Tuesday, 27 July 2010

COLOMBIA... my preparations, my expectations and my fearations: Part 2


Before I begin with this post I would like to apologize to my readers for not having the post up on Friday as I promised. My computer decided to not work. But it works now, so here's Part 2 of COLOMBIA... my preparations, my expectations and my fearations.

Acquiring a passport and a job seemed to be two gallons of water in an ocean of preparations (really dumb metaphor, but you catch my drift). I made a list of everything I needed to do, and of the 30 items, I've done about 10; I bought my ticket, organized Health Insurance, found about seven sweaters that I had lying around, helped an old lady with a little housework, so I could get two suitcases (do for do), organized my International Immunization Card, did some 'pick pocket' proofing on my jeans, washed all the clothes I'm carrying with Comfort so they'll smell nice, planned some Conversation Club exercises and brushed up on my Spanish and English skills. WOW, listing all the things I've done has made me realize that I did a lot and for a lazy guy like me that's BIG, so YAY ME. But let's not get complacent, I have three suitcases to fill in four days.

Expectations are things we hope for and I'm hoping to get a lot from this trip. I want to improve my Spanish skills, I LOVE this language and this year will be good for me. I want to see, taste, touch, hear and smell Spanish everyday for a year, and just experience the culture and interact with the locals, expand my horizons I want to LIVE SPANISH! I expect to learn more about myself and prove the critics wrong, at the same time. 

As some of you may know, I live a VERY sheltered life; my mother wakes me up most mornings, I get three square meals prepared for me, my lunch is packed for me etc. etc. Now, I love my life, I love my parents, I love everything they do for me, and I intend to make them proud, but some people think that living a sheltered life or a life where you are heavily dependent on your parents for survival makes you an invalid and incapable of surviving or fending for yourself in the 'big, cruel world'. They say things like, "You know when you go to Colombia your mother won't be there to wake you up!" and "Your mother can't wash your clothes for you in Colombia!" Quite frankly, God created alarm clocks for getting up in the morning, I've been washing my own clothes for years, I can read a cookbook and LEARN to cook, I can bathe myself, pack my lunch and SURVIVE. So, I'm going to Colombia, taking responsibility by the horns and I'm gonna survive with a smile on my face in the 'big, cruel world'. Worry 'bout you, don't worry 'bout me!!!

I'm a worry wart and I fuss over simple things, things that I call my fearations. It may seem trivial to some but I have a fear of not being accepted for who I am. I suppose it stems from being called every 'gay' related nickname throughout Primary and Secondary School, or having one of those 'it's either you like me or you don't' personalities. Although I'm worried but I'll have to be me- crazy, smart Garvin with the high voice- and who doesn't like it will be ignored.

Another fear is being inadequate. Sometimes, I lie in bed at night and my brain goes into overdrive creating these scenarios and I ask myself- "What if I suck at being a language assistant? What if I get flustered every time someone speaks to me in Spanish? What if I disappoint my family and make a mess of things in Colombia? What if...?" Gosh, I get so worked up over these things, worrying when all I need to do is trust in God and know that he never gives you more than you can handle. In his great plan for me, going to Colombia was part of it. He blessed me with a talent for languages and I have to be confident in my abilities. When I'm over there and I get this fearation of inadequacy I have to remind myself of that!

I'm deathly afraid of flying which is bad considering I'll be on a five hour flight come Saturday. I'm really paranoid, and as mentioned before, my brain creates frivolous, imaginative, gory scenarios. My paranoia is most likely to intensify while I'm thousands of feet in the air, I'll start to think about Final Destination, Snakes on a Plane, Air Force One, Con Air and September 11. Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, CRAP! And breathe! I wonder if I can ride a bicycle to Colombia? (we need to get some people on that).

This post was really personal, I don't share this much with any and anyone. But you're my readers, and this is my blog about me- the good, the bad, and the indifferent. In four days, I'll embark on an amazing journey with my expectations and fearations in tow hoping for the best and trusting in God. I'll try to do one more post before I leave. However, this is most likely the last post I do before I leave. So, who knows the next time I do this blog, I'll be in Colombia, speaking Spanish and surviving. 

Thanks for reading and please come again!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

COLOMBIA... my preparations, my expectations and my fearations: Part 1

Before I begin, I just want to let everyone know that "fearations" is not an actual word. 

