The Life of a Volunteer

In my last post, I wrote about our time with a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. If you ever have the opportunity to spend time with volunteers in their ‘natural environment’ as it were, you should jump at the chance. In addition to Christine, we’ve spent time with a Senegalese volunteer, an RPCV from Ghana who’s now working in Senegal, and a volunteer in Mali. From an ex-pat’s perspective, no one knows more about the culture than a PCV.

Our time in Kerrouchen was magical. Here’s a short video of a quintessentially Peace Corps moment with a woman at the cooperative. It’s difficult to remember that every day during Peace Corps service is not like that. At times it feels like you’ll never learn the language or that the heat will never subside or that your work won’t do any good or that the mosquitoes will never stop biting.

Anne-Claire and I have the privilege of reliving our experiences and remembering the best days we had in Niger. Time softens the hard edge of the struggles, and in the end they become good stories: “Remember the time I spent 9 hours on a bush taxi ride – I could’ve gotten there faster (by several hours) if I’d walked;” or “Wasn’t it funny that time I threw up so hard that cabbage came out my nose?”

On this side of service, you never remember the mosquitoes.

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