26 2 / 2014
I have been home 4 months now. Last year I was living with sun, sand, and in the Kalahari desert. Now I live with sun, snow, and the polar vortex. There have been some changes to say the least.
Looking out my window today, warm with tea and a good book, I had the feeling like I had never left home. While comforting on some level, this thought gave me a profound sadness. I love who I was in Peace Corps. I miss the girl who would get hitches from strangers, try new foods all the time, meet new people everyday, and talk to literally anyone about sex and circumcision. I miss the girl who was, in most aspects, utterly fearless.
Safe at home, I have to try to hang on to that girl, and the sense of adventure I cultivated in Peace Corps. While it’s harder to try new things and put myself out there while so close to the comforts of home, I genuinely hope that Kgomotso, Botswana, and adventure, will always be with me.
25 2 / 2014
While I am super glad that I have spent the last three years abroad, and that I learned so much while in Sweden and Botswana, coming home I can’t help but feel, well…a little developmentally stunted.
I’ve come home with all these experiences. However, all the other 25 year olds I know own cars, have registered utilities, and generally partners with whom they reside.
I don’t have any of those things, and living at home doesn’t make me feel that much better. My parents are awesome people, who I have missed significantly, and love to spend time with, but I do feel a little more adolescent than adult in my current surroundings.
I just have to hope that I’ll catch up. I’ll move onto my own place and onto medical school this summer, and hopefully garner more vuxenpoäng (Swedish for adult points) as time goes on.
I have to think that this feeling will go away with time, and when I’m 60 it won’t matter, and I’ll be super grateful for all my life adventures.
21 1 / 2014
Oh my god I did it! I got into the University of Washington! I even got into the special rural underserved track that I wanted! I am floating on air this week. I didn’t bomb the interview, I must have killed it! Or at least they saw through my nerves and saw how much I wanted it and how much I really cared about it.
Whatever. Either way I am so flipping happy. Here I go!!!
14 1 / 2014
I’m up at four in the morning. I can’t sleep, I had my University of Washington interview yesterday and I keep playing it in my head.
I unequivocally bombed it. I just wanted it too bad. It’s my dream school, and I let my nerves get the better of me. My voice was shaky, I stumbled over words. There’s no worse feeling than knowing the only thing standing in your way is yourself, and you blew it.
You’re your own worst enemy.
23 12 / 2013
One of the best things about being back is that I got a really cool job! I thought I would come back during November (kind of an awkward time), and get a crappy job for 6 months at maybe Burger King or whatever before I’m (hopefully) off to med school. Instead I got hired at the free community clinic in my home town as a medical assistant! Working with homeless and under-served populations is my dream field. Working as a medical assistant I room patients, take vitals, and help people get the referrals and care they need, which makes me feel good about my life. It’s great to feel as if you’re doing something meaningful. And it’s great medical experience for med school.
Anyway, I’m happy about my job. It’s also the first job I’ve had with benefits, paid leave, and holiday leave (I’m getting paid not to work on Xmas!) which makes me feel kind of grown up in a way. What a good deal!
22 12 / 2013
So I have been back almost 2 months now. I have experienced blizzards, connecting with old friends, and had maybe one too many warm, calorie-intense holiday beverages. I love being home. It’s so great to be able to see my parents, hug my sister, and be a text or a phone call away from meeting up with an old friend. I’ve also met a lot of new people, through meetup groups and Americorps volunteers based in Billings. Maybe the best thing about being home is feeling like I belong again, and that I’m not such a freak of nature from being so different all the time. I’m so glad I experienced being a celebrity, and a culture different than mine, but it’s good to be home.
11 12 / 2013
After talking to a guy friend the other day about differences between Botswana and the US, he turned to me and said, “you sound like you loved Africa and hate America”.
I find this hilarious given how miserable and lonely I was sometimes in Bots.
The thing is that there are great things about every place in the world, and not great things about everywhere too. Just because I said I wished America had a healthcare system like Bots (seriously if Botswana can have single payer, why can’t we?) doesn’t mean I think Bots is the be all, end all.
The best thing about living abroad is that it gives you something to compare your standards too. We don’t really know what’s good or bad unless we have something to measure it by.
05 12 / 2013
Here’s an update: Margie just texted me to remind me that one of our South African friends guessed that Mandela’s death date would be engineered to coincide with the beginning of the holidays, so that people will already be off work when the whole nation grinds to a halt and goes into mourning.
Lo and behold. Hmm.
Nelson Mandela was a great reconciler. Reading his autobiography earlier this year was such a wonderful lesson in history and in the power of leadership. But like Ariana said, if this is true that is some crazy 1984 shit.
As far as death conspiracies go, this isn’t too bad. Just have the mourning period coincide with the festive season so that people take 6 weeks to mourn when they were already going to take 6 weeks off for the holiday. And the economy is saved!
Anyway, no way to prove it. Just a thought.
03 12 / 2013
One thing that is kind of weird about Americans is that we’re kind of self-centered. We love to talk about ourselves, our ideas, and our own lives more than anything else. We are more likely to tell a story about ourselves than ask a question. We’re an individualistic society.
In Botswana, I feel as if people are just as interested in other people as they are in themselves. As a result they talk about other people as much as, or more than, they talk about themselves. From an American perspective, this looks like gossip, and we think of being in everybody’s business in a negative light. But to people in Botswana it’s just sharing the news related to people in their lives.
I told this to a friend, who replied, “What a positive spin on gossip.” I guess so.
24 11 / 2013
but none of this shit:
This resonates with me on two levels. One, now that I’m not in Botswana I don’t get daily marriage proposals or other romantic propositions. As a result my ego is a little bruised. Two, dating in America is exhausting. The texting, the fb chatting and what what take up way too much time.
I can’t just come it and say I like a guy, that is too forward. Instead there’s a little dance we do. Too much effort. I give up. I would frankly rather stay home and read a book.