If you emember from earlier in our story I told of a PCV named Abhijit. He was born in India and moved to America when he was about 5 years old. He had been living in Indai with his mother, father and older siblings. One day his mother sent him with a sandwich to take to his father at work (I believe his father worked at the Railroad). Anyway he knew this was kind of strange seeing as he was only 5 years old and had to walk all that way alone. And i guess his father knew that was pretty strange too. For as soon as Abhijit showed up unattended at the Railroad, the father rushed home. But it was too late. Abhijit's mother had killed herself by setting herself aflame. The prospect of rasing 3 children alone, one of which was only 5 years old was apparently too much for Mr. Chatterjee and he sent young Abhijit alone to live with his aunt and uncle in California.
But back to our story which finds young Abhijit now in his mid 20's, he has left his nice cushy tech job to join the PC and now lives in Farafini, the largest village near our heroine, The Fat Traveler.
Farafini. As I may have mentioned before gets electricity a couple of hours every other evening. (there is no exact schedule.) But more importantly than that. There is a market every Sunday. It is a big one. You can buy meat, veggies, milk, fans, pails, cloth... almost anything avaliable in the country is avaliable at the market on Sunday. So, any PCV in a 30 mile radiace will come to Farafini on that day. It is Abhijit's day to play host.
I love market day. I love being with other Americans. I like eating meat and "doughnuts" at the market. I have a great "Peace Corps" picture. It is me, Bill and Sarah. We are in local traditional clothing and riding on the back of a donkey cart on the way out to the market. If I ever get a scanner and get all the pictures I would like to on this page, I will scan it for you.
Anyway, I start draggin out market day later and later. Sometimes I sleep over and we mess around. I think Abhijit and I finally become boyfriend and girlfriend on Halloween weekend 1994. There was a party deep in-country. I slept over the night before and we would travel together the next day. And we had sex. Little did I know it was Abhijit's second time having sex, ever.
Halloween is kind of a blur. Alls I really remember is the HUGE bowls of benechin. (Rice cooked in palm oil with veggies and maybe meat on top.) I don't really LIKE benechin, but it was the largest bowl of food I have ever seen in my life, and everyone else loved it. But I remember the bus ride home and Abhijit and I became lovers.
Let me back up here just a smidge. If you recall much much earlier in the story I had the hots for Jason. Well, Jason was hot, and his friend a nd roommate Eric was much nicer. One night me and the girls (Jean, Amy Lynn and Jennifer) we were rating all of the guys in camp. They all rated Eric above Jason and the ALL rated Abhijit as the hottest guy in camp. All but ME that is. I never thought anything special about Abhijit. I do remember having talks with him, and once when we were playing this board game he started saying how adopted kids should be put in special education and how they can never be loved. I finally freaked out and he laughed and laughed. He knew I was adopted and just LOVED to see me freak out. He was cheat at games and do other things, just to watch my temper fly. He LOVED my temper. What a guy! :)
Now... I eventually developed feelings for Eric and we became like best friends. It turns out many girls liked him, but they were all afriad to approac him, fear of ME! Because we hung out every evening and ate every meal togther. Everyone kept their distance.
It was during training that I met Bill for the first time. He had set up this resource center in Illiasa and knew he would be getting a site mate. he came to check us out and maybe lay the ground work for choosing one. I guess we got along well. Actually, no one else liked him and I was the only one that could stand him. he was abrupt, conservative and didn't say the things a good little PCV should. We got along OK and we made a bet that if I lost a bunch of weight by his departure date (one years time) he would pay to get us drunk. But if I didn't lose any weight I had to pay. (He said, either way he wins.) We were positive we would be site mates togther. Everyone was already making jokes about what life in Illiasa would be like with the 2 of us there, and speculating on our future relationship. But when the day of assignemts came I was assigned on the South Bank, near Eric actually. And Leslie was assigned to Iliasa. Needless to say, neither of us were happy. She couldn't stand him, and I had already had my suture planned. We complained to the director, and they finally agreed to switch us. I move I ponder to this day. Was it the right decision? And what would my life be like had I NOT changed it?
You see, I had never been independent. Living with Bill gave me someone to lean on. He helped my every step of the way. we ate dinner together every day, he helped me get stuff done, he even came up with the batery idea. At Leslie's site, she was alone. If I had been alone, would I have done it? Would I have become independent? And Bill had SUCH a negative attitude that rubbed off on me. Would I of had a more positive experience had I not been near him.
And had I been on the South Bank I would have seen Eric more and I would have NEVER gotten involved with Abhijit. Was it all for the best? I guess we will never know.
But as it stands I WAS in Illiasa, i DID depend on Bill and I RAN to Farafini and Abhijit every chance I got.
I started leaving site more and more. I would stay with Abhijit in Farafini. i would not feel well and go down country to stay in the clinic.
Let me explain "Down Country".
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