Beans Goes Beanless (and other life updates)

So, I’ve written a couple of more abstract articles in the last couple of months but I thought I would do a little life update. I’m just going to warn you right now that this post is about some of the minutia in my life, so if that sounds boring or you like my reflective type posts more, feel free to skip this one. But, if that sounds interesting, carry on fair reader.

First off, I finally got Bean Andcheese Burrito (AKA Beans) fixed last week. I had a 2 week Spring break, so I was finally able to bring him to the vet. Previous to this, I did my very best to try to get a vet to do a house call so that I would not have to deal with the issues associated with trying to shove him in a crowded van, on my lap, and try to schlepp him the hour it takes to get to the Capital. It’s a long story, but in a nutshell, the vet told me multiple times that he would be at my place at a certain time… only to not show up. By about the third time he stood me up, I was DONE. I didn’t really have time to take him myself, so I put it off for a few months. Unfortunately, cat puberty recently hit, and Mr. Beans decided that he was going to mark most of my house as his territory (if you know what I mean). I decided that the snip needed to happen, so I ordered a cat carrier on Amazon, shipped it to my mom, and she shipped it to me. When I got it, I made the appointment with the other vet on the island, because I wasn’t going to give that other clown my business after he blew me off so many times.

So, I plopped him in the carrier last week, walked with him about a mile to catch a van, and sat listening to him yodel on my lap the entire way down to the vet. I dropped him off at the vet office and went to run some errands while the procedure was done. When I went to pick him up, he was still out cold, which I thought was great, because him being unconscious would mean that he would be quiet and still on the van ride back. Now, I’ve talked about the vans before, but they are truly unpleasant things. There are usually 20+ people packed into what is supposed to be a 12-person van. I got the unlucky position of sitting right by the door, so any time someone had to get on or off, I had to get off to make room. This was especially fun because I had this big carrier in my lap. The van conductor (man who collects fares and organizes seating) kept trying to help me, but he would turn the carrier on its side every time (despite me begging him not to), which of course would send the unconscious Beans summersaulting inside. When I finally got home, Beans woke up in a few hours and seemed recovered by the next day. Unfortunately, I also noticed that day that he wasn’t healing right. I’ll spare the nasty details, but after some second hand consultation with a vet tech from the States, we determined that the vet would need to look at the situation. So, back to the vet we went. Luckily this time I was able to catch a bigger bus, so I had more space and was able to keep my hand in the carrier to keep him calm. The vet decided that the issue would probably work itself out and it wasn’t worth putting him under to operate again. He gave him an antibiotic shot and we were on our way back home again within 15 minutes. Now I’m just waiting to see if he heals ok, or if I’ll have to bring him back once again. The moral of this very long saga is that everything is harder in a developing country. The good news is that I’m stoked to finally (hopefully) be done with it, and he’s not peeing all over the house anymore. Having a pet in the Peace Corps is a hassle, but I would definitely say it’s worth it. Overall, he keeps me sane.

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Besides cat nonsense, I was also able to go on a bit of a mini vacation for Easter. Myself and some other volunteers and friends were able to go to the Grenadine island of Bequia for a few days. We swam, and danced, and napped, and partied, and generally just had a great time. It was nice to get a little downtime in. We are super lucky to have the Grenadines as part of our country of service.

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It was also nice to get out of the village because I’ve been dealing with some security issues. I debated whether or not to even mention this here, but as I’ve said before, my goal is to keep pretty transparent on this blog. At the same time, you never know who might be reading, so I’m going to be pretty vague. Basically, someone didn’t like having to take no as an answer from me, and that has developed into hostility and bullying. I had to be very careful how I reacted to this because I didn’t want to escalate the situation. I did tell the Peace Corps about the situation, and I have to say, I was genuinely impressed with their response. Peace Corps gets a lot of flack for the way they respond to various situations, but I have nothing bad to say about how they responded to me. That’s not just me drinking the Kool-Aid either, I genuinely felt totally supported. Even more impressive, I was totally supported by my co-teacher and host mom. They handled the situation for me and completely had my back. As of now, the situation feels under control and manageable, so I’m back to feeling at ease.

Getting back into a routine is also good. Today was the first day back to school, and it was really an awesome day. I missed the kids, so it was good to see them again. We had a student council election before the break, so today we announced the winners of the election. I’m excited to work with the new student council and do some fun stuff with them. I also was given a pawpaw (papaya) by an old farmer who frequently gives me fruit, which was cool. I’m excited going into this term. I think it will be a good one.

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I also Skyped with my parents yesterday and talked about their visit in August. I’m going to Grenada for Carnival in August as well. One of my best friends is also visiting in August, so I’m excited to have a whole month of fun to look forward to. Basically, I’m feeling really good about the rest of the year, and I’m ready to tackle it.

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