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Dear Meredyth,

I started to write you about some real deep feelings I’m feeling, ya know, real “eat, pray, love” kind of stuff. I was trying to put in words these things and relate them to my current reality. Well, my current reality is that I’m still at this two week workshop, there’s less outward bigotry, but much more long winded, boring sessions on elementary lessons on “dealing with anger”. Yeah, dealing with anger is pretty good, I guess, but I really don’t like to sit through 4 hours lectures on “discovering the color of emotions”. Big surprise: red equals anger. So when my little kids turn red, I’ll be able to identify that they are angry, cool.

On the brighter side, this frustrating, stupid ass workshop has provided me with a great opportunity to do stupid shit with my friends at this hotel where we are all staying. The only thing the Ministry of Ed is doing well right now is paying for three meals a day (plus morning and afternoon teas where sammiches and muffins are served), and putting me and my friends in a hotel room with internet. So what have we been up to this week? Pretty awesome shit. We play this game “bananagrams”, which is like speed scrabble that can be played for hours and hours nonstop. As the unofficial hairdresser for the group I have done seven haircuts, for my time my lovely friends have repaid me in (good) wine, cell phone airtime, and chocolate bars. Probably the most productive thing I have done this week is to learn how to play awesome drinking games that I never played when I was in college.

We used some of our MoE allowance to buy plastic cups, ping-pong balls, cheetohs, chips, cookies and we had an old-fashioned frat boy party at the hotel. I discovered that I have a hidden talent in flipping cups and tossing balls into cups full of beer. Apparently I “did college wrong” because I never played any of these games during my time at VCU (granted, I did play my fair share of drinking games in high school and at Expulsion parties).  When we had spilled enough beer on the floor and broken enough cups playing really aggressive rounds of Flip Cup, we moved on to the much more sophisticated game of daring each other to do weird stuff, like chase each other around the hotel singing, have a diving contest in the pool or, the best: make and hold a human pyramid.

I sure hope that you still brag about your sister in the Peace Corps, over in Africa saving lives and curing AIDS and stuff.  Don’t worry, this workshop is coming to a close and I really am pumped about getting back to my village, drinking only chamomile tea and homemade lemonade, getting back to my work routine at the clinic and school, and all that good stuff. As much as I love hanging with my friends and being silly,  being away from site so much is hard, it makes my time here in Africa seem worthless, my efforts futile. At home I do get lonely sometimes but I go to school  the next day and at least I feel like I am a Peace Corps Volunteer, and doing something right.

I can’t wait to write you about all the life changing stuff I’m doing, fingers crossed.

Love,

Julia

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