The views expressed herein are mine and not those of the Peace Corps.



Useful Acronyms

PC Peace Corps
ICT Information & Communications Technology
PCT Peace Corps Trainee (pre-swearing-in)
PCV Peace Corps Volunteer (post-swearing-in)
PST Pre-Service Training
CBT Community-Based Training


Whenever I spend time with PCVs I don’t get enough sleep. Yesterday, exhausted, I didn’t leave the house but did take a four-hour nap. I had grand ambitions as to what I was going to do but accomplished few of them–did do some (but not most) of my laundry, re-boil the too-sticky peanut brittle into something that cooled to the right texture, unpack purchases and reassemble my house. I’m now a third of the way through The Brothers Karamazov. Incidentally, if there’s a book you want me to read, there will never be a time I’m more likely to read it than now!
In the evening a teacher came by and delivered to me twelve letters and cards (mostly from my mother, but also from Mary, Helen, Aunt Col, Chris, and Dixcy, and I’d received a card from Grandy the week before!), but no package slips. I need to go check at the post office to see if any have arrived for me, but I’m almost unwilling to do so: as long as I put it off, I can convince myself that they’re there, waiting for me to pick them up, but as soon as I go the quantum state of the packages will collapse and I may be bitterly disappointed! Also, the longer I put it off, the more likely there are to be packages for me…
It’s noon, and the power just came back. When the teacher delivered my mail last night he told me that the bill had been paid and that it should be back soon. I must say, I’m relieved to have it back, and relishing these few hours of silence before the neighbors realize it’s back and turn on their music. I’m listening to some Explosions in the Sky I grabbed from Bret and it’s perfect music to go with the midday rainstorm rustling on the tin roof. Out my bedroom window, the valley looks distant, the rain tinting everything grey. So tempting to stay in the house today, too, and with my computer to keep me company and the ability to charge my phone, maybe I will…
Tomorrow I’m going up to Bret’s to celebrate New Year’s. Weather permitting, he and his German and I are going to hike up to the waterfall where the generator that powers his town is located. It should be a nice, low-key New Year’s.
And then school starts on the 5th, I’m told by my headmaster. PCVs assure me confidently that that means classes will start two weeks after that. So we’ll see. My headmaster was here briefly but I didn’t get a chance to talk to him before he headed out again. Hopefully he’ll return before classes are supposed to start. I want to talk to him about how to set up my classes so every student is able to use a computer, which would mean staggering the groups (one class is 40-60 kids, and there are 13 computers for them to use).
But things are good. I really honestly enjoy sitting in my house alone, reading and drinking tea and practicing my mandolin and doing crosswords. And when I venture out, I enjoy that too, although it’s sometimes tiring. The hardest thing for me to do every day is change out of my pyjamas; some days (like yesterday, and today…) I don’t even manage it. And I’m coming to realize that, really, that’s okay. It’s okay if I don’t get everything done when I plan to do it, because I have time, almost infinite time. Two years of time. During training, all the PCVs we talked to would tell us that, when we got to site, we would have more time than we knew what to do with, but I didn’t fully understand that until recently, until I realized that even if I don’t get something done today or tomorrow or this week, there’s always next week. It’s freeing and scary, because I know myself and know that I may put things off indefinitely. But that’s okay too, because the things I’m putting off are things I’m doing for myself, not for other people, and I can wait.


Comment from Herr Jenkins
Time January 9, 2009 at 8:38 am

“His German?” Are Germans like pets now?

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