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Some Peace Corps Blogs

When I dreamed about one day becoming a Peace Corps volunteer, I loved reading blogs by PCVs from around the world. They weren’t always pretty or perfectly well written, but they were real.

Even though I’m now nearing the end of my service, I still love to read other PCV’s blogs. Sure, sometimes I get severe service envy (“He/she’s in the jungle/desert/mountains/tundra… that is SO COOL!”) but it still reminds me how amazingly diverse the world and her people. They remind me how beautiful and meaningful this experience is. They remind me that we are all simply human and doing the best we can.

So I want to share some of my favorite, non-PC/Ethiopia blogs. Happy reading!

In the Land of Dragons (PC/Indonesia)

This blog wins coolest name award. I didn’t find this one until more recently, but the first lines of her last post had me hooked and I read the entire thing over the course of several hours over my airstick modem.

And so the time has come: the end of Peace Corps, or more appropriately, the beginning of something new. My heart is so full it feels like it could burst.

Quinn in Morocco (PC/Morocco)

Beautiful photos, beautifully written and beautifully laid out. A wonderful insight into a PCVs life in Morocco.

Kosovar Chronicle (PC/Kosovo)

A PCV who was originally going to Azerbajin but her group was cancelled days before leaving. She was rerouted to be in the first group of PCVs serving in Kosovo. So cool!

My Namibian Odessy (PC/Namibia)

The person who first inspired me to join the Peace Corps served in Namibia in the 90s and I’ve been (not-so-)secretly fascinated with it ever since.

Adventures in Lesotho (PC/Lesotho)

An old one (hasn’t been updated since 2012) but still a great look at Lesotho. Live, Love, Lesotho is a more recent look at PC/Lesotho.

Mapping Words (PC/Columbia)

Unfortunately I don’t read much about Central and South American PCVs, but they’re cool people too. Serving in Colombia always sounded so fascinating to me, and this is a good blog that chronicles PCV life (no matter the country of service).

Awash

The Environment trainees visited Awash National Park the first weekend of December. Awash is a beautiful park to the east of Addis and Adama, part of the Rift Valley, an area that looks much like the Africa I’ve always imagined. It’s a beautiful Savannah-like land off the road to Dire Dawa, with stunning waterfalls, a gorge, hot springs, a mountain with a caldera, a lot of beautiful wildlife and much more.

I hadn’t planned on having a second photography post this week, but yesterday we were sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers in Addis. Today, we all head our separate ways to our homes for the next two years. After collecting my thoughts, I’ll update again.

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Vantage Point

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A Week in Photos

While there is no “typical week,” the following photos are part of one of the weeks of PST.

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  1. Visit to the posta bet (post office) to mail some letters
  2. Baby goats were born in my language instructors compound
  3. A truck carrying grain tipped over… sadly, flipped vehicles is a common sight here. No one was injured in this specific accident however.
  4. A spice suk (shop)
  5. First camel sighting on the way to Sodere. Not just one camel, but an entire herd!
  6. Sneaky monkeys at Sodere—these monkeys stole quite a few bananas and other food
  7. The Sodere pool where we spent a relaxing Saturday

Time Continuum

During PST I’ve lost almost all sense of time… sure, I typically know what day of the week it is and often even the exact date, but it means little in the context. Days are full of training, nights full of reading or writing. One day several weekends ago it suddenly struck me that we were under a month out from swearing in. As of posting, we only have two weeks. Where did November go?

I have the strange sensation of being suspended in both space in time. Like I will wake up at any moment back in my apartment in San Antonio, snuggled up with my adorable puppy, and this will have all been some crazy, surreal dream. Like my mefloquin dreams. So vivid it seems really, but something isn’t quite right.

Yet this is not a dream.

Life back home has gone on without me. I’ve never felt so disconnected from the people I love. My cell phone only works part of the time. Internet time is taken in bits and pieces, whenever we have a break on hub day and we’re able to run across the street or to an internet cafe. Staying connected with people is really tough.

So days float on. Life happens. Several weeks ago America re-elected the president and my best friend got married. The biggest news in my week? A goat in my language instructor’s compound gave birth and now there are two adorable baby goats running around on wobbly legs.

The disconnect is obvious. The pace of life here is slower. It’s more intentional. It’s tested my flexibility and patience more than anything ever has before.

But I just focus on the moment. There is little past here and a vast future, but right now, the present is the moment.

The rest will fall into place.