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02/08/13 From New York to Cap Ternay

By 5 years ago
Categories Mahe and Curieuse

As a New Yorker (or any city dweller) understands, there is a long tedious although lovely process in which one becomes close friends with someone. Usually the circumstances have to be perfect in which you frequent the same places/study in the same university/work together/etc. and then happen to have multiple of the same interests to spark conversation. This process can take years or months dependant on how reticent one is. Unfortunately/fortunately, this theory is completely and utterly erroneous when it comes to expatriates and GVI. Want to make some of the closest friends you’ll ever have? Spend a whopping 8 days here. After that, then you can groan about how poor you’ll be by all the trans-Atlantic flights you’ll be booking in the coming months to visit them. This altered process of “getting to know one another” could slightly be attested to the close quarters or the constant interaction, but the bulk of your connections will be based on the single fact that volunteers and expatriates are “do-ers.” The people I have been surrounded by are not those who talk of the grandeur of the world and their tentative travels and then check Facebook on their iPhone to see if they’ve been “poked.” No one here is waiting, they are doing. Camaraderie is based on that simple fact that we’ve all left the comforts of Dim Sum take-out Fridays or napkins and have moved on to chase sea monsters sharks and turtles. All the inner city pressure and social norms have been subsequently lifted. Thank God.

It’s my fifth week here in Seychelles, this unfortunately means that the first batch of volunteers whom I was previously living with have recently left. Now, as a New Yorker, I may or may not be slightly apathetic. And that may or may not be an understatement. Strangely enough, when the first batch of volunteers departed I truly grieved. These were my buddies. These psychos were my friends. And now, now they’re gone to Europe. And now, now I’m going to be so broke. I’m literally going to be eating shadows for dinner. I’m going to have so many miles on my American Airlines account to just see these psychos again. Sigh.

But since they (old volunteers) have departed to go and wear shoes and pants once more, that means that new volunteers have moved in. Moved into the old volunteer’s beds and making them their beds. Now all the new Brits will be discussing their accents for the first couple days and assuming that they all sound completely different. They don’t. (Sorry guys, you literally all sound the same.)  There will be new inside jokes and new epic failures. There are going to be old hikes with new people. Old dive locations with new dive partners. New bizarre Thursday night outfit choices and and Jack, well, Jack will probably get lost again. And I, I will probably still not be a morning person.