Time is a tricky construct in the Peace Corps. It takes on a life of it's own, stretching and scrunching at will. Three months can seem like a blink compared to the twelve hours before you can crawl back into bed. Time means nothing... and everything.
The lack of seasons can take some credit for the elasticity of time. My trip home in December (80 days from now) seems right around the corner. I'm already making plans and starting to watch Christmas movies. If I was in Wisconsin, I would have to get through all of fall and be deep into winter before December 13 appeared on the calendar. But in Peru we're already transitioning into the rainy season. The absence of changing seasons makes December seem much closer.
Despite the fact that December seems so close, days have the ability to stretch themselves into individual eternities. Some days are busy and rush by in a blur of stress and Spanish. But, more often, the most important thing to do all day will be a five minute meeting with the school principal or fifteen minutes of reading to a preschool class. On those days, I'm faced with hours and hours of blank time to fill. Which explains why I'm crocheting a blanket, why I've learned how to sew a skirt out of an old pair of jeans, why I've read seventy books... anything to fill all the endless time.
I used to think of time as belonging on a line. It moved at a consistent pace and actually meant something. Now it flies whenever I wish it would slow down, and crawls when I wish it would hurry up. An hour can feel like five minutes or five days. Instead of being on a line, time now belongs on a merry go round, speeding up and slowing down, going round and round but not really going anywhere at all.
Check out pictures from Mom's trip in August (really, did that happen only a month ago?) HERE