Reality checks are good. Right?
I have a habit of going overboard. I convince myself how good everything is. That I’ve found paradise, fallen in love, won the jackpot.
What the heck. I have. This is it. The good life. The volunteer project is incredible. The set up allows me time to write too – and all from the comfort of a rocking chair on a shady terrace.
Side note: has anyone else ever tried typing in a rocking chair? It works perfectly. No bad backs, no cricked necks. Anyway...
The woooosh started on Friday. I was walking back from town. I was listening to music and Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach’s incomparable “Painted from Memory” was on. Like I said, the woooosh. Suddenly happiness took over. Real, joyous, ecstatic happiness.
That old feeling. There it was. I wrote of it a
million times in
It’s a combination of so many emotions:
I can’t believe this is me. I am doing this. This is my home now. How did I get so lucky? Do I deserve to be this lucky? Just what did I do so right to deserve this? Wow! Woooosh.
It all got mixed up with Costello’s lyrics and Bacharach’s strings and muted trumpet. I wanted to, literally, hold out my arms and let it wash over me. I wanted to shout.
While the woooosh eventually subsided the underlying emotion didn’t.
On Saturday night the Chavalos catered for a tour group (see below). They were on the last day of their trip and there was a real palpable feelgoodness.
I did my host thing. I mingled and talked up the Chavalos. Most of what I told, I had learned about an hour earlier. I had finally found the time to sit down and have a long chat and get the full details of this wonderful organisation.
The kids it has “saved” have some incredible histories. No
names, no specifics but drug addiction, gang fights, vendettas, police
trouble, jail, alcoholic parents, murdered siblings, guns, knives etc. That’s what they have lived
Now clean – drugwise and hygiene. They’re learning teamwork, responsibility, mentoring and entrepreneurship through CafeChavalos. Of course, they’re learning to cook too.
So the meal was a triumph. The people
loved the Chavalos. They took a bow. They received their applause. I
talked to the very impressive tour group leaders who were
just so enthused about this country that it made me even more sure I
had made the
right decision in coming here.
I went to bed that night and snored through a grin.
Then something happened Sunday. I awoke to a row downstairs. This isn’t
I’d been hanging out to take pictures of them for the websites, newsletters and literature that will hopefully help raise the tens of thousands of dollars we need just to keep this project going.
I eventually got their time. A couple of members short, who were awol, but we’d do. And then there’s another row. One guy is storming off. Another is going too. I’m all alone in the street with my camera. One picture taken (above).
They’re good kids. Good despite the worst of upbringings. This is not polite
I simmered for a while. The annoyance was compounded by allowing myself to get dehydrated in this fierce heat. A headache ensued.
Today I’ve woken up with the pounding head still there.
The Chavalos will be a tough act. They’re all ready tamed I guess. But not by me. I have respect to earn. And with a new restaurant to open we all need to “get professional”.
We can do it. Life is not just writing happy clappy stuff on my rocking chair.
And bring it on. Whatever you can throw at me. Because all of this is still so good it easily offsets the bad.
Otherwise, it just wouldn't be any fun.
Reality checks are good.
Reality checks are good.