I’m a stranger here myself

What the actual F*ck am I doing here? It’s a question I ask myself daily, sometimes hourly, and occasionally every few minutes. I have been in Rwanda just under two months and have spent all that time save one week in our training village of Rwamagana learning Kinyarwanda and how to be a Peace Corps […]

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By the numbers: 1st edition

This post is a little different than previous posts as I am currently visiting my future home. I thought I would quantify my experience in Rwanda thus far. 0: Number of pants that I brought that still fit.  Note: I still wear all the pants that are too big so my outfits these days are […]

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Other duties as required

‘Other duties as required’… it’s a phrase I’ve always hated–that very vague part of the job description where an employer can ask to to do almost anything and before you can say ‘no’ they come back with ‘other duties as required’. As it pertains to a Peace Corps Maternal-Child Health volunteer, other duties as required […]

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Holidays and Exams

It’s been a busy week out here in training-land.  3 holidays in one week, and only one day off. July 1 is Rwandan Independence Day [but it’s not celebrated].  July 4 is both American Independence Day and Rwandan Liberation Day, and for us, our only day off.  My fellow trainees and I went to the […]

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World Cup and Making Friends

I described the process of being matched up with host families as being puppies at the pound. Imagine this:  You are placed in a room with about 50 people who you do not know, where everyone is speaking a language you do not know.  All you can do is listen for your name.  And when […]

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Wait, you’re still not a volunteer?

Wait, you’re still not a volunteer? Ahhhhh, PST…Pre-Service Training.  I refer to it as Boot Camp, and our instructors take every opportunity to re-enforce that yes, as of now, we are just trainees.  Yes, the Peace Corps is about as far from the Army [or other military branch] as imaginable, but this 10 week period […]

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Being Lost

I’ve been trying to finish this post for a few months now. I don’t think I’ve ever struggled so much trying to put in my words how I feel about fear. But I’m going to try, let’s do this… Does anyone else have an annoying voice in the back of their head that only appears […]

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What is PCT?

Before signing up for Peace Corps, my only knowledge for PCT acronyms were PCT=Pacific Crest Trail.  Alas, the Pacific Crest Trail has absolutely nothing to do with becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer, but becoming a Peace Corps Trainee has everything to do with becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer. So after jumping through all the hoops […]

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Settling in

Days 2 and 3 involved getting ourselves safely to Kigali–an adventure by itself. Our bus was about an hour late getting to Philadelphia. Then the driver wasn’t really sure where he was going so he was on his phone both as a GPS and texting.  There were a couple of close calls where he tried […]

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Last Night at the Hideaway

It’s Saturday night.  I’ve just work my last shift, and for now, I am alone. Blissfully alone.  I love my friends, I do, but as an introvert, being around people is exhausting, and tonight, tonight, I am blissfully alone.  Tomorrow night, I will say good-bye to even more friends.  And to my kitty cats. But […]

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