I was told that Peace Corps, especially CBT (community based training), is a very infantile experience full of highs and lows. It’s already been 1 week of CBT and I can say that statement is 100% true! I feel like a 24 year old going on 1 years old! No really I am like a big 1 year old who knows how to say “hi” (salam alaikum), “I’m fine” (labas), “thank you” (shakron), “I’m full” (shaabt), “I’m tried, I want to sleep” (Ana eana, bghit nass), and a couple other random vocab.
The language barrier with my host family is very prevalent which also makes it hard to be independent. I’m still trying to figure out what is appropriate for me to do. The gender roles are very defined when you step out of the big cities. Woman stay at home and the men hangout in the cafes. So as an American woman who is used to being able to go where she wants to go and when she pleases, it’s been a challenge to figure out what’s appropriate for me to do. Especially when there is a big language barrier. With time I’ll hopefully have a better idea. It’s still early.
But with the lows there are the highs.
Like my host Mom waking up early on Saturday mornings to make me breakfast before I got to class when she could be sleeping in.
Or the excitement your siblings get when they see you walk through the door.
Experiencing the weekly souk (market) for the first time.
When your host brother draws out what he’s trying to tell you.
The delicious food!!!!
mint tea, couscous, tagine, and the freshest, most tastiest fruits and vegetables I’ve ever had.
My host mom patiently trying to explain things to me in Daraji.
Literally being pulled into a house for mint tea and being greeted with tons of kisses.
Your little brother bragging to everyone that you’re his sister for America.
Hanging out with the other volunteers.
And with that I remind myself what my Dad keeps telling me “Peace Corps is a marathon. Take it one mile at a time” appreciate all the highs and lows, it’s all apart of the race.
So here I am a big 1yr old at the beginning of the race trying to find my rhythm.