People probably often describe the Peace Corps experience as a roller coaster ride – full of unknowns, etc. That is undoubtedly true, but for me, the emotional roller coaster ride seems to have a greater effect than the general ambiguity of everyday life. My emotions are heightened. So when I am feeling happy, I am REALLY happy. But when I am annoyed or upset, I am SO MAD I can punch someone.
The following is a progression of my moods today. And if I was back in the “real world”, I would probably be a perfect candidate for therapy.
Woke up after a perfect 10-hr beauty sleep. I had no idea how I slept so long and so well. Usually I wake up naturally after 6-8 hours. thought: My life is amazing right now. I don’t ever really have to wake up to an alarm.
I made some tea. Checked email and sent off a few for my projects. Chatted for a while with a good friend currently living in South Korea. thought: I am so lucky to have Internet here. Life would be so different. I also have such great friends!
Decided it was time to go out and hang with the villagers and promote my business classes. I caught a moto into town and stopped by the City Hall and had a chat with the Secretary General. The mayor has yet signed the letter I dropped off last week. thought: typical Cameroon. It’ll maybe be done next week. Not happy, but not too annoyed.
Stopped by one of my favorite bars to say hi to the bar lady. Saw mayor having beer with a few other “grands” (big, important people). thought: it’s 3pm. They are drinking beer. And he didn’t sign my letter. Feeling amused at the complete lack of efficiency here.
Bar lady’s brother happens to be the Cameroonian gentleman who found me online a few months ago. He was in village for a visit. So I stopped by his house to say hi. Had a really nice exchange with him about my life here and projects I am doing. He was really nice and told all the villagers that we were with to take care of me. thought: The world is a small place. Made even smaller by the advent of technology. I love village life here.
Went to the other side of the village to post fliers about the business class. This is one part of the town I don’t frequent much. One guy was sitting at a bar as I was posting the sign. Then he said, “give me one. I want to read it.” I told him I don’t have a lot to give out, but come read it here. He said, “you expect me to get up and go read it?” I said, “um, yeah.” and left. thought: What the heck is wrong with people? Don’t complain to me that you don’t have any money when you are sitting at a bar at 4pm and you can’t even muster enough energy to get your butt out of a chair to read a sign. Obviously annoyed.
Bought some flour and other things to make cookies. Lady thought I say 10 kg of flour when I actually said 2. We had a good laugh about that. though: I love village.
Getting ready to walk home, a gang of moto guys asked if I wanted a ride. I said, “oh no, I’m going to walk.” Some little jerk face yelled, “oh yeah? you are going to walk? walk all the way to Bamendjou then.” thought: Annoyed. Why are people assholes for no reason?
Just as the last thought was passing, a moto guy (A) that’s my friend stopped to see if I got my money back. I had lended another guy (B) 27,000 cfa supposedly for his mother to go to the hospital. A month later, I had to chase him down to get the money back. Turns out, (A) president of the moto association told me that (B) borrowed 27,000 from the association. I said, “oh that’s funny, cuz he only paid me 25,000.” (A) was upset and said, “Oh that guy is so dishonest. This is not good. You make sure you ask him to pay you back right a way.” thought: Not everyone is a jerk. Some people do care about me. Feeling rather warmed.
Then 10 minute of walk later, a girl about my age said hi to me. Then she mumbled something. I didn’t get it. Then she said it again, “money, I want money.” I shaked my head and walked on. thought: WHAT THE HELL? Became very angry for no real reason.
Walked the rest of the way home. Changed and went for a run. Cute mamas saying hi to me as I ran. thought: so cute! Then some guy waved and creepily gestured for me to stop and talk to him. thought: ugh. Creep! Why do you think I am going to stop running and talk to you?
Got back from the run. No power. Boiled water for shower. Took a bucket shower in the kind-of-dark latrine. thought: My life is ridiculous. Slightly amused.
Spent the rest of the night working and collaborating with people stateside on the press release of my project. Feeling very positive. thought: I am very happy right now. Life is great.