As you guys know I'm going to Colombia for a year- to find out what I'm going to do there, read my profile- starting July 31st, 2010. Basically, I just wanted to share with you how I found out I was going to Colombia and what has been going through my mind ever since.

The day I found out was a normal day in Sangre Grande; the sun was shining, cars were parked on my street, school children were passing and I had just eaten a breakfast comprised of bread, peanut butter and juice. YUMMY YUM YUM!!! I was about to organize my day planner- honestly, I don't have a day planner it just sounds nice- when my $79, Coral 100, which randomly cuts off, rang.

*Monophonic ring tone #9*
"Hello?"- I answered.
"Hi Garvin? This is Andre!"- said Andre (obviously, if he introduces himself as Andre, Andre was the one that said it)- "I think you should check your email."
"OMG Andre, did they finally send the emails telling us who're going to Colombia?"- I said, the excitement evident in my high pitched voice.
"Yeah, they did!"- said Andre.

I excitedly, nervously and happily ran to my computer and proceeded to connect to my Yahoo! account. Now, this was around the time my computer was moving reeeaaaaalllllyyyyy ssslllloooooowwwwwwww, I mean like snail SLOW! There I am cold sweating, knees shaking, face losing colour (I'm brown so you could well imagine how my face looked) about to pass out and Mr. Computer decides he would take a light year (according to Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, a light year refers to distance and not time) to load. After ten long, arduous minutes of loading; there it was, the email that would chart my course for the next year. YES, YES, YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS....... I WAS GOING TO COLOMBIA! I told everyone that would listen- my parents, my siblings, my aunts, my uncles, my class mates, my FB friends, the cafeteria people from CLL... EVERYBODY. I mean, I was excited and a sense of euphoria had taken over. Sadly, this euphoria lasted about one week as the enormity of this opportunity overtook me. I think it all started with the meeting we- oh crap I haven't mentioned that I'm going to Colombia with two other students alas, everything has to be about me- had with the 'organizers' where we were told of our responsibilities and the probable cost of this trip. After that meeting I was like, "Oh shit! This is really big!" I had to tell myself that this was an amazing opportunity, one I shouldn't pass up, and that I should suck it up and be a MAN. *hits chest and grunts* OUCH!!!

So the preparations began; a ticket needed to be bought, clothes needed to be bought, insurance needed to be bought, and so many other things needed to be bought. However, it was essential that I got TWO things first: 1) my passport and 2) a job. Haha, I'm such a klutz for forgetting to check my passport before I applied for the exchange program. Luckily, Mummy decided that she would randomly check the passport and she discovered that it was expired. YAY MUMMY! I needed to muster up all my cunning, intelligence and charm if I was to woo the HOG that sat in front the passport office in Sangre Grande. I didn't muster enough, that THING implied that I was disorganized, stupid and plain, ole ridiculous for not checking my passport. I mean, sure I was, but I don't need you to tell me that, you're just a MEANIE who thinks she can talk to people how she wants. Plan A failed, but Plan B was a success. 

I went to one of the many women I know who is authoritative with plenty LLB's ( I think this refers to law, not languages) and PhD's attached to her name- Dr. Nicole Roberts, my fave Hispanic Literature teacher (swear I'm not lying, I'm NOT). Anywho, the good Doctora wrote a letter and within two weeks I had a passport appointment for June 2nd. By July 3rd, the Passport was acquired and a few days later I got a job with CXC batching scripts (details of this job are way too long) in El Dorado. It was GREAT, I met these two nice, older gyals named Damaris and Yolande, and it's safe to say that they were totally enamored with me as I was with them. Yolande would bring these crystallized pineapples for lunch that were absolutely delicious and Damaris would tell these hilarious anecdotes that would have you rolling with laughter. Gosh, I miss them! I also met Debbie, the coolest supervisor ever who would give me drops to Arima everyday, and Janeen, a friend from UWI, who made being there a comfort. Even the lady from CXC liked me. Of course, where there is like, there's great dislike, but it comes with the territory. There was this group of people, women in particular that were threatened by the efficiency with which we worked and were worried about losing their jobs to University students. HA! I could have cared less because after two weeks I got paid and made friends that would last a lifetime.

