All about Umuganda

What is Umuganda? In Kinyarwanda Umuganda translates as ‘coming together to achieve a common goal’, and it was originally started after Rwanda achieved independence in 1962. In the beginning, Umuganda was often called ‘umubyizi’ –and was a day set aside by friends and family to help each other. It officially became a government program in 1974, and today is held on the last Saturday of the month from about 8am until 1p. History of Umuganada Continue Reading

Poverty by Choice

When I worked my last shift at the hospital on June 2, 2018, I didn’t have a sudden feeling of insecurity when I pulled out of the parking lot around 7:30 because I was suddenly unemployed. Even though I knew I was choosing poverty, it didn’t hit me then. That came about a month later when my first disbursement was paid to me… in cash. 47,000 Rwandan Francs (about $50) which was to be enough Continue Reading

The next steps

I guess by now you know that I left the Peace Corps completing exactly 9 months of service.   I was medically separted from the Peace Corps due to an injury I sustained while at a Peace Corps’ training.  I returned to Greenville, spent the night with my best friend, and made my way to my little country house where Miss Molly and Miss Lucy were eagerly awaiting my return [or maybe not… they are cats Continue Reading

Things I won’t miss about the village: Muzungu

This may not be the most politically correct post I’ve written. If you are easily offended, you’ve been warned. Back when I worked in the hospitals, occasionally some misguided soul would yell out ‘hey, respiratory,’ as I walked by, and I’d continue to walk on by.  And then the misguided soul would continue ‘hey, I’m talking to you’, and I’d feigned innocence, and say ‘oh you’re talking to me? I had no idea.’ and the Continue Reading

Things I Won’t Miss About the Village: Lack of Anonymity

I have lived most of my life in South Carolina [other states include North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee] — a state with roughly 5 million people in it, and just prior to departure, I moved back to the area I grew up in.  The town I currently reside in has approximately 800 people in it, and yet I still have my anonymity. I blend in mostly due to my race [it’s all either black or Continue Reading

Happy Peace Corps Day

Happy Peace Corps Day! On this day, 58 years ago, John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps. All over the world and back home in the US, Peace Corps staff and Volunteers celebrate March 1st as Peace Corps Day.     My official start day with Peace Corps was June 4, 2018 so the question I get the most is –What is Peace Corps’ Life like?    To be honest, some days drag and I’m Continue Reading

Readjusting After Medical Separation

There’s a long version and a short version of what happened. Short story: I was medically separated from the Peace Corps on January 4, 2019 after being evacuated on December 23, 2018. I was shipped out of the country just before the government shutdown started. PC’s theory was, and it seems plausible, that the impending government shutdown would impede my departure if we waited until the official required separation date. Only 3 people in the Continue Reading

Your’re Confused; I’m confused

Wait? Are you still in Rwanda? The Peace Corps? The short answer to that question is no. No, I am not. As of February 3, 2019 I left Rwanda for what I think will be the absolute last time, but I’ve learned to never say never. Earlier this year I was medically separated from the Peace Corps. No hard feelings there, but as medical separation goes, it is a bit of a cluster-fuck.  PC rarely Continue Reading

‘Murica–and all that entails

Did I really just go to good ole ‘Murica?  Only a few days back in Rwanda, and the entire trip back to South Carolina feels like a dream. I left Rwanda on a Saturday night and was in my own bed by Monday. Lucy and Molly inspected me with above normal curiosity… Maybe they know I’ve been cheating on them with Sadie Mae. Thanks to the generous soul who came to fetch me, my first Continue Reading

By the numbers: Medical

Even though this is only #3 in the series, by the numbers posts seem to be among the most popular, so here goes another one. 1:  # of x-rays taken 2: # of MRI’s taken [one of my head and one of my leg]; also number of instances I’ve been on med hold. 3:  # of weeks I was on ibuprofen for the pain; 189 number of tables actually taken during those three week. 0 Continue Reading