This is a guide for my family and friends about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, Africa. I teach English as foreign language to high school students in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. Also as a disclaimer, the comments expressed here are solely of the author and do not represent the United States Peace Corps, the American Government, or any other governing body.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"So, why did you decide to join the Peace Corps?" If I could feed a starving child for every time someone asked me that, there would be no more starving children in the world. I tend to give a different answer every time, depending on the mood. But, honestly, I don't have a good answer. And now I am here. I had placed myself in the mindset that this was my life, but as my grandmother aptly corrected me: not a life, a lifestyle. She is absolutely right. This is not my life. This is a temporary state until I find my next temporary state. I guess that could be the best answer to the afore mentioned question that has just hypothetically rid the world of hunger.

But what if I have decided what I want that next stage in my life to be? Do I maintain this current state, and just wait it out? Or do I jump to the next thing, eager to begin something else. I am, by nature, a quitter. But in my mind, I wouldn't be quitting so much as moving on a little faster than I had previously anticipated. There's a word for that as well: impatience. Something else I tend to practice. These are just my latest musings. Oh, the thoughts of an idle weekend.

Don't get me wrong, I do like it here, and I do intend to stay for the entire two years. And while teaching is not the easiest thing in the world, it definitely has its moments and rewards. The kids tend to grow on you. I care about them too much to leave under any circumstances. But I have sort of figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life which is more than I can say for myself six months ago when I got on the plane to get here. I was going to place myself in a temporary lifestyle until I figured out what to do with myself the rest of my life. Well I figured it out a little quicker than I thought, so now the waiting comes. Luckily, we do a LOT of that here, so I'm used to it. But coming here became about the people here as well as me. So now the lifestyle becomes richer and the day to day routine becomes bearable and even somewhat comfortable.

Speaking of patience, it no longer bothers me when I have to wait at the post office for 45 minutes for apparently no reason. Or at the airline office when there is one person in front of me, and I have been waiting for 20 minutes. Leland commented that we have learned to simply space out really well in situations that call for it. It doesn't even bother me anymore when the little girl sitting behind me kicks my chair for an hour straight. Or when the sketchy video we rent from the slightly sketchy video store skips and freezes right at the climax of the movie. I have finally been given the gift of patience. Amazing.

So I will be patient and I will get through this and when something else unexpected happens (like the gas running out at exactly the worst moment in time...hasn't happened yet, but we expect it to at any wrong moment), then we will expect it, as we have learned to expect the unexpected. And if something does catch us by surprise we always have patience and adaptation on hand to help us out. Plus where else in the world could you be sitting in an auditorium full of people cheering on a group of 8 year old girls dancing like they're simply missing the pole and we should be holding a fistful of $1? Yes, Leland and I were quite horrified, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it (there were even glimpses of pride), so we clapped right along wide-eyed and slightly stunned. So, in conclusion, I will see you all in 19 months :)


Blogger DeAnna said...

Nadia- It's getting close to that day! That day that is your birthday!!! What will you do? Any special celebrations planned? We miss you very much. Jenna and I are going to send you a package very soon. Any special requests? What is ok to send? Is any kind of food alright to send? I'm not familiar with the policy on shipping to Africa!

love you... DeAnna

17 January, 2007 21:38

Anonymous Lisa Baker said...

Hi Nadia,
It's your Aunt Lisa. Only recently (on the cruise) did I find out there was a way for me to make comments on your Blog sight. You could say I'm Not up on all these fancy web options. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and am learning a lot about Cape Verde right along with you. I mailed a DVD of the cruise to you today. Sounds like it might take a while to get there but atleast you have something else to look forward to. I too plan on sending a package. How do Oreo's sound? ;-) I also am open to special request.
Lisa, Kimberly and Heather

17 January, 2007 23:36

Anonymous Shaheen Ladhani said...

in case i forget to say this day after tomorrow - happy birthday nadia!! you are getting old and crusty. the consolation is that i will always be 10 years older and crustier than you.
i hope you enjoy the day. will you tell the kids it is your birthday?

18 January, 2007 02:28


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