Monday February 9 2004, Day 9 8:42 am
Well, diary: I’ll tell you something that happened. I’m in my tent crying and feeling very frustrated. I wish there was another way I could express frustration or embarrassment. Cry for everything. Hungry – cry, sick – cry, tired – cry. Anyway, I’ve been sick for three days now if you include today. I can’t eat or drink anything without having diarrhea. Yes, I am taking Pepto Bismol, yes I am taking it easy. I hate not working when everyone else is. I did it once last week and said never again.
Well, here I am. It’s depressing. I may stop crying and go to breakfast. But that is soon. I can do it. The hardest part is facing everyone. They’re concerned. I don’t want to be the topic of Christian concern today but I so am. That’s what happens when you burst into tears at the job site. Ha ha. What a jackass I am.
So anyway, as you know I have been sick for days. But I was determined today to prove that I wasn’t a big softie. I hate being ridiculed for not working hard enough. There is a lot of pressure. Maybe I am not alone in reading more into a situation. I hate not working. When I come to work late because I am too sick, just people saying “Hello” makes me think they are judging me. As you can see it’s a vicious cycle. A dog or kittie came by my door. They know I’m sick too and at least I like their sympathy. A kitty came by the washroom when I was sick today and then waited by the door. I like to say he knew I was feeling bad and came to cheer me up. So, there was a “misunderstanding” today. You will understand.
I was working very easy and starting to feel better about myself when I had to go to the washroom again to be sick. As I walk up I can hear someone explaining “I think the weekend off made her sick”. Fine, they can talk about me if they want. I set my gloves down and about to go into the nearest toilet when a Guatemalan worker “Charlie” follows me saying could I get his picture. At least that’s what I thought he was saying. Anyhow, I explained that I didn’t have a camera but maybe later if he wanted. Fine. Then I was allowed to shit. I didn’t even care that he could hear me from next door. At least maybe he would leave me alone. No. When I came out he was wearing my gloves and very happy. I said those are mine can I have them back please? No. take his picture. Those are mine etc. I’ll give them to you on Friday but I need them now etc. No No No. Take his picture. I said I didn’t have a camera. He said go get one at the work site. Then I thought Oh! He wants a picture wearing the gloves and then I’ll get them back. So, I asked that. He said Yeah! Picture. So, I went and got Jed’s camera which is digital so you can show them what it looks like. I took his picture wearing the gloves but didn’t know how to show him. “Low battery”. I said I got your picture. Can I have those back now? No. Etc. Believe me, at this point I was fed up. I said “Do you want those?” Yes. Fine and I walked away. I didn’t even care that much. They were just gloves. Except that I had already given my other pair away. I was planning on giving them away anyway. So, I wrote it off.
Later I was talking to one of the ladies in our group. I told her my funny story. She was concerned. She would lend me her extra pair if I wanted but I really ought to tell ‘Tone’ the boss about it. That ain’t right, you need gloves etc etc. If you can’t tell him I will etc. etc. I said I don’t know. I really didn’t have the energy to make a big deal out of it. She told Tone and I explained that I wasn’t upset about it. I didn’t know what Tone was going to do and I worried a little.
Then I saw Charlie back over at our site wearing my gloves. I said “Hi Charlie, could I have those back etc. asking several times, smiling etc. No understande. This was in front of everyone so one of the guys says “Tone we need help here”. Sigh. Tone comes over and interprets but Charlie doesn’t get it. “They were not a gift?” Tone asks me for him and I said “Friday, I’ll give them to you Friday”. At this point I started to get upset. I wanted to tell Tone to tell him “sorry”. This Charlie guy was really he upset he was fighting back tears. Perhaps this was an act but he was upset and I felt really bad. He gave them back. I turned away and started to cry. This all happened right in front of everyone. Mary talked to me and said “it’s OK”. I really didn’t want to cry. Then Tone came over and comforted me making everything harder but he really said some nice things like he said he’s had the same problem personally. I was so mad at myself because I was determined to prove that I could work even though I was sick and I end up making a fool of myself. I have felt like I have to prove myself from day one. Because I am a young woman, they think I can’t do most jobs. They’re still talking about how bewildered they were to see me push a wheelbarrow. It sucks. The hardest thing to deal with has been 1. Sexist stereotypes 2. Diarrhea/dehydration.
If all I had to deal with was hard work like the men I’d have it easy. They won’t let a woman do the interesting jobs because it makes them feel less manly. So, we are forced to baby them while we feel useless doing nothing. Then they tease us for not working hard.
There, that said I feel much better. Now if only I didn’t look and feel so awful, I could face breakfast. Well, I’ve decided to skip breakfast. The worst is people, I can just picture them now at breakfast trying their best to sort out how best to solve my problems. They’ll be choreographing an interpretive dance for the natives to perform for me as I watch from my sick bed. “We’re sorry we upset you, please feel better now we send all our loving thoughts etc.” and the Christians will hold a prayer gathering, Topic: My moods. Oh well, it’s not that big of a deal I’m sure and my old saying applies. It could be worse. Now I will get some Gatorade and granola bars into me and then lie down for a nap.
Bye from Sickie me.