Gorillas and Time Management and Self Care

Gorilla Eating

Image courtesy of Jarapet. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

I have come up with a fail-safe way to test whether you are ready to have children at This Moment in Your Life. Ready? Here it is:

  1. Go to the zoo during the first nice-weather Saturday in the last two weeks.
  2. Meander on over to the tamarin exhibit.
  3. Decide whether you think that the five-year-old screaming, “AHHHHHH” every time the tamarins move for two minutes straight provokes an “awwww” response out of you or an “AHHHHH” of your very own. If the latter, maybe hold off on spawning!

I spend so little of my time around children, particularly children in groups. Hell, I spend very little of my time around adults that are not in the 18-22 range, or at least did before I got a job. (My coworkers have children! And hobbies that are not drinking and being sad! Truly it is a brave new world.) After being in Senegal last year, I thought my view towards them had softened. I had been around kids! They didn’t hate me!

I had forgotten what happens when the children clump together. Because then? All bets are off.

Children aside, the zoo was great fun. I spend so much of my class time learning about non-human primates via YouTube videos that I forget that you can, you know, go look at them for real. Which I did! Much to my excitement, our gorilla troupe had a newborn, and she was out, and it was phenomenally cute. Because if that infant was making noise? I couldn’t hear it! Continue reading

And Victory Again (A Post Script to the Last Post)

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So of course after publishing that last post, my host dad gave me halvah, my host brother had me help him clean dishes while he told me about Paris, and I was able to get all of my laundry without bothering anyone. (Yes, these all brought me equal levels of happiness. My scales will be recalibrated when I return home.)

I still think I am probably not that good at being a host student, but that last post represented one of the lowest points I’ve been at in three-and-a-half months.

If nothing else, this has been the most emotionally tumultuous four months of my life thus far. We’ll see if the crunch leading up to my honors thesis or college graduation tops it, but I hope to god it doesn’t. I can’t handle another four months of being reduced to despondency and filled with glee approximately 20 times a day.

For those playing along at home, these last two posts have been illustrated by the pictures my host niece and nephew drew on my index cards. Too cute for words? Basically.

Blazer time!


I accomplished one of the things on my 21-year-old list ‘o planned accomplishments (“bucket list” makes me want to gag)! Thanks to Ousmane, my previously-mentioned and super-awesome tailor, I now have what is—as far as I’m concerned—the perfect blue blazer. Why?

1. It’s wool with silk lining, meaning that it’s quite warm and I won’t be tempted to machine wash it. Plus, natural fibers.

2. It actually fits my weirdly-hunchy shoulders. Also my chest. Also my waist. Also all of me, he is magic. (I was discussing the tailor with someone yesterday and we decided that most of our delight with his work comes from the “I gave him something flat and he made it something three-dimemsional!” shock. Every time, this man.)

3. He interfaced the back collar so it stands up and doesn’t do the cheap jacket thing where it rolls under and dies. (I know that cheap jackets do this because all of mine do.) Continue reading