Welcome to my blog! Thoughts, updates, and photos from my 2 years in Peace Corps Guinea.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The lessons you learn

Coming into Peace Corps, I thought a lot about the lessons I would teach. Velocity! Optics! Wash your hands! Always use condoms! Don't cheat!

When I came to Guinea, I realized, as I knew I would, that teaching was just the background noise to my own personal learning experience. It's just that the lessons I have learned are not the lessons I expected to learn. I've learned:

  • That life is precious. Oh, so precious.
  • That in America, we build a wall between ourselves and death. Or we think we do, and that's just a facade. But living and knowing that death is always there, always intrinsically bound to life, is not easy.
  • That I fight back.
  • That this too shall pass. For better or worse, life will change.
  • That my trash is a Guinean child's toy.
  • Food is nourishment. It should not be wasted.
  • That people can be there for you, even when you go weeks without communicating.
  • That being called out for being different is hard to stomach day after day after day.
  • That laughter can unite us all.
  • Especially when you're laughing at yourself.
  • That Guinean hospitality means opening yourself up to give too much. And that emotionally, I do that. But when it comes to chocolate? Oh hell, no.
  • Just keep chipping away at things and they will eventually come to pass.
  • That I am whole unto myself. Or I can be, sometime, when I self-actualize.
  • That it's OK to just be on the path, and not have reached the destination yet.
  • That nothing can be taken for granted--my health, running water, basic math skills.
Everyday brings lessons, but I have to say, I didn't anticipate having to learn from being attacked by a crazy person, an extended med hold in the US for stomach troubles, or burying an adorable kitten. Peace Corps kinda takes all the ups and downs of a regular life and shoves them all together into two years so every day, much less every year is a rollercoaster of challenges and overcoming those challenges. Boy, I am tired out today. If you didn't hear, the kitten I was taking care of died this morning on my way to Conakry. She was sick, but I am very sad.

Double Rainbow--double hope?


  1. I love you honey, and am there in spirit, my kind hearted baby girl!

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