Random dude: Cool. You were in the Peace Corps! So what was that like for you? Me: Well… I’m not really sure yet. It’s like I woke up one morning and my hair was 6 inches longer, my skin was two shades darker, my body was covered in bruises and scars, I had a stomach full of parasites, there was the nasty aftertaste of shitty beer in my mouth, and an Akon song was stuck in my head. Random dude: Oh… so you’re saying Peace Corps roofied you?
A video tour of my home sweet hut. Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are mine alone and do not represent the positions or views of the U.S. Government or the U.S. Peace Corps.
As a Peace Corps volunteer in a malaria zone I am required by the US government to take a malaria prophylaxis. My particular prescribed poison is Mefloquine. Mefloquine is not a pretty drug. It has an incredibly long list of side effects and it has been blamed for some pretty freaky shit. The TGA–which is the Australian equivalent of the FDA– goes so far as to say “mefloquine frequently produces annoying adverse neurological effects such as insomnia, vivid dreams, dizziness, mental clouding, anxiety and coordination problems…consequently any person requiring a clear mind and good co-ordination should not use mefloquine. “… read this post
So last night I was hanging out at the Kedougou Regional House enjoying a couple of really terrible tasting Senegalese beers with my sitemate Alex, when all the sudden I felt a rumble in my colon and had to bolt out of my chair and run to the latrine. Because you see, when nature calls in Africa its not like you can put them on hold, or return the call later. When nature calls you haul ass to get to the latrine, because if you don’t make it in time you could be dealing with what we here in the… read this post
Peace Corps service has brought out my untapped potential. I am more resourceful, self motivated, patient and proactive. Yet, I can’t help but question the “real life” application of some of the new skills I have acquired… Riding a bike: Before coming to Senegal, I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 14 years old (except a rather traumatizing bike tour of Tuscany in 2005). Now, my bike is my primary mode of transportation. I take it on joy rides through the bush. I race down hills and cross a stream on my daily commute. I can transport boxes, chairs,… read this post
Four months down, 23 more to go! Number of times I’ve worn jeans – 4 Times I’ve worn makeup – 2 Hot showers – 0 Warthog sandwiches eaten – 7 Text messages my sister has sent me – 18 Times I have watched the season premiere of “Glee” (the only video on my ipod) – 14 Babies I’ve seen learn how to walk – 3 Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are mine alone and do not represent the positions or views of the U.S. Government or the U.S. Peace Corps.
My friend and fellow volunteer Kate tells me that she needs a cat. Why? She has a mouse problem. Every night, under the cover of darkness, a mouse crawls into her hut and steals the string from her cellphone pully system. Wait. Cellphone pully system? Let me explain… Kate has VERY limited cellphone reception in her village. When Kate wants to send a text message, she types the message, hits “send” then lifts her cellphone to the roof of her hut–via her cellphone pully system–where she gets one bar of reception. Only in the Peace Corps… Disclaimer: The contents of… read this post
It has been an interesting journey… October 31, 2008: Begin Peace Corps Application & send out emails for letters of recommendation. November 12, 2008: Submit Volunteer Application and Health Status Review form. November 24, 2008: Interview with campus recruiter. December 1, 2008: Travel to regional office for fingerprinting. Turn in background check paperwork and information on student loans. December 4, 2008: Follow-up phone interview with regional recruiter. December 8, 2008: Send Education and Agriculture Skills Addendums to the regional office. December 13, 2008: Another follow-up phone interview with regional recruiter. January 26, 2009: Re-interview with regional recruiter. February 10, 2009:… read this post