Given the Green Light

Oh, from the title you’re predicting some sort of supposition… stemming from some sort of consent I must have received? Fuck that, you optimistic and adorable forensic dectives, you. No, I just stopped tolerating ambiguity to count as satisfactory reactions to my ideas. I gifted myself the „green light” and while I still ‘aint be speaking 100% gramatically correct, I certainly am confident enough in my varnacular and my toil up until this point to at least endorse myself and not back down from my inventive bids. And let me tell ya, it opened up a whole new world.

Now when I see ridiculous village-issued medical remedies I ask the reason behind its’ magical effects even while the subliminal chuckling stains my words. But, of course chewing on a partial leaf from an aloe plant will alleviate the pain in ancient knees – why would I ever dispute that? Seemingly partnered with my mockery, comes the influx of my pleasant-to-all dry humor. When hearing we might receive a bit of extra donated monies for our project, I – no holds barred – proposed we should build a gold statue of Domnul Brett in the middle of our anticipated park project. Earnestly deeming it among the top priorities of a developing country, I gleefully fielded the following response: Gonna have to stay much longer than 2 years for that, Brett.. The fun doesn’t end there; I get away with things here that would never fly in America. Instead of getting interogated after setting off a security check in an American public high school, my bringing of a switch-blade to school is just an appreciated and helpful method of getting through the daily grind. My use of a hankerchief to blindfold a student as a „efficient and active communication” demonstration was celebrated and complimented, instead of finding myself on the front page of Yahoo! News with a full comment board consisting of why I’m a pedophile or how I was allowed to work in the school system. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not giving elucidation for criminals and sick wrong-doers nor am I putting down our country, I’m simply taking time to appreciate the lax lifestyle where trust still exists and the worst isn’t expected of people.

During conversations I work to mentally slow the pace of the sentences and draw them on a imaginary whiteboard so that I’m able to see through to the actual ideas. Not only am I able to capture the concepts but now I’m picking up on native expressions, extracting premade themes, and even noticing personalities and tones. Talk about a new dimension to my conversations! I can now see who is sassy and sarcastic, and who is doubtful and insecure. Both are fine, I am now just able to deliver tailor-made responses for a more efficent (and enjoyable) banter from both sides. This is an example of an overlooked factor that I forgot to place on my integration timeline or as a measure of success. That, and due to the inverse sentence structure, I poke fun that the direct translations make me nothing more than a taller and slightly less green Yoda. Together, we will find.

To exploit these new personal revolutions, I am at last putting some conceptual plans to action. Even though customs tried to ruin this one for us, I finally ended up with every donation box in hand here and mightily got them to my village to shape Lapusna’s first ever Dental Hygeine Day! However, step 1 didn’t need to even begin before I realized this needs to become more than just a savvy hygenic prize give away. Sorting through the bags to determine quantity, the color drained from my face when I saw the school nurse (my uhh.. equal sidekick on this project) holding, twisting, and inspecting a box of floss as if it was an aqua diamond just pulled from the remains of the Titanic. Nope, no typos there – the head medical professional of the learning instution I work in had no freakin’ clue what floss was. In the end, the event went well and I  managed to give a solo seminar before handing out the goods to about 200 jovial kiddos. I’m learning to discharge my plea for credit while discovering incredible delight in seeing these once complacent natives experience achievement. Who knows, maybe they’ll even utilize something similar in the future despite my departure.

I find that my focus is drifting towards critical thinking, especially within the boundaries of discrimination and cultural acceptance. I’m not so intent on fixing the unfixable debauchery that is village-wide hygeine and I have nothing … err, constructive… to offer to the sexual abstince until marraige conviction, so I find myself in the constant crusade of teaching to think outside the box, especially in relationships. Some responses and remarks I gather are hard to take in, but I must relentlessly remind myslef people who have never left the confines of Eastern Europe don’t also have best friends who are black, gay, etc. So, I recently held a lesson in which I played music from around the globe to showcase every culture’s highlights (thanks to Dahnika’s – an awesome colleague -idea)Figuring that a few youtube clips would be the only way to get a complex topic through to a bunch of 12-year-olds, they surprisingly grasped the idea with full force. Also, I just made 50 kids’ ears aware of The Beatles for the very first time – mind blowing. While a smaller number of Moldovans whom have actually been outside the borders of Moldova than the number emergency breaks in the derisory entities they call cars here, my goal is for just a few to assemble original paths, to break through the stale routine which embodies every aspect of their lives. Bah humbug, have I just discovered my passion in life? I am so obsessively intrigued with the hidden powers of communication and the differences in body language, conversation topics, and ability to inflict CHANGE on things influenced from all around the world that I’m beginning to lose faith in my futures’ ability to sit in a normal office with the same people day by day. Yikes, could this lead to a lonely death by overly-frustrated infatuation? Hopefully not, but a future as an intense and insane nomadic dude? ..maybe.

Violenty passed by me were a few more missed birthdays, special events shared by family, and even tragedy that makes abroad living seem like an estranged run at neglect; but with sacrifice comes embraced advances. I don’t find myself running to the capital for American playtime as much, as I am at last comfortable in my own skin in my village. The kids of Lapusna are insistent I learn their games (which are as bizarre as running until you get spanked with a belt), while the adults are soliciting my advice concerning their spouses hightailing to Russia for the only work they can find: illegal construction tasks. I search for this happy medium in which I can reward them with new essential skills, yet understand the reality of their corrupt government or the rebuff at abondoning their way of life. Sometimes I think if I pitifully attempt to not committ a cultural faux pas and work in the fields after swallowing down home made gasoline, I mean moonshine, it may help but this may also remain a goal never fully satisfied. While my brain may burst from all the daily idealistic insights that slap my in the face daily, I may never forget the whole reason behind it: the world holds some magnificent hidden beauty but some seriously harsh reality.  

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One thought on “Given the Green Light

  1. Judy and Peter farkas

    Constantly amazed at all you are accomplishing!!!
    Want to wish you the best birthday ever!!! It certainly will be the most unusual one.
    All our love,
    Aunt Judy and Uncle Peter

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Hayley in Cambodia

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