Only in Peace Corps

Only in Peace Corps do you:

Wake up and have no clue who is sleeping next to you

Have an entire bar chant “Berlin DJ” at you, while you sleep in the corner

See a riot in town because a motorcyclist hit a pedestrian

Find yourself asleep in the back room of a Chinese restaurant on a bunch of chairs while your friends eat dumplings

Make your own fireworks by singing and dancing to Katy Perry – Firework

Purchase burglar-proofing wire to cut in order to make a grill out of two coal pots

Try to cut burglar-proofing wire with cheap wire cutters, then have to switch to hatchet to finish the job

Have your neighbors holler at you to come out of your room to show you “hey, look I’m cleaning your kitchen”

Get a microwave as a gift and try to figure out what to do with it. Not to mention try to remember what you cook in a microwave

Get stopped walking back to your house because your eye suddenly itches, hours later you discover a fruit fly is living inside your eye. Obviously you pull it out and say “well, what are you doing in there?”

Get really excited when you kill two mosquitos in a row on your first try

Plan trips around which road is least painful

Give your compoundmates an ultimatum – you get fufu or the radio, but not both

Plan out your outfits for your vacation months in advance, just in case you need the tailor to make something and she gets delayed (which she will)

Look at a box of Double Stuff Oreos and say “Not yet, I can hold out a little longer”

Ask your friend to check your mailbox so that you can plan on what bag to pack for a 2 day trip

Plan your clothes washing based on the clouds outside

Save plastic spoons to put in your bag, so just in case you buy street food and they don’t have utensils, you won’t have to worry about washing your hands

Eat at a chop bar so often that you can tell when someone different made the food that day

Turn the fan off because you are cold, when it is in the high 70s

Walk to the corner in desperate need for kenkey, find out your lady isn’t around, so you take a taxi into town and go on a quest for kenkey. Then buy a ton because, I mean you are there and hungry and it took so much effort to find it.

Consider purchasing wire cutters to bring to bars when the music is too loud

Scream at little children when they harass you with “obroni” for more than one minute

Hope that your scars don’t fade because they will make awesome stories when you get back to ‘Merica

Lose complete track of time and realize that when people ask you how long will you be in Ghana, your answer hasn’t changed from “2 years” since you’ve been here

Get asked to observe Ramadan by your favorite Muslims in town and feel EXTREMELY honored. Then think to yourself “I’m so putting this on my VRF under integration”

Realize that you hate your new neighbor because she has never greeted you. Then you realize, oh dear lord, I’m picking up all the cultural traits

HATE when a local gets a hold of your phone number, then calls you just to greet you

Have 7 missed calls from the same person because “I didn’t hear the phone ringing” isn’t a good excuse

Discuss the horrific image of throwing up in a latrine with friends

Talk about bacon with such reverence

Despise showing your thighs and feel ashamed to be wearing shorts even when you are at home in your room, alone

Gingerly dip your bankou into the soup to avoid picking up fish eyes

Start having a panic attack when you can’t find your headlamp

Dream about all the cool things you could make with water satchets, raincoat, laptop sleeve, backpack!

Get insanely jealous when your guests still have the ability to sleep in and you wake up with the sunrise

Get really excited when you feel arm muscles appearing from carrying water around

Silently cheer when your taxi is missing a radio

Curse your malaria prophylaxis because the side effects are really really annoying, but malaria is still awfuler

Know the difference between a grasscutter, bush rat, and regular rat (and know how they taste)

Spend every waking moment thinking “please electricity, stay on, please stay on today”


2 thoughts on “Only in Peace Corps

  1. Very good; enjoyed reading this although the fruit fly in your eye made me a little queasy. Like reading about your life in Ghana.

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