Thursday, December 15, 2005


Exactly one year ago today (give or take a time difference) I officially completed my Peace Corps Service. So I figured I’d give a little retrospective of things I miss.

  • Fat Cakes- Doughnuts really don’t come close
  • Rest Camp Shenanigans- With the pond and geese nearby (and Wingo) you never knew what was going to happen
  • Hanging out with the teachers in my staff room and having random discussions on politics, men and women, culture, making bad jokes, and how badly our learners write- Working at an NGO no one ever wants to appear the close minded or right wing one (even if they are in comparison). My staff room had a great mix of culture Damara Nama, Subere, Ovambo (of course) and me. Here it’s pretty much Bengali, other Urban/Western-ish Indian or me. The best cultural discussion I had recently was with one Bengali guy and brilliant Cameroonian friend of mine named Crawford. He was trying to argue that I could be mistaken for Bengali (with my hair back) because I’m brown, wear kurtas, and bangles. He also tried to argue he was as African as I was. Crawford was having none of it.
  • Oshikandela and Banana bread from Pick and Pay- An unbeatable combination.
  • Dancing with Sisi- Learning rhythms, trying to keep up with the Omeleshe girls, catching up for the week and starting our 10Am class at 11:30, learning history behind the beats, the music, Sisi, there’s too much to miss.
  • Nando’s and Channel O- Bollywood videos are fun, but it’s always better with chips and Ashley and Lauren as my critiquing partners. You’d never know what old school or random African video Channel O would come up with.
  • Nando Nali Toke- The full name of my dog, meaning “Even too late” It’s the name of a school text book and referred to the way she would randomly wander home after I went to town on the weekend. I miss her eating food (especially popcorn) I dropped. Sharing fat cakes. Sleeping at my feet underneath my desk in the staff room or in the corner while I taught. I recently called school and found out that she still goes to school every morning and hangs out with the teachers.
  • My learners- Yes they were pains in the neck most of the time, but they were fun too.
  • Walking to school and watching the sunrise and fetching water during sunset- There is amazing peace in the bush, which you don’t find in Kolkata with over a million other people and a train station right next to your house.
  • Kate’s house and family- It was my second home and my main family.

Things I don’t miss

  • Having to lug all of my groceries into my village- Convenient Stores and village markets are a marvelous thing.
  • Living over an hour away from anything- Though it is less peaceful I do like the fact that I only have to leave my house to find a tarred road and walk a little way to find a taxi
  • Annoying Taxi drivers- Okay Kolkata has them too, but they are fewer and farther between. They also have meters so it is easier to argue. Auto-rickshaw drivers on the other hand . . .
  • Peace Corps Namibia Admin. - How often did they make problems more difficult than they needed to be? Though I did like the medical they provided.


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