I have a crapton of catching up to do! Sorry for the absence of updates, which has turned my blog into a glorified Goodreads account. Enjoy these pictures from August and September!
There are a lot of things I expected out of service, and being out of my village for two months was not one of them. But, if being a PCV teaches you nothing else, it is to expect absolutely nothing and roll with it. I shouldn’t be surprised, as almost every single volunteer I met during training told me “you’re going to be out of your site a ton,” to which I internally scoffed and judged them.
But the thing is, they were right. I was gone for three weeks in August for IST (a training held after your first three months at site) and intentionally did a short vacation (customary after IST) in order to get back to site quickly but also behold some of the wildlife I naively thought would be everywhere. Despite that, I was in my community a grand total of one week before zipping off Camp TREE, immediately followed by a ToT (training of trainers) on engaging adult men on HIV education, immediately followed by a beekeeping workshop, immediately followed by a CAT (Combating AIDS together) Crew (our HIV committee) meeting. Life is crazy, I’m tired, and I need to brush up on my Chilunda.
What have I learned from this? One, I overcommit to any job I work at, and will always be stressed forever. Two, this will probably continue throughout the year, as I’m leaving in two weeks to plan a GLOW (Girls Leading Our World; can you tell Peace Corps likes acronyms?) camp I’m co-leading, and I don’t even want to think about November right now. Three, because of this I have to make my work count while I’m at site, which means (surprise!) overcommitting and cramming as much as possible into the space I have.
I’m actually really excited to be so busy, and the amazing projects (led largely by amazing counterparts) coming up wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t been gone, but that does come with a bit of guilt for not being where I feel I need to and should be. I know the stuff out of site is important, but dang I just want to get stuff planted in my permagarden and watch my ducks (oh, right: I redid my garden as a permagarden demo and am buying ducks. A lot has happened and I’ve been bad about updating this blog).
Anyways, Mom (my sole viewership), I’m sure you can tell by this point that this post is more for me to declutter my mind than it is to update you. I will try to upload pictures (the bane of my blogging existence) soon!
xoxo Gossip Girl
“When I grow up, will I live with you?”
Abdullah watched the orange sun dropping low, nudging the horizon. “If you want. But you won’t want to.”
“Yes I will!”
“You’ll want a house of your own.”
“But we can be neighbors.”
“You won’t live far.”
“What if you get sick of me?”
She jabbed his side with her elbow. “I wouldn’t!”
Abdullah grinned to himself. “All right, fine.”
“You’ll be close by.”
“Until we’re old.”
“Yes, for always.”
From the front of the wagon, she turned to look at him. “Do you promise, Abollah?”
“For always and always.”‘
Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed
Read: July 2017
Rating: One emotional punch to the gut
TL;DR Recommendation: “A Family Supper” by Kazuo Ishiguro
“The people of these regions [of sub-Saharan Africa] have been told so often that they are poor and powerless that they do not recognize the abundance surrounding them. Thus they can be persuaded by unscrupulous companies in league with corrupt national and local politicians to sell what they “own” for a fraction of its actual value. Even were they to embrace a new agenda that put the earth at its center, Africans might find that they cannot reach their goals because the resources (or the technologies needed to access those resources) are not available to them. It’s as if someone is being swept along in the current of the river, and you are on the riverbank telling her that if she calmed down and thought for a second, she’d be able to help herself by swimming to the bank and not drowning. But the current is getting stronger, and getting stronger; she is panicking and fighting the current, and as a result only increasing her chances that she will drown.”
Wangari Maathai, Replenishing the Earth
Reread: July 2017
Rating: One “thank you” email to my professor for making me buy this book
If-you-liked-this Recommendation: “The World We Have” by Thich Nhat Hanh
… casually talking about human extinction timelines, water conflict, and climate change estimates at Beekeeping Workshop! Only with environmental volunteers.
I’ve been hecka busy lately; I’ll post soon… ish.