pcsa

Its been a while

So happy 18 months in good ol’ SA! I can’t believe how quick the time has gone and how much I have grown and learned in the last year. 

So this might be a long post or a short one, depends on how lazy I am, but I do have a lot to update so eh. I’ll let my fingers type till I can’t think or the pool calls my name more. 

Anyways, like I said, so much has happened since my last post. So many great vacations and adventures. From getting to see Krugar and some beautiful waterfalls to exploring Johannesburg. Seriously, SA has so much to offer and its always great being tourist without the confusion of actually being a tourist. I’ve learned a lot about the different cultures here and it’s just SO DAMN AMAZING. 

Next, SURVIVED A YEAR OF TEACHING! heyyyyyy… I’ve def pushed my patience to its limits but it’s also been really rewarding. I’ve decided that teaching isn’t the career I can see myself doing, but I do really enjoy the thinking on my feet that comes with teaching and how everyday is different and having to adapt to what is thrown at you. that’s actually what I’ve loved about my entire PC experience, shit hits the fan, but instead of freaking out my fellow pcvs and I just come up with a new plan, laugh about it later and then go on with our day. Peace corps has really shown me how much I can adapt when I stick it out and how now matter what’s thrown my way (like kids that CONSTANTLY want your attention) I can handle it and will be ok. Teaching here has def been a rollercoaster, but it’s been so fun. My kids have improved so much and are actually having better conversations with me and really coming out of their shells. They’re not afraid to use the English they know and talk to me. I really hope their confidence continues to grow and they reach their goals. I love my kids so much and it’s gonna be great seeing how much more they grow in the next year. 

The next year is the second part of my service, so crazy to think about. I have a lot of plans for it also. I want to do Grassroots soccer with most of my kids. Then I would like to go to the high school and try to start some after school programs there. work with the teachers are my school to try new techniques that can help their learners advance. My friend and I are planning a girls’ camp for April and we’re gonna do some fun activities with them, including teaching Rugby which will be so fun. 

Another new development in my life is my intention to extend for another year here. There is a job which allows me to support incoming volunteers for the first part of their service, and basically be their gateway to the admin staff. I’m really interested in doing this and hopefully will get it. 

I also have a dog, Nala. She has made my service so much nicer and the tough days more bearable. Its nice to come home and just have someone be excited to see you no matter what, and she’s been a great companion when I go on runs, while sitting in my room, and basically anything. We’re a team, and I love her so much. 

There’s so much more that I could type and talk about, but it’s just so hard to put in words. A year ago I was miserable. I had no idea how I was going to survive this service, and I was just depressed. In the last year, my confidence in myself has grown so much, my fears of being alone or not being liked have decreased significantly, and I finally just feel happy for the first time in my life. Peace Corps has been the best decision I could have made at this time in my life, and I am really thankful that my friends and family have continued to support me and that I’ve had the courage to let myself grow and learn. 

So that about sums up my life right now. This are up, down, left, and right, but they’re amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better time. I’m ready to see what the next year has in store and more confidant in what I am capable of and the person I am. 

Basically, life is amazing. 

Hashtag Peace Corps Living/ Lifestyle (#pclivin/#pclifestyle)

#pclivin: You know how to take a bath with a cup of water in a small basin. #pclifestyle

#pclivin: You define luxury and hedonistic goods as flushing toilets and hot shower. #pclifestyle

#pclivin: You begin to think education (the right type) is the key to all of the world woes. #pclifestyle

#pclivin: You know how to waste time productively and unproductively. #pclifestyle

#pclivin: You sometimes…

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Teaching and learning, learning and teaching

So I was gonna wait a bit before I made a post about teaching, but eh, I have internet now so why not. 

First of all, teaching is literally the HARDEST thing I think I’ve ever done in my life. I literally have so much more respect for every teacher I’ve ever had, and I also want to go apologize for every dumbass thing I ever did in school, because karma is def coming back to bite me. 

It’s been about a month and a half since school started. I’m starting to find my groove and I’m trying to figure out how to get these kids to learn something from me. Some days I feel like I just stood in front of the class and was a clown, other days I feel like they actually learned something. Either way, every day is new and everyday is a challenge. 