This is a good enough length for one post, don't want you guys thinking I have a lot to write and all my posts will be long. So, this post continues in two days time. Thanks for coming and please come again!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

A Post just for YOU, my Coral 100

I have a cell phone, a cell phone that cost $79, can't vibrate and randomly cuts off when I'm talking to people. One might think that I would want nothing more than to throw this phone far, far away, but on the contrary I want to celebrate this phone by showing my love for her via this blog post. Be warned: after reading this post you might question my sanity. This one's for you, my Coral 100.

I've had my Coral 100 for four years now and those were magical years for me. I just passed CXC, just entered Form Six and just started puberty- yes, I started puberty at sixteen and sometimes I think it's still happening. My Coral was there for my first cracked voice, my first hairs in the nether regions, and my first ahm, 'dream'. *insert uncomfortable giggle* Aside from being there for me during puberty, it was there for me during those two hideous years when my life was plagued by CAPE examinations. I called my parents from little Coral to let them know I got a '5' in CAPE Spanish Unit One, which was the worst news a Spanish enthusiast like myself could have gotten. But look at me now, I'm going to Colombia- screw you CAPE! Coral was there for so many firsts in my life; my first day at UWI, the first time I saw her, first time I entered a status on FB etc. Call me sentimental, but my Coral 100 ROCKS!

Another reason to love my Coral 100 is the fact that it's so UNDESIRABLE to the masses. As mentioned earlier my phone has NO features, I mean NONE! No polyphonic ring tones, no vibrate alert, no picture messaging, no Internet access, no NOTHING. Thus, in a world of Blackberries and IPhones nobody, but me actually wants a Coral 100. Case in point, I've lost my little Coral FIVE times- once by some UWI phone booth, twice in taxis, once in the Mall, and once in Gate Boys (BBQ from GB not tasting all that good these days, they keep burning the damn chicken)- and on EVERY occasion Coral was returned to me safe and sound. Sure, some may say that I'm extremely lucky or Trinidad still has good Samaritans, but I know better, NOBODY WANTS A CORAL 100. I'm sure you Blackberry owners can't say the same, if all yuh lost that Berry somebody will take it, squeeze the juice and it will never be seen again! Thus, I love my Coral 100 even more because it's so undesirable that it saves me the troubles associated with losing a cell phone.

My phone is so ancient that there is a strong possibility that some rich guy will come to Trinidad, offer to buy my phone for BILLIONS of dollars and put it on some exhibit in the museum! I wanna be a billionaire so f****** bad (love this song) and my Coral might just do the trick!

I hope I haven't scared off my readers with talks about my Coral, the fact of the matter is that I love her dearly so why not talk about it? My next blog will be the first part of a post entitled, "Colombia... my preparations, my expectations and my fearations!" so you guys can get an insight into my trip to Colombia, and what I've been doing to ready myself for it. For some reason, Blogger doesn't allow you to post comments under my blog so all feedback can be directed to my FB wall and email account. Please come again.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

PET PEEVES are all around us >:-(

Gosh, I hate the fact that pet peeves exist but the truth is they do; they're the little things in everyday life that truly annoy the crap out of us. I'm a pretty complicated individual and as such, I have about one million pet peeves. However, for the sake of not having a lengthy blog post, I'll just highlight five that come to mind.

1) DIRTY FINGERNAILS- Everyday I devote about fifteen minutes to my fingernails, these minutes involve cutting, filing and cleaning under said nails. During the day, I wash my hands and make sure I clean under my fingernails. I'm not saying that you should be like me, but come on, must your fingernails be that dirty? Whenever I notice someone with dirty nails, I'm immediately annoyed and I start to think, "What were they doing to have their fingernails so dirty?": "Were they fixing a car? Were they in some mud fight? Were they digging the many orifices of their bodies, namely their nose, their ears or their butts?" The fact that I waste my time thinking about why their fingernails are dirty further aggravates this negro, I can be thinking about better stuff dammit! Oh and when wearing slippers clean you toenails! Get all that dirt out because people's eyes will naturally go towards your toes! Let them see something nice!

2) CURSING FOR EVERY LIVING THING- Sure everyone curses in their life at some time or the other. Personally, I verbalize when I'm unbelievably angry and frustrated- believe me yuh have to come real good to hear me cuss! But there are some people out there that curse for the hell of it- "Oh look I can use the F- word." I once had this conversation with a guy and I swear every sentence he used had some form of verbalizing. I mean, really? Are you that limited in your thought processes that you can't think about another adjective, noun, verb or pronoun that you can substitute for a cuss word? What's even worse is that I usually end up verbalizing because by the end of the conversation I'm so frustrated.

