8/4/2011 -- A good friend of mine told me several weeks ago that I should continue blogging my life, not necessarily for any of you that happen to read this, but for me. So my goal with my new start is to reflect on things that have happened, how they've changed me, and how I can apply what I've learned to the future. Feel free to follow along or whatever, I got things under control even if no one ever reads this.

First post is something like half done, expected time of arrival: 1 week.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A New Antonio

 Well this has probably been the longest and my least favorite week since I got here, but you know weeks like these happen, so I'm not down and out about it. Some week among these 7 months has to be the worst, and it's kinda lookin' like next week is gonna be worse, which means that last week wasn't so bad. Weird logic.
 Among the last 7 days something happened that just blew my mind. It was one of those things that will probably only ever happen once in life, but something that only needs to happen once.
 I do believe it was Tuesday morning, I woke up to the sound of a woman in labor, a most unsettling noise at 4 in the morning. Being half awake, I didn't worry much about it until about 5:20 when Cecilia (the med student who's working the clinic at 8) came knocking and asked me to run into CampoVerde to pick up some meds. So I found myself banging on the locked front door of a 24 hour pharmacy at the crack of dawn, just hoping that someone would answer.
 After waking the pharmacist and getting the goods, I made it back to the scene. I didn't actually watch the birth or anything, I went over to the other house and got started on breaking the fast.
 Lo and behold, news of the newborn reached my ears and I went over to investigate. It was a little boy, Jader (pronounced Ha-dare, a beast of a Peruvian worker) and his wife's little newborn. The first question whenever anyone sees a newborn is the same all around: "What's his name?".
 Well they were expecting the baby to be another week down the line, so they didn't have a name prepared. I, joking around, suggested that they name the little one Antonio. And ya know, for once in my life, someone took my joke seriously. They responded by saying that they liked that name and were considering it. By the time I walked out of that room, full of the new baby's family, it was decided that they would name the baby after me. Wow. I just didn't know what to do about that. There is now a little baby boy with my namesake in this world. That's pretty sweet and I don't expect anything to top that anytime in the near future.
 That got me thinking, why would a family name their kid after a friend of theirs? Because they like the friend and have a lot of respect for him. Ya know what really got me, Jader told me that if his baby was a boy (he's already got three girls) he was going to give him a nombre fuerte (strong name) and now his little boy is named Jader Antonio. You have to realize that Jader is probably the strongest person I know. This guys put six full length Peruvian hard wood 2x3s on his shoulder and walked briskly with them. I struggled to carry half that, but let me tell you, I tried hard to match him, but failed.
 Giving his son his name and mine just says something crazy. I'm trying to explain it here, but I feel like I'm coming up short. He's basically telling me that he thinks I'm a strong man in the most sincere and personal way he can. He gave his son my name because of me. I have the perfect word for it too: wow.
 Thinking about that makes my week not sound as bad as I was thinking when I started, but let me explain what went down before you or I jump to any conclusions.
&nbps;This week was pretty strong week. I learned two big things this week, the first of which I just conveyed, the second has to do with the kind of woman I want to marry.
 Sunday night I found myself in one of my least favorite circumstances, one that I can't explain in just a sentence, but maybe a short paragraph. Sit tight.
 Shirley (doc's wife) came over to the house to talk to me about extra work that she wanted me to do. It was relatively late, already dark so probably 7ish, and it was me, a couple of the girls and a couple of the Peruvians. She told me that I would be loading wood every night to be ready to leave every morning at six. The thing is that we don't start work till 8 and it takes maybe half an hour to get to km 8 where we are working... Didn't make sense to me, so I explained how I felt to her. I pretty much told her that it was a crazy idea and I was going to extremely tired after this week. Her argument was that she has kids to deal with and was going to be working too, so obviously I could do it because I'm a young guy (I saw her working for one morning this week). Interesting argument if you ask me.
 I then explained to her that my body has limits and pushing them too far can be dangerous. I should've seen it coming, but she told me that I would have to ignore my limits for this week and the next.
 There is only so much that a person can do, you have to realize that we were doing hard core manual labor 8 hours during the day, and I would get off at 6 to drive half an hour back to 38, eat, load wood for an hour, and then go straight to bed. So I was waking up so tired I could hardly walk as I got outta bed.
 So there I was, my cards on the table begging for some kind of give in what she needed to do, when the girls told me to "Just do it Anthony." (No I am not breaking any copyrights with Nike). It wasn't said in an encouraging way, it was more like they were just tired of hearing me discuss the issue with Shirley. I want you guys to know that I firmly believe (<- key words: firmly believe) that every man has his limits and every man should have complete control over his free time.
 I conceded and took one for the team, but made the walk back to my room with that alone feeling. It was then and there that I realized that the most important thing I want in a wife is that she's supportive. Something that feels great, is when us guys are playing soccer and there are people on the sidelines cheering for us. Those people are usually Jader's family and some of the girls if they decide to come, but I will say that Jader lucked out with 4 women in his family that will all scream his name in the middle of a soccer game.
 Well other than those exciting instances, we've just been working like crazy on the house at Km 8, with a week left, we have yet to pour the concrete, finish the inside walls, build the beds, and build the doors and windows. I'm having my doubts if we'll have it done by Sunday like we need to, but we'll see how it goes.
 Ya know, something else I was thinking about this week, being an SM is all about growing closer to God, at least that's what people say, and it's that way if you make it, you just gotta put forth the effort (well in this case, I have to put forth the effort). One thing I've found, is that figuring out who I am has brought me closer to God because I know my strengths and weaknesses and know how to better use myself for God. Getting to know myself has helped me get to know God, if that makes sense. I just thought I'd mention that in case you guys were wondering what was going on in the world of Anthony's relationship with God.
 As to my expenses this week, it's been pretty usual. I forgot 15 soles last week, 5 soles towards food and 10 soles of a phone card. So I'll add those to this week. Other than that: 35 soles for food, 2 soles towards eating out and then 1 sole towards that meal because the tab didn't all add up, 2 soles of bannanas, 2 soles for parking at the airport, then 2 soles I lost in the apuesta (bet) on two soccer games we lost, and then I dropped a sole in the hands of a beggar next to the bank after I withdrew some money. So that totals out to 60 soles for the week, a little more than last week, but less than the average! In total, I've now spent 615 soles (220 USD) for an average of 77 soles a week (27.5 USD). So I can exxpect to expend 615 soles more (220 USD) for a total of 1230 soles for this part of the year. Not bad, I'll definitely make it at that rate, and have enough to get myself home. I'm not for sure on the last part, but it's looking that way.
 One last phrase of wisdom I'd like to leave you with, something my bro says a lot: "Go big or go home."


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