Right now I’m still having a hard time getting my classroom management down, they still like to talk A LOT and get out of their seats and do this and that, which is distracting to me and the rest of the class. It’s tough, but I’m hoping with some more time it’ll get better. 

I have been staying after school almost every day for at least an hour and a lot of my learners have been coming, I think it really is improving their English (even if they are just coming to get a star). I wish some of my slower learners would come after school and actually give me a chance to teach them and work with them, but I know how they feel, when I was frustrated with something that I just didn’t get I responded with an attitude and I didn’t necessarily cause a ruckus, but I def didn’t act like the A and B student that I was. I just am unsure of how to reach out to them, and I’m hoping somehow I’ll figure it out. Until then, I’m just trying to do my best and at least get small bits of info into their brains. The teaching struggle is real bro.

Other than the rough spots, teaching is becoming part of my everyday, and it’s feeling more like a job. Which is making things her feel more like how they would in the states. Not completely of course, but at least I can tell myself at the end of the day that I would be working at a job in the states, just like I’m doing now, and while I may not get a ton of enjoyment, I would be feeling the same about work in the states that I do here. (I really hope that makes sense). Basically, I’m not going to be a teacher after this, no offense to any teachers or aspiring teachers out there, but teaching is just not something that I can see myself doing. I love the kids… for the most part, but there’s just too much pressure and too much responsibility that I don’t want. (add that to the “things I learned in PC” list) 

I do love my kids though. They drive me insane, but I’m starting to see their personalities and they’re warming up to me and me them. Now outside of class they’re joking and laughing with me, spending time with me, and some even walk me home from school. Its cute, and I hope the relationships I have with them continue to grow and they see me as a mentor rather than some white girl that came to live in their village and teach at their school. I want them to know my story and I want to know theirs and together we show the world that it doesn’t matter wth you’ve been through, because where you’re going can be better. (I just fell of the cliche train!!!!) But its true. I go home exhausted everyday and I have my own internal battles that I fight with myself, and I miss home like hell, basically things here aren’t the easiest, but, there are things that make it all worth it. now as soon as I get my mind right, I can truly start to appreciate them. 

One day at a time….

Hello, thank you all for your continuous support and encouragement through my Peace Corps service thus far. I am excited to introduce to you all a new project I am involved in and also ask for your assistance. I call it the bakery project.

As previously stated, I am currently living in a village in South Africa, volunteering through U.S. Peace Corps. I work with a community based organization that helps operates 4 drop-in centers, 5 early childhood development centers, a home based care, a bakery, and a technical/vocational school.

Click on this link to support this project: http://www.gofundme.com/833lv0

In the beginning of the year, I was approached by the women in charge of the bakery to assist them in running the bakery. Because of some unplanned events such as equipment failure and a non-fatal motor accident, the bakery found itself in debt. They explained the structure of the bakery and all of its processes to me. Some of the key issues that I picked up are listed below. I agreed to assist them for a short period of time to turn things around. I am currently the manager of the bakery with one of women working closely with me to take up that position within 6 months.

Click on this link to support this project: http://www.gofundme.com/833lv0

Apart from skills development, one thing that bakery is financial assistance for a short period of time. There is a huge market for the bakery’s product so a quick turnaround is highly possible but will require some cash inflow. I am therefore asking if you can please kindly support the bakery for a month so that it can recuperate it debts and stand on its own again. Your money will be used to purchase stock in bulk, pay for a month’s electricity, buy a water tank, some aprons, and other protective gear for the women at the bakery.



As the old adage goes, “Little by little fills the measure” thus we will appreciate every dollar you can donate $5, $10$ $15, $20, etc.

Click on this link to support this project: http://www.gofundme.com/833lv0


Thank you and please click on the above link for more information about the bakery.

Post 13: The Bakery Project Hello, thank you all for your continuous support and encouragement through my Peace Corps service thus far.
You either accept your situation or you change it.