3) ALCOHOLICS- I know people that drink alcohol and they're my friends, what I have a problem with is people who abuse alcohol and expect the people they're liming with to take care of you. Imagine you go out for a night on the town with some friends, and one friend decides he/ she wants to contest the prize for 'Best Drinker in Town'. They drink and drink and drink some more; then, they can't stand up, they talk a pack of nonsense, and they vomit all over the place. DID I COME OUT OF MY HOUSE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR DRUNK ASS? NO, I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT! Come on man, why must you be a burden on someone else? I want to enjoy myself too, but I can't if I have to help you home and help clean vomit and listen to your crap. I usually end up doing these things because I'm the 'nice one'.UGH!

4) USING THE TOILET WHILE I'M BATHING- For me, bath time is my time to relax and think. Thus, I find it infuriating, disgusting and highly disruptive to my bath time when someone decides to take a dump while I'm bathing. Can you imagine being in an enclosed area with little ventilation and having to smell flatulence mingled with Protex Oats?(my preferred brand of soap) GOSH MAN! HOLD IT IN NAH! Five minutes is all I'm asking for!

You know what, just doing this blog has brought up all these experiences of extreme annoyance and now, I'm ANNOYED. So settle for four pet peeves, I'm going to do some breathing exercises before I buss a vein in my head. Direct all feedback to my Facebook account or garvin.parsons@yahoo.com. Please come again!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A blog?.... Me?..... Why not?

OH MY GOD, I STARTED A BLOG AND YOU'RE ACTUALLY READING IT! *screams uncontrollably in excitement* And breathe, was that too much? Hee hee, what can I say, I'm excited and this is my general reaction to excitement. Lucky for you, you didn't really hear me scream. My name is Garvin Tafari Parsons and I would like to officially welcome you to my blog, Garvin's World.

So... why start a blog? In all honesty, I have no idea really. I wanted to try something new, I mean ever since I discovered the worldwide web, I've been trying EVERYTHING. Twitter was too boooooooooring, MySpace was too musicky (oh look, I coined a term) for my liking, and Hi5 was just lame. Then, I found out about Facebook and life as I knew it changed. Suddenly everything was about Facebook; I updated my status several times a day, tagged friends in photos, commented on every little post and tried every application it offered- yes, I was one of those mindless, Farmville people. But after a year of Facebook, it got boring and I found myself wanting to try something new in the web universe. And then it hit me, why not do a blog? Two days and about a thousand cases of writer's block later, here I am.

As my good friend Shivaughn pointed out a blog is a great place to vent and I like no, I LOVE, to vent. I mean, I'm not one to bottle up my emotions, and crap pisses me off so much that I'm always venting about something or someone. The problem is that my parents, especially my mother, think that I quarrel too much and allow petty, insignificant things to anger me. But I can't see shit- excuse my French- happening and not say anything about it. As such, a blog would be the perfect setting to vent my spleen and not have my parents worrying about whether or not I'm gonna raise my blood pressure or worst yet, burst a vein in my head, as Grandma kindly puts it.

I think that my personality really fits the "type of person who would have a blog" mold perfectly. I'm opinionated, intelligent, expressive, funny, sarcastic, creative, and strangely unique. In Secondary School, I was one of the best essay writers in my class- I was great with words and descriptions, so much so that I got a Special English A prize during my graduation in 2006. Now that I'm actually writing this blog, I'm realizing that writing is probably one of my God given talents that I've been neglecting for so long. Why not re- discover my oppressed talent via a blog?

Now that I've summarized the reasons why I decided to write a blog, I should probably tell you what it's going to be about. As the name, Garvin's World suggests it's going to be about ME- my views, my feelings, my life! Additionally, on July 31st, 2010 I'll be leaving for Colombia where I'm going to spend one year teaching English and improving my competence in the Spanish language. Given that this is an AMAZING opportunity and I'm bound to have an eventful, exciting trip, this blog will give all my friends a chance to experience Colombia through my big, brown, bespectacled eyes.

So, I'm new at this and I would really appreciate feedback and suggestions from you, my readers. Any feedback can be directed to my Facebook Wall or my email account- garvin.parsons@yahoo.com.

Garvin's World has a lot more to offer so please come again. Gosh, I'm excited! Are you?