Highlight Reel: May 2018

Cute and flirty: My Peace Corps baby turns one this month! Baby Ketty was born within a week of me moving to Ikelenge District, and she isn’t so little anymore. She’s a full-blown toddler and it is so wild to me how quickly these kiddos grow up.

Something I learned from my community: Dust devils are thought to be apparitions of ghosts in folklore! But it’s super chill and no one is bothered by it. It’s like magical realism but in real life, and I love it. Also, there’s an old story about a woman (I don’t quite know if she’s a goddess or some other mythical creature) who sleeps by one of the rivers in my district. When she wakes up and decides to shift to the other river, she makes the ground shake by her movement. Earthquakes don’t really happen here, so she’s been sleeping for a while. I have always loved mythology, whether it be Egyptian, Greek, Celtic or what-have-you, so it was very cool to learn some old Lunda mythology and folklore!

Something community learned from me: Third camp of my service, Camp BRAVE (Boys Respecting and Valuing Everyone), formerly Camp ELITE (???), and BROS (Boys Respecting Others and Self) in other areas, happened in my province this month. I finally got to take my good friend Paddy, along with two wonderful Grade 6 boys I taught GRS to back in November 2017. I didn’t run this camp, but I did teach sessions on facilitation skills, power and privilege, and gender based violence. I feel a little silly sitting on my high horse talking about sexual assault when America also has a long way to go in that regard, but we had some very meaningful talks about it and I think we all left thinking more critically about something that is very pervasive in our societies. I was also very proud of the boys being able to identify privilege. These kids deserve a lot more than they receive and I’m passionate about giving them the ability to advocate for themselves and recognize injustices.

Shower insights: I do not remember it being this cold last cold season. It is cold. I take cold baths, usually in the evening, and it has been a struggle to motivate myself to be clean. I guess I should enjoy it while it lasts before hot season?

Hero of the Month: My friends George, Annikki, Jacqs, and Maddie for making mid service conference in Lusaka (somewhat) bearable.

Villain of the Month: PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Office) times 100. Oof! Just a complete mess. The day where I can have more say over my own medical providers can not come soon enough.