To my partner
The simple fact is I didn’t choose to spend a year with you and you didn’t chose to spend a year with me. We were both crazy enough to pick a charity to pair us up and live and work together for a year in a rural village. Less than a year ago you were a complete stranger. I wouldn’t even stop to say hi to you in street and if did I wouldn’t even be able understand the bloody Northern Irish accent that I have admittedly grown so fond of. So I have. (You will not get that joke unless you’re lucky enough to have a NI friend, so you are)
I can’t express the roller coaster of emotions you put me through living, teaching and surviving 24/7. But I’ll give it a go. You’ll never read this anyway, maybe if your boyfriend reads it he’ll tell you about it. You can say ‘Sam said you’ve finally got a new blog post, so he did.’
Back to the raw emotions. There’s the good, bad and the ugly. I’ll start with the bad. Fear. You give me the fear. Since the first time you realised how jumpy I am and set our dark creepy house as your perfect scene in your series of can I give Charlie a heart attack. I don’t know what the plot motive is maybe you’re wanting the bigger room. Till last night when you decided to feed an entire colony of ants to finish of the remainder of your Pad Thai, seriously put it in the outside bin next time. You made up for it by making me laughing as I looked in disbelief at the 3 meter long ant trail from our window I thought you’d say ew but no… “quick boys it’s the good stuff come quick”. The only mammal you’ve not scared in our house is the lizard with the snake like tail that you stripped it of. Yes, you decapitated a lizard with a single throw of a frisbee. Lizards drop their tails in fear; Google later told us. However your tail-less friend still visits looking for its snake half that your ant pals took after they weren’t quiet full from your dinner. Another fear I’ve felt more recently than ever is how well you know me. Certainly better than anyone else and as it pains me to say; sometimes you just know what I need more than me. My final fear is… and it’s is possibly the biggest of all. Is the amount of embarrassment you could cause me. Things I can forget, I know you never will. Things I didn’t want to tell you, you read from my face. Things I don’t remember doing, you’ve got the detailed accounts of. I guess that’s what happens when you get forced to live and teach in a school for a year but choose to spend every waking second together.
The good. The best of your qualities have rubbed off on me. Your artistic skills allows me to be more creative in my pranks as I try convive my gullible friends and family that I drew your pieces of art. Sorry gran it can’t be put on the fridge next to the stick man self portrait I drew in P1 that you got put on a tea-towel. Nothing it cleans up can be more messy than that drawing though and I take great pride in that; especially since despite living with an incredible talent I can still draw no better. Your calmness is another. It certainly benefits you as I only slightly raise my voice and middle finger when you scare me to death jumping out. Your general positive outlook of life is a breath of fresh air; no choice I have to breath it in. We are in this together. Surviving assembly speeches we didn’t know we had to make, Thai food that we can’t work out what the sound the meat used to make, animals we didn’t know wanted to share a shower, electricity that doesn’t exist, students that don’t want to learn, students that want to learn too much, heat that makes us believe there is a hell, holidays that need endless planning and long distance from our loved ones that is belittled by a unique friendship were there is never a dull moment.
The ugly. We have faced many extremes. Narrowingly avoiding fatal accidents on waterfalls and the vertical drop we feel in our stomachs as someone mentions trying Thai dessert. What we lack in hygiene we make up for in laughs. I don’t mean to but I’m glad my actions give you a good chuckle even if it because I poured myself a glass of hot soup thinking it was water in front of everyone in a restaurant who I was about to serve soup to too-until I was stopped. Which everyone at the table found less funny than when shrek drank the soup he was suppose to dip his hands into. A very big H2-nO moment.
At the end of all this like the other 250 volunteers with Project Trust, we got given each other. Thank god the gamble paid off. I genuinely hope they are as happy as us. This post just shows you are not just a work colleague but an acquaintance.
The first thing you said to me was ‘you you’re my person’ as you dramatically pointed from across the room after someone informed you I was the one you’d have to put up with. So I’ll finish with this. Thank you Kathryn for being my person.
Yours, for this year and many more to come, Charlie.