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 this.
After a while, they expressed interest in some of my English books. I went and found two Yoga books I had, and they read English aloud, while I helped with their pronunciation. Eventually, they decided to try the various poses in the Yoga books, and they dissolved into giggles when they discovered I could do the splits.
Like every day in Mozambique, there is rarely an agenda. Things just unfold as they are meant to, and it always works out. Without even trying to, I was able to accomplish several of the Peace Corps objectives, simply by inviting some curious girls into my home. I'll call that a win.
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.