I tried my hardest to prepare for all of the different elements and challenges that I assumed I would face while being a Peace Corps Volunteer; and to be perfectly honest, and not so humble, so far I have to say I have done a damn good job. However, this past week I experienced something that I did not prepare so well for, and that was the departure of friends, both those which are unexpected, as well as those that are planned. Tomorrow, marks the arrival of the “new” intake, a group of agriculture and education volunteers. If you are thinking, “Hey, I thought, Elizabeth/Eliz/Otter/who is this person and why am I reading their blog, was a health volunteer”?! That is very astute of you, because I am, which opens me up to explaining: There are two intakes a year at the distance of 7mo/5mo apart. This is when I become a Peace Corps “Sophomore”, and if you are going to look at Peace Corps in the same way as high school/university ‘years’ this means that a group is graduating. Ahh, right when you get comfortable with new people, a new family so to speak, they be leavin’ on yo ass! Not cool. And, yes, sad.
However, I cannot leave out that many volunteers have countdowns towards new intakes for the fresh meat (sorry for the vulgar term), it can be lonely out here, you know most all the volunteers in country, and if there’s no love connection to be seen, maybe there is a person in the newest intake that is your SOUL MATE, or just someone you connect with. I must say that having a person to share and help you through the bumps in your service, whether a best friend or a significant other (I have been lucky enough to have/enjoy the latter) makes bad days better, and good days amazing and unforgettable. It’s a second opinion, a deep breath. Maybe it’s because the dude I am dating is from my own intake, but I find this countdown a bit insensitive! Inevitably it means that someone is going to be counting down to the day I leave someday, in hopes of someone better, or more available. Sorry, glass half empty , its true there were those that counted down my own intake. There, glass half full; But just another trial of the PCV.
Although I didn’t miss the Super Bowl, next year I am thinking I may, anything that starts at 1am, and no fun commercials, may keep me in bed next year! But great game right!? Anyway the point of this all is that I am bummed that I am missing all the glorious Winter Olympic events! Thinking back on how much fun I had my freshman year of college watching the Olympics’, shouting at the TV screen with Jenny, Kayla, Maggie and others (I don’t think any of us have gotten over the figure skating that year) makes me sad that I am missing out entirely.
Enough of this downer post! Tomorrow 18/2/10) we are getting 40-some new volunteers that will be able to help, change, and grow with Zambia (really this country is something else, if you have any want to come here, do! Tickets may be pricey, but it’s cheap, cheap once you get here! I mean where else is it still ok to hitch-hike EVERYWHERE you go?