Friday, July 2, 2010

A Place of My Own

I have never lived alone. Ever. I have only had my own room about half the time. I either shared a room with my brother or had room mates of some sort. Now I live all by myself in Botswana. I find it quite humorous that I had to join the Peace Corps and move to Africa to get my own place.

I find that I have a lot of free time. I get home from work around 4pm every day and then try to decide things to do. Weekends are harder where I have the whole day to fill. I have swept and mopped every inch of floor several times already. I actually relish in the fact that doing laundry by hand takes around 3 hours. My kitchen stays spotless and my bathroom is pristine. Its amazing how chores become less of a hassle when you have all the time in the world.

I had no illusions about this first couple of months being difficult. Peace Corps volunteers will tell you that service is a lot like a roller coaster, there are ups and downs all along the way. Peace Corps also will tell you that the first 6 months are the hardest and if you can make it through these first months you will be fine.

It has been a much bigger adjustment than I thought it would be, and it slipped up on me. I think I thought because I lived in a big city and had most of the comforts of home that my adjustment would be a relatively easy one. It has not been unbearable but it certainly has not been easy. It would be hard enough to move to a new city and meet new people in the US, but now I am isolated socially and culturally. Its quite the one - two punch.

This won't be the last hard time during my service (and don't worry Mom, I'm fine - really). Things will get easier as I learn more about my city, meet people, and develop projects. I just have to get out there and do it.