“A Peace Corps Volunteer does not say:
That glass is half empty.
That glass is half full.
I could take a bath in that!”
I’m clearing out my house tomorrow, so I organized my belongings today. In the process, I found this quotation from our Pre-Service Training more than two years ago.
One more week in Metu.
Friends say, “I can’t believe Peace Corps is over.”
I can. It’s been a great two years. Enlightening. Fun. Tough. But it feels like two years to me.
Another quotation I found in an old notebook, this one from Scott:
“Celeste always sees the silver lining. Sometimes she misses the cloud.”
Scott claims I have “positive blinders,” but Peace Corps has been difficult for me at times. Sometimes I’d walk down Metu Main Street and be greeted by name every few steps, by a mixture of acquaintances and people I didn’t know. I’d feel terribly lonely… strangely, by having so many people know me and not knowing any of them.
I’ve also cried because life can be so unfair.
A friend of mine died of infection after a C-Section at Metu Hospital.
Outside a movie theater in Addis, I saw a little boy crouching in the street gobbling injera out of a plastic bag.
Mostly, there have been happy times. You’ve read about some of them here. Here are a few I haven’t shared before:
I was once handed a baby on a bus when his mother was feeling carsick.
I danced at a nightclub in Jimma, the biggest city in Southwestern Ethiopia, and I was one of three women there… the other two girls were my friends. (Outside of Addis only men frequent clubs.)
And tonight at dinner, I laughed with Kassaye, Aster, and Kim. When they gave me a goodbye gift, the other two tables in the room started clapping.
People ask me, “Would you do it again?”
And no, I would not sign up for another Peace Corps term. At least not until I’m retired.
I would definitely do Peace Corp Ethiopia 2010-2012 over again. Knowing everything I know now.