Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The New ‘Do

It's a drastic change but I'm loving my new haircut!

   The big chop. The new ‘do. The cute cut.
   Call it whatever you want to call it but I did it!
   Yep, I cut my hair.
   Many reasons.
   First, my hair wasn’t doing so well in this weather.  The locks had started to fray, split and break off because of the dry air. The dreds were also super yucky from the windy and dusty conditions here. Since I don’t have running water in my hut, it was very difficult to properly clean my scalp.
   Next, I had been wanting to cut them off since Pre-Service Training last fall but I was scared. Scared of how big I thought my head was going to be. I know this sounds vain, but I didn’t want to walk around with a head the size of a soccer ball. Once I was certain I was going to cut off my hair, I had only told a few people who assured me that a short natural would do my head justice.
   Also, it was time. I first grew my locks in high school, when I needed a hairstyle that would fit my distance-running lifestyle. That was about ten years ago! I’m 28 now and have turned a new leaf.  And I think now, my haircut reflects exactly where I am in life.
   Finally, I’m in Africa, where the short natural reigns supreme. If I’m going to cut my hair off, this is definitely the place to do it!
   My thoughts about this bold cut have changed over time, though.
   My adoptive mother cut my hair off when I was in the first grade because I kept tinkering with the styles she’d give me. One day at school, a Boy Scout representative came into my classroom to talk about the organization. When she was done talking, she placed brochures on all the boys’ desks.
   Guess who got one?
   “I’m not a boy, I’m a girl,” I tearfully told the representative.
   I felt so ugly with my natural back then.
   Not now.
   I feel as regal as the hair on my head.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

You're a Peace Corps Volunteer if...(Part 1)

You know you're a Peace Corps Volunteer if every kid in the village wants you to take their photo every single time you see them. Every. Single. Time.

I hear stories of similar things that Peace Corps Volunteers here in Lesotho (and at other posts) experience.
These things can include waiting forever and a day for the taxi to fill up so you can go to your destination.
Or they can be you sitting next to an animal --instead of a person-- on public transportation.
Oh yes, it's happened, so I thought it'd be cool to come up with a list of things that tell of our unique experiences.

So, you know you're a Peace Corps Volunteer...

1. ...If you've dropped anything of value in your pee bucket or latrine. Or, if your biggest fear is dropping anything of value in your pee bucket or latrine.

2. ...If you've checked multiple times before leaving your house to ensure that your gas tank was off. And by multiple times, I mean, like 20 times.

3. ...If you've sat, packed like a pilchard, on a taxi carrying waaaaay too many people. And, sadly, the windows were closed:(

4. ...If you've stepped in donkey dookie, sheep shit, dog dung or cow crap.

5. ...If you've had to wash your feet more thoroughly than your heavenly parts.

6. ...If you think it's Christmas or your birthday anytime you receive a care package.

7. ...If you've cursed out the computers at the Internet cafe for being too slow.

8. ...If you've spent a quarter of your monthly stipend on hotel pizza and beer or playtime at the pool.

9. ...If your students still don't understand your accent, even after you've box-talked or faked a British accent.

10. ...If you've received change, or anything for that matter, from someone's bra.

So, there ya go!
Can you relate to any of these?
Feel free to add on.
And stay tuned, there will be a part two!

Note: Some of these items may apply to volunteers in other countries.