Gratitude Adjustment

There’s been a lot written on the power of gratitude.  And to be honest, it’s easy for me to overlook what’s right under my nose to be thankful for, particularly when I’m too busy being bitchy about having to do the day-to-day things that I find so very dull.  So over the next few months, I’m giving myself a gratitude wake-up call.  A gratitude adjustment, if you will.

Most of us who live in this country are used to having what we want, when we want it.  Like life is some big Burger King, Have It Your Way, kind of experience.  But imagine, for a moment, if some of the little things you do over the course of your week weren’t quite as simple.  Would you change your tune?

I did.  Because of this:

Because living in a third world country as a Peace Corps Volunteer changes your perspective.  Forever.

So now when I complain about having to do the laundry in my fully functional, yet not front loading (tis a pity) matching washer and dryer with no effort beyond throwing in a little soap powder and a load of clothes, I try very hard to remember having to use this:

To do this:

Doing laundry in Samoa was an affair that had to start early in the morning and only on the sunniest of days.  Clothes were ceremoniously churned and wrung out BY HAND (which had the added benefit of being a killer arm workout).  They were then rinsed in cold water, mainly because we DIDN’T HAVE HOT WATER and then wrung out by hand AGAIN.  Then you carried the heavy, wet load of laundry to the clothesline where you hung them for the entire day, praying that it wouldn’t rain, because then you’d have to start the wringing out all over again.  If you were really lucky, the towels would dry so you wouldn’t smell like moldy, wet towel after your COLD SHOWER.

So this helps me remember that doing the laundry in my comfortable home isn’t all that bad.  Most of the time.

Update on Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 08:33AM by Registered CommenterDenise

My sincere apologies for the tiny photographs, particularly the old Peace Corps ad that for some odd reason I saved.  I have been working to learn the photo editing but clearly I’m not doing that great of a job at it. 

Hair Raising – Part 2

 This is the original haircut in Samoa.


Awhile back, I had written about The Husband learning to cut my hair in Samoa.  Now that I have a scanner, you can see the real deal.


This, I’m sorry to say, is when I gave him the Stare Cut.

Samoa Earthquake

Twenty years ago, The Husband and I were serving as Peace Corps Volunteers in Western Samoa.  On September 30, just before 7 a.m., a massive 8.3 earthquake occured 120 miles from Apia, the capital city where we lived.  The earthquake triggered a tsunami that crashed 20 foot waves into this tiny island nation.  American Samoa was hit just as hard.

The photos and stories recount the shocking devestation.  Thankfully, all 35 of the volunteers currently serving are alive but some had frightening stories to tell, like Erica who is truly lucky to be alive.  Matt’s blog also recounts the aftermath.

We endured a few earthquakes while serving there, as well as Cyclones Gina and Ofa.  But nothing comes close to what the citizens of Samoa have gone through.  But Samoans, and Peace Corps Volunteers, are tough.  They will get through this.  They will survive.

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