I have not felt ‘compelled’ or ‘inspired’ to write a blog for a long time. In fact I can not remember the last time I had several urges in one day to write! What has brought on this sudden urge to process through written word? Starting a 10 week summer job at a mega-camp. Just moments ago I brushed 4 giant ants off the bare blue mattress that I am sleeping on (I have blankets but no sheets yet), it’s 12:53 am and I drank a three shot americano to survive the evening and arrive here…in Alaska, the dorm style room I am sleeping in.
First week shock.
This morning I woke up, slowly sat up and blinked my eyes open and closed very slowly—am I still at camp? Where am I? What have I done? I have left the land of the gypsy to the land of the mega camp and smack dab in the middle of a boot camp style orientation. Despite my foggy thoughts, I decided it was time to take a shower, I really don’t know how many days its been since I’ve been here—I think 3 in real life but it feels more like 6, well anyway, I haven’t taken a shower. I walked across the brown carpet to the shower room, after waiting for 14 minutes for the shower to get hot (it didn’t), I decided it was time to take my ‘get away with no shower’ survival skills to the next level. I’ve already used the following techniques in appearing clean when being dirty:
a. put you hair back, twist it, braid it….ANYTHING to draw attention to your face & not your potentially dirty hair.
b. put a head band on—-a wide one is preferable to cover as much of your afro or stringy hot mess as possible.
c. wear deodorant over and over and over.
d. put perfume on
e. repeat these steps for as many days as you can and then in case of emergency proceed to the RED ZONE
The ‘Red Zone’ is when your ‘grace’ period of appearing clean when you are dirty is CLEARLY over and you attempt to actually get clean and to your surprise and equal horror——your attempt is blocked by an unforeseen circumstance.
Waiting fourteen minutes was like watching all my free time for the day be swallowed up in an unproductive attempt to recuperate some self-worth. After it was over and I still had a 10 minute walk through the forest to get to the last few minutes of breakfast, I knew it was time to pull out some ghetto girl survival skills. I whipped out some baby powder and started patting it into my scalp (this works wonders) to suck up any visible signs of greasy hair, I grabbed anything that smelled good and splashed it, applied it and poured it on & the final step was to grab a hat, throw it on, braid my hair and hike down the mud hill outside my door.
Despite being an incredibly tired and dirty girl, I had a moment of peace about 90 seconds into my walk on the dirt road…I smelled burning garbage. Every singly time that smell enters my nose, I’m instantly in Africa—-walking on a dusty road, feeling the vibrancy and heart of the people, seeing brightly dressed women carrying 5 gallon jugs of water on their heads, breathing in the joy of the bright white and perfect smiles of children wearing simple clothes and flip-flops….I took a deep breath, thankful. Thankful to only be able to ask God for strength to make it through one day. Thankful to be uncomfortable. Thankful to be disoriented enough that I must ask God for his help and mean it.
*I also want to throw a note in here to all you moms out there…I think maybe I am experiencing a fraction of what you must feel when you have kids and no sleep—-all your time monopolized minute by minute & you find that a week has gone by since you felt like your own person. You are amazing. Keep giving. Good job. Whoa! You are awesome!