Never have I felt such a tug to leave as I do right now. Well, maybe I have. It’s the same kind of tug that tells you that you shouldn’t be in a relationship, only this is much easier. This is more about the need to leave a place and a chapter of myself behind.
Yesterday, I met with Angel as planned and we walked up to the volunteer project office. He will be volunteering in the reforestation region of the Manu jungle in a coordinator/translator/conservation type of role. He’s really excited about it and I don’t blame him. He’ll be doing what he loves and he doesn’t have to pay for the volunteering since he will be playing such a large role. Bonus! He doesn’t get paid either, but at least his accommodation and food will be free. If he doesn’t need to buy anything then he’s got it made for a little while. The experience will be really good for him. It’ll be his ticket to success somewhere down the road. Or, maybe this is success…just the fact he’s doing something he loves.
I, on the other hand, still don’t know what I want to do. My progress is realizing what I don’t want to do though. I came here thinking I would like to volunteer with children, but I’m realizing that I don’t have the patience for it and my heart isn’t in it like it should be. You need to be a special kind of person for that. I tried at a handicap hospital, but had a few troubles. A couple of the kids didn’t seem to like me. One girl would yell at me and pull my hair if I got too close, but maybe that goes with the territory. There seemed to be some strange rules at the hospital too. When I tried to paint with the kids I was told I couldn’t use water. What? Really? How can you paint without water? So, I didn’t last long.
Then I thought I would customize WordPress themes for people in trade for something else. My heart isn’t there either. I feel cooped up like a prisoner looking out a barred window. Websites, even if it’s just transferring content, recreating links and building forms, is time consuming, especially if it is a large site. And, when you’re spending a lot of time doing something you don’t enjoy, it’s a waste of time in my opinion. So, I’m done with that too. A couple of weeks ago, I offered to set up a site in exchange for a jungle tour in Manu, but I don’t think it’s worth it for me. The tugging in my heart is telling me there is something else for me out there, I only need to discover it.
My plan today is to shop for Christmas gifts and box them up along with a few other odds and ends. Then I will give the box to Duane who is returning to the States next week. He has kindly offered to take the parcel with him and deliver it from there. It’s much more reliable to do it that way. Many parcels never make it to their destination from here, or if they do, I have heard they sometimes arrive empty.
Once everything is boxed up and I feel like my pack is more manageable, I’m booking my bus ticket to Puerto Maldanado. Yes, I’ve made up my mind. It would have cost me $30 US per day to volunteer in Manu and I’m living for way cheaper than that right now. It’s just not the right opportunity.
A new chapter is beginning to open and I’ll be happy to leave Cusco behind. My plan is to leave tomorrow night provided my day goes smoothly.