NBD: A List of Things That Would Have Freaked Me Out 6 Months Ago

In honor of my 6-month anniversary of living in Uganda.

(Still the best decision I ever made)

  1. Bugs.

Whether they’re chilling in my bathing water, in my jerry cans, in the corners of my house or they’ve fallen to their unfortunate deaths in my pit latrine, bugs are EVERYWHERE. If I found a dead bug in my drinking water 6 months ago, I would have freaked out. Now, I just scoop them out and go about my day.* Unidentified Flying Insects (UFIs), however, are another story.

  1. Lizards.

Like bugs, I also have many lizards roaming around the walls of my house and latrine. At first, I tried to chase them away. Now we’re friends. I even name some of them. I call the one who has a lightening shaped stripe down its back Harry.**

  1. Pooping in a hole.

My first encounter with a pit latrine was not a pleasant one. I’ve come a long way since then (I.e. I only get pee on my feet about 10% of the time now) but I’ve become somewhat of a pit snob, if you will, in that I only like to use my own latrine.

  1. Riding in a matatu.

A matatu is a mini-van taxi designed to hold about 14 people but is usually crammed with 20+ people and various types of livestock (chickens, goats…). I’m usually half-sitting on someone’s lap, which is a GREAT way of making new friends, or sitting with only one of my butt cheeks on an actual seat. By the time I leave Uganda, I have dreams of becoming a contortionist. #newlifeplan

  1. Lecturing about sex and condoms.

I have become desensitized to words like penis, vagina and clitoris. In the states, sex is a topic reserved for lovers and friends. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t say the word clitoris to a stranger without blushing. Here, I preach safe sex and talk about masturbation and condoms (the answer to everything) like it’s my job.***

  1. Teaching.

Although I want to be a teacher and have done a moderate amount of teaching in America, I do not hold a degree in education. Because of this, I was not very confident in my teaching abilities. 6 months ago, teaching in a classroom sounded like a lot of fun but made me extremely nervous. Now, I can confidently say that not only do I enjoy it but I am really good at it. There’s honestly nothing else I would rather be doing.

* Yes, I still drink the water…which is only gross if you really think about it.

**And sometimes, when I’m in my latrine for long call (aka taking a poo) or cooking in the kitchen, I talk to them about their day. They probably understand me just as much as some Ugandans do. HA. HA. HA. #ExpatProblems. Am I going crazy? Perhaps. Or PERHAPS I’m just a normal Peace Corps Volunteer.

***Also, sex (and lack thereof) is probably on the top 3 things Peace Corps Volunteers talk about with each other. Obviously, food is #1.

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