I have been in Mozambique for three months now. I just finished my training and have sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer. I have been keeping a journal since I arrived, but I have yet to blog about my experiences. When asked, I have had difficulty articulating my reasons.
To start, how does one honor a place like this? I want to convey the beauty and splendor of Mozambique, but I am here because there are very real challenges as well. I want to discuss the poverty here, but I do not want to engage in "poor-nography" and typecast a people who are so much more than Americans realize. I want to be cognizant of the dangers inherent in Africa, but I do not want to dishonor the incredible friends and families that have opened their arms and homes to me.
I walk around, a sole white person, an American, and realize the awesome responsibility that I have. I may well be the only experience they may have with an American, and I must be respectful. People stare at me as I walk around. …
One of the most difficult challenges for me in the Peace Corps is learning to live with discomfort and do it anyway. Every day, I am faced with the urge to just hide out in my house and avoid people. At least in my home, I don't have to worry about not being able to communicate, or risking people staring or laughing at me. I have worked myself into low-level anxiety over taking a chapa to town. I have mentally stubbornly refused to stand up in front of people for a palestra (health demonstration). I have mentally rebelled 100 times from a task, simply because I know it is new for me, and I will be stretching my abilities to try it.
The thing is...it always works out. It is never as bad as I feared, and I feel a great sense of accomplishment afterward.
Case in point, yesterday, I was sitting in my room and sewing. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for the day, and wondering when and how I would meet children and start a youth group. I have been very concerned about th…
I have not been blogging about my Peace Corps experience for a bit. There were several reasons for this.
The decision to join the Peace Corps and go to Mozambique has been a deeply personal one, that has elicited conflicting responses from friends and family. I would be lying if I said that I have not had second and third thoughts about this. I am leaving my life for 27 months, and at this point, I am down to the final stages.