… people in Western civilization no longer have time for each other, they have no time together, they do not share the experience of time. This explains why Westerners are incapable of understanding the psychology of sitting. In vilages all over the world, sitting is an important social activity. Sitting is not “a waste of time” nor is it a manifestation of laziness. Sitting is having time together, time to cultivate social relations.” – Andreas Fuglesang
I woke up yesterday morning with a plan for this blog post, and it is kind of ironic how far the Peace Corps Blog gods took the plan.
Yesterday, I started reading The Role of the Volunteer in Development Handbook and the book talked about the importance of just sitting and observing. So I decided to sit and observe different income generating activities. I decided to start with someone I already know. Avo Maru and her family started a Kios six months ago.
I went to ask if I could “tuur Halimar” and learn about the Kios. I ended up sitting and helping the women prepare coffee. Which was probably more sitting and talking than working, but it was a really nice moment to share with these women.
The next day, I went to the Kios and began the process of “Tuur Halimar”-Ing. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable it would be for me. I thought yea, I can go and sit for a couple of hours! But I didn’t realize how akward it would be to just sit. I kept wanting to ask questions about running the Kios to fill the time, but I felt like it wasn’t a good time. Honestly, I felt like I needed to grow the relationship first.
All in all, I am glad that I went! While I was there, the ex-Chefe Suku (area leader) stopped by, as well as two other families. While I felt weird, awkward, and out of place, I know that sitting there was a great relationship builder.
When I got home, my family told me that my aunt was sick, and I had to go sit with her. (And if I am going to be honest, I really didn’t want to. I wanted to go take a nape because I was so tired.) I went to the kitchen, where my aunt was sleeping, and was surprised at how many people were there! Neighbors, family and friends kept stopping buy to sit with my aunt. The rest of my family was busy preparing coffee and making sure everyone was offered cigarets and Mama.
The importance of sitting was made clear to me once again.