Hi there, friends, family, and bot-followers! I’m back with a fun list to say sorry for disappearing for several months.
The excuse for my disappearance is not even an exciting adventure—I’ve been busy, life hasn’t seemed interesting enough to blog about, the internet has been bad, etc. But the story behind this post is an adventure, mostly involving me using a flashlight, mirror, and tweezers to pick stingers out of my butt at two in the morning.
My options were: (a) cry, or, (b) try to laugh at the situation. I chose option B and began brainstorming titles for the Peace Corps memoirs I will (probably) never actually write.
**Disclaimer: There are, like, 4 typos. I didn’t count, but I’m pretty sure that’s an accurate number. I apologise. I’m not going to fix them. I made these images using a trackpad and my trackpad finger has caterpillar stingers in it. Consider the typos to be an artistic choice, showing you my authentic, messy life.
This one is the only one that isn’t based on an experience I’ve actually had—others in my cohort have gotten jiggers, but the worst I’ve gotten was scolded by the PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officer) for being barefoot.
This happened yesterday. The kids really love it when they shove junk through the 2-inch crack under the door and my dog grabs it out of their hands, but then they would not stop and I had to go tell my neighbour and get her to scold them.
This one happened to me during PST. I did, in fact, say this to the waiter at a restaurant. In my defence, the word for “clothes” (imyenda) and the word for “meat” (inyama) are somehow similar.
To be fair, no kid has actually peed on me. On my couch, yes. On my porch, yes. On my floor, yes. But when I called up a language and culture facilitator to ask how to explain that I don’t want kids in my house if they’re not potty trained, I learned the fun tidbit that in Rwandan culture, it’s good luck if a kid pees on you, because it means you will have many children. None for me, thanks…
I am not the worst about this, but, let’s be honest, if you have to run through pouring rain in the middle of the night to get to your bathroom, aren’t you going to find a better solution?
I have done both of these. They are not fun. Fortunately the bird poop happened right outside a little shop that had napkins, and white bird poop matched my white shirt. But still.
To be fair, this is a problem worldwide, not just in Rwanda. Fortunately for me, many hours on the buses have taught me how to throw elbows and swing heavy bags with the best of them.
Full disclaimer: I intend to buy a muzungu in the mist t-shirt before leaving this country.
So the caterpillar story goes like this: after many hours of no electricity, a good portion of which I spent fighting insomnia, I finally got to sleep, only to be awakened around 1:30am by a dog barking. I got up to check whether it was my dog. It wasn’t. Sharp pain when I got back into my bed alerted me of the presence of one of the little fuzzy caterpillars that have begun to take over my house since dry season began. These little guys are covered with fur that looks soft but is actually entirely composed of tiny poisonous barbs that are almost impossible to get out. Segue to me sitting on the floor with a flashlight, a mirror, and tweezers, picking caterpillar stingers out of my butt in the wee hours.
To be perfectly honest, I have been chucking rubbish in my shower for most of my service. I have a high compound wall, so I can bathe outside in the sun. There is no good solution to trash at site. Hey, at least I’m not burning it all, right?
In interest of fairness, shoutout to Rwanda for having an incredibly functional public transportation system and amazingly well maintained roads for this part of the world. But still.
Actually, I have never called the PCMO about a rash. Other things, yeah. But not a rash.
Other reasons include my GLOW club leaders, my neighbour, and my dog.
Actually ever since I stopped getting daily milk from my neighbour, milk for dinner is a luxury. So much protein packed into such a small space…
All I can say is thank God rainy season ended and those maggots quit crawling under my door. Google them. I am not even exaggerating. They take the prize for grossest living organism I have ever encountered.
The wasps did not sting me. They did sting several neighbour kids. I felt simultaneously terrible that they got stung and a tiny bit annoyed because I had told them not to come visit me while I was tutoring someone.
And there you have it! Hit me up with the facetious titles of all your memoirs!