23 Degrees South

Living and learning in Botswana during my two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. NOTE: This is a personal journal and does not necessarily represent the views of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government.

Bots v. USA

As I am sure many of you can imagine, I have been having rather conflicting emotions about the upcoming end of my Peace Corps service. I started this little list, mainly for my own benefit, but thought I would share it as well. Perhaps some of it will seem insignificant to an outsider, but I do feel that it has been all those little things in my day-to-day life that have made these past two years so extraordinary. Similarly, most of the things I am most looking forward to about being home are those small things. Anyways, either way I look at it, I feel very luck to have such an amazing life.

Things I’ll miss about Botswana:

  • Kids yelling hi and waving to me on my way to school
  • The sky: sunsets, stars, full moons
  • The downpours of rain, intensity of lightning and thunder, from the safety of my house
  • The slow pace of life and flexibility with my work
  • Being surrounded by baby animals
  • The simplicity of life
  • My “village voice” (however, fingers crossed that it won’t slip out once I am back in the States)
  • Visits from ‘my kids’ in my office
  • Spending an entire day making an awesome poster for the library
  • People assuming I know a lot more than I actually do (i.e. how to be a librarian, teach English, coach sports, fix computers) but then surprising even myself by being able to do those things
  • Having an excuse for being removed from current events and pop culture (I know it’s almost 2015, but what happened in 2013?)
  • Entire weekends spent reading
  • The excitement of finding coffee, mushrooms, or mozzarella cheese at the grocery store
  • All the uses for buckets
  • Keeping candles and oil lamps handy for when the power goes out
  • “Don’t you have a rubber?” (asking for an eraser)
  • My mosquito net (although I won’t miss all the creepy-crawlies that said mosquito net protects me from)

Things I’m looking forward to in America:

  • Showers
  • A real mattress and my memory foam pillow
  • My tweed blazer with the elbow patches
  • The ease of grocery shopping
  • Driving
  • Health foods
  • Exercise culture
  • Being able to talk to people without wondering if they actually understand what I am saying
  • Coffee, chocolate, bagels, food in general
  • Not being charged per text/per minute on my cell phone
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Cuddling with my dog
  • Celebrating holidays
  • Internet, at mt house, and fast!
  • Sidewalks
  • Washing machines
  • Having nice clothes, and nice things in general

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2 thoughts on “Bots v. USA

  1. It will be so wonderful to have you home! Wonderful lists, JP.

  2. Can’t wait to have you back in the States chica! It’s gonna be a crazy culture shock rollar coaster, but hopefully all the joy of family and friends having you back will ease the ride. 🙂 Much love, Julie G

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