Well, happy news, I am employed. A lot has changed since my last posting. Where to begin?
First of all, my life was stagnant until December. I'm still in Paonia, and Paonia is, well...Paonia. After long months of being bored to tears, I decided it was time to do something with my life and go to grad school. So, I found the University of Southern California's Master of Arts in Teaching, specializing in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and applied. The program is also offered completely online so I get to stay in this delightful little town (dripping with sarcasm there). So yeah, I am now a full time grad student, overwhelmed with homework. Woo! This first semester is nearly over and then I'll be a quarter of the way through the program. If all goes as planned, I'll have my masters at the beginning of next March, one year from now.
Also (as previously mentioned), I have a job! While finding a place to do ESL observations for school, I was offered a job to actually teach an ESL class through Delta County Libraries. I now teach a small class of Mexican immigrants, two nights per week at the library in Cedaredge. So my life is pretty much back on track to where I was originally headed. Yay! I am now so busy that I don't even really have time to write this blog, I'm just procrastinating on writing a paper that's due today :)
In not so great news, my trip to Bolivia for Christmas was basically disastrous. First, our plane was delayed in Gunnison because of snow flurries. FLURRIES! The pilot was clearly inexperienced and didn't have the balls to take off in less than perfect weather. Because of this, we had to take a different flight in an attempt to make it to Miami in time for the flight to La Paz. We were in Gunnison for 8 hours so as you might imagine, we didn't make that flight. When we did take off out of Gunnison, the visibility was EXACTLY the same as it had been earlier, and our new pilot had no problem whatsoever. So, because of all that, we were stuck in Miami for 4 DAYS waiting for the next available flight to La Paz. Total waste of our time. Miami smells like a sewer and being December, there was no way I was going swimming in the ocean (December has the highest rate of shark attacks). When we finally got to La Paz, all was well in the world for about a week while we celebrated the holidays, visited family, and went to a resort near Coroico. Then, on New Year's Day, the WHOLE family came down with salmonella poisoning. That's right, not just me the weak-stomached-American, the whole family. Aaaaaand on top of that, I got a kidney infection and kidney stones...all at once! Imagine having salmonella poisoning, a kidney infection, and passing kidney stones all at the same time, at 12,000ft above sea level. And btw, the kidney stuff was unrelated to the food poisoning. I just have the worst luck in the world, that's all. By the time I was feeling alive again, it was time for our flight back. Interestingly enough, the altitude didn't bother me other than magnifying a hangover, and no other foods made me feel sick like I expected, just the food tainted with salmonella that affected the whole resort.
To summarize, my trip to Bolivia was NOT enjoyable and seriously made me question my future life there. It's sad. I know it was mostly bad luck but still, it was the worst trip of my entire life. Not exactly a great first impression to be left with. And because we were so busy visiting friends and family during the week that we felt good, I didn't even get to do fun touristy things and site-seeing. AND it put my relationship on the rocks for about a month. Turns out not wanting to live in the same place someday presents a serious problem.
Whatever, my life is in turmoil but also getting back on track. I'm beginning to regain confidence in my decision to live in Bolivia someday, depending on how the next trip goes. The boyfriend refuses to live in the US forever. However, it also sort of hit that Bolivia only has two CT scan machines in the whole country, and when I came back to the States, that's one of the first things they put me through at the nearest hospital to check if I had kidney stones. I'm beginning to think of things like health care for my future children, and their education as well. Even if La Paz is a totally modern city, it's still a third-world country that's thousands of miles away from my own family. How do I deal with that? And at what point am I making too many compromises?
I hate being a grown-up and making grown-up decisions. Life would be easier if he were French (but still the same person). I miss France.