my head was spinning with things to do was the mark of a good day.

But then the last two weeks happened. Weeks where my mind and body refused to come to any kind of agreement about how to take my project forward. My mind wanted to add three new classes to the kids' schedule, to hold book sales, to create lesson plans, to recruit teachers. And my body, well my body wanted to sleep and eat chocolate. (Okay, the chocolate might have been my mind, too).

I wasn't ready for this black hole of energy, especially not after being inspired during our first Indicorps workshop. But it came, and I'm trying to figure how I can be so de-motivated, so frustrated, and still be hell bent on fulfilling my community needs at the same time.

A past staff member at our workshop said something that resonates with me. He said whenever he was angry at Indicorps, or didn't see value in what he was doing, he reminded himself that he had a ticket home.

A ticket home. I have a freaking ticket back to the United States where my family will welcome me back with open arms and I can sit on a couch and eat cereal and watch "13 Going on 30", and all the other little bits of America that hit me once in a while.

But the kids in my community don't have that ticket, do they? I recently went with a couple of them in an auto to our office, and one of the girls had never been past "Sector 8". Sector 8 was less than 5 kilometers from her home.

Forget the distance, some of my teenage kids can't count more than five "good" jobs. Success for them has somehow been limited to five routes.

In a Comparative Politics class I took at UF, we learned that poverty could be defined not by lack of money or water or a home, but by lack of choice. I'm not sure that the "rich" always have a choice either -- there sure are a lot of identical pathways created, anyhow. But of this one choice I am sure: I don't have to be here.

And for some weird reason, in this limbo of energy, that is the very thing that keeps me going.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if it's any consolation ankita, i wish i were in india right now doing exactly what you are doing. to wake up and know i'm going to be exhausted for a lot of good reasons. to be learning exponentially how small my world back home is. to meet people i probably would have not otherwise meet. to do an honest day's work. what i wouldn't do to be where you are now.

miss you :)