Life as a PCV mo Afrika Borwa!

Many people think that being a PCV is a crazy-brave-exciting-rewarding-energetic life, and while many days contain bits of each of those characteristics, life is really a lot more normal here than most of y’all realize. Here’s a normal day in my PCV life.

At the cruel hour of 3:30 in the morning, I am usually woken up briefly (hopefully) by a loud COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO right outside my window. Mr. Rooster has risen. He crows for a bit, then seems to go back to bed. This continues for the next hour and a half, until about 5am when he manages to get me wide awake. I grumble out of bed, hoping no scorpions are scuttling across the floor because I am too lazy to find a light or my shoes. I shuffle to my light switch and my day begins with a trip to the latrine then over to the yard tap to fetch my bathing water.

I start my coffee and figure out what breakfast will be, usually a PB&J, and settle down for my daily Bible reading. A bit before six I take my bucket bath. Depending on which school I am going to, I either leave by 6:15 for an hour-long, 5km walk, or leave at 7ish with my host brother and sister for a 10 minute walk to school.

I am usually home by 3pm or so, as schools let out around 2:15pm. Now, teachers often do not attend classes during the day, or come in super late, so they often hold the kids after. However, when I’m at MPS (10 min walk), I pretty much leave by 14:30, partially because I have nothing to do and partially because I think it’s ridiculous that teachers hold learners late because the teacher didn’t do their job during the day. At KPS (5 km away), I still usually leave by 3pm, and someone always gives me a ride home. PC’s policy is that PCVs always walk home/do not require a ride home from principals, etc. However, I feel like PC’s Medical Policy is against me walking 5km during the hottest part of the day.

Once home I usually make some instant coffee, munch on something because my school lunch was at 10am, and crash a bit while reading. Teaching is hard work! I wait until after 5 or so to make dinner, but I am sure to make it before dark, or else the demand from me and my family will zap the electricity. I try never to turn my kettle on after dark for the same reason. If it is super windy or rainy, then the electricity will likely as not be out for the night, and I hope I have some bread to make a PB&J with.

Bedtime is often shortly after 8pm (remember, Mr. Rooster starts his morning around 3:30am). I often have a slightly scary trip to the latrine after dark-trust me, never take a light. You don’t want to see the critters that take refuge in there. Then it’s lights out and off to dreamland beneath my mosquito net.

See, normal. Ok, too be honest I realize nothing in this post is really normal. I really did begin writing thinking my life was pretty normal by US standards. Then as I went on, I realized how not-true that was. I guess it has just become normal. Cool!

-Jen

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About Jen Lamos

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Gardener. Keeper of Chickens. Daughter of God.

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