Friday, October 3, 2008

Family Matters

In the last 36 hours I have had something of an epiphany. I've moved in with my new host family while I am on what PC calls Site Visit. During site visit we are all shipped off to meet the people we will be working and living with for the next two years. We are given three days to make our first introductions, understand the basics of our organization, meet our co-teachers, and meet the new host family. Theoretically, that's a lot to do in three days. In actuality its been really boring and awkward. My first day to meet people was lost due to a national holiday. Instead of being productive I took a three hour nap and then watched TV that I don't understand for 6 hours. Yesterday I achieved all my objectives at the college so today I also have nothing to do (hence two posts in one week).

I've also developed a sore throat which kept me up all last night. So I had plenty of time to reflect on the past 6 weeks. Sitting under my mosquito net (which is used to keep the big roaches off of me, not mosquitos) I realized that I love my first host family. I think my first interaction with my host father is the best example of why they are my favorite.

Host Father: So what's your name?
Me: Justin
HF: Do you have a girlfriend back home?
Me: No
HF: Do you like to drink?
Me: Yes
HF: Do you want to go to a cock fight?

I'm not even making this up. After this short round of questioning there was a good minute of silence while we contemplated each other. After that its been all fun. Its not just been my host father either, but my mother and two brothers too. Our schedules line up really well so that I get time by myself in the afternoon and then spend the evening talking, drinking, and singing with them. Its an environment where cultural exchange is welcome and a source of interest. At times I'm like their American toy, at others just another member of the family. They told me before I left for this week away that they were going to miss me because "lving with you is like living with a Filipino."

Maybe its because I have something so good that I'm having a hard time with the new family...Or really it could just be the mice and roaches, let's be honest. I'm not ruling out a positive experience with the new family, but the relationship is not going to come as easily as the first. Maybe I'm also down because I'm exhausted and sick. Anyways, I reached my first wonky moment of PC.


rachel fitz said...

power through!!! you have a way of always making things awesome. take lots of vitamins and drink tea :)

love you mean it.

Ms. Christmas said...

COCKFIGHTS!!!! hilarious! also can you send me your address? i want to test how hard it is to send a postcard from one developing region to another :P

Saipan said...

"living with you is like living with a Filipino."
This sounds funny :). Actually your last name "Tabor" sounds and spells like a Filipino word. Hope you will adjust sooner living in a different culture and a third world country.