That title couldn’t be more appropriate for this blog post. I spent roughly 10 days at IST(in-service training) or ISV(vacation) as we joked, but really it just made me realize that I am not the only one that has stuff to bitch about, but I am the one that is doing a lot of the bitching. Complaining about sexual harassment, the sustainability of our projects, and just overall being a whiny baby about anything and everything. Why? Well, for one, I’m a vocal person and getting it off my chest is just how I’ve learned to cope with things as I’ve gotten older, for two, I just want to know that I’m not alone and if I bitch, maybe others will bitch too.

The problem is bitching isn’t gonna make the change, us sticking this thing out and making small changes is. I can’t keep dwelling on the negative and never looking for a positive, I need to suck this shit up, deal with my situation and accept that I’m not gonna be able to take every bit of shit that’s thrown my way and change it, but I can make some change.

This post comes as we are mourning the loss of a great man, a man that dealt with soooo many obstacles in his life and still one of the quotes that resonates in my mind is “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” That quote hits me so hard in my heart that it’s overwhelming. I spent the last week complaining and trying to make sense of wth I’m going to deal with for the next two years, but instead I need to focus on the now, focus on the things I can change and handle and accept that with those changes there will be some failures, I can’t dwell on what I won’t accomplish or what won’t change, but instead realize that I am part of a bigger picture. I am a small change that will one day affect the world. I’m no Nelson Mandela, but I am part of the dream that he and so many before him have fought for. I am a member of the world, not just an American, not just a PCV, not just a woman, I am someone that has a lot more to offer than a drunken rant about the differences in gender or the hardships I’ll face as a teacher in South Africa. I can’t allow the bullshit to deter me just as Mandela fought his entire life to create change. 

Nelson Mandel continues to inspire me and will continue too throughout my service because like Mandela, I am doing something bigger than myself and that’s worth fighting for. 

RIP Madiba, may you continue to fight for change though your legacy and inspiration. 

In 5 days, I will be left with only 12 months to go as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The journey thus far has been so and so. The first year went by slowly and confusing. I struggled to find what I wanted to do within the organization I am based with. I always told myself I didn’t sign up for Peace Corps to be a camp counselor but this past week, I found myself at camp for the second time this year. Crazy huh! The first camp was a boy’s leadership camp in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province. I was invited to this camp by fellow Peace Corps SA27 volunteers and I must admit, I had a great time. So during this short school break in April, I decided to have my own camp for high school learners in my village. Ok, that’s half lie. My counterpart who I took to a Grassroot soccer (GRS) training in October kept pushing me to do a GRS Holiday Camp and I gave in.

So, on March 31st, I took 33 high school students (co-ed), grades 10-12, to a boarding school right outside the provincial capital, Polokwane.  I trained 4 other people from my village how to run GRS (PC SKillz) activities to assist me at the camp. We were joined by another Peace Corps volunteer that brought the number of camp counselors to 6 (including me).

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) or the PC Skillz program creates simple and powerful connections between soccer and life. The Peace Corps SKILLZ approach helps young people have meaningful and relevant discussions about life, take small steps to achieve their goals, stay strong when faced with challenges, and protect themselves and others from HIV and AIDS. Peace Corps SKILLZ uses soccer language, metaphors, and activities to address key behaviors that drive the spread of HIV in South Africa, such as unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, older sexual partners, and gender-based violence.

All activities at the camp ran smoothly. My favorite activity at the camp was Gender Stadium. For gender stadium, participants form two circles, an inner and outer circle. One sex, male or female, occupies the inner circle at a time and talks about issues affecting that particular sex such as gender norms within their communities and cultures. While the inner circle speaks, the outer circle’s job is to listen and be quite. This active brought up some sensitive things such as gender base violence. It was interesting to hear how these teens thought they should be treated in a relationship. Some words that stood out for me during the gender stadium for both sexes include:

“it is okay to beat a  woman, women are like children sometimes. You have to correct them sometimes. This time it is not spare the rod and spoil a child. It’s spare the rod and spoil a woman.” – Male Participant

“It is never okay to beat woman. You cannot say you love someone and then beat them. You have a problem with a girl/woman, you must talk to them.” – A different Male Participant

“If a man does not beat you [a woman] for your mistakes, you [woman] will keep repeating it.” – A Female Participant

“Women, let’s remember that men are key to this world. We must listen to them.” – Another Female Participant

“Just because I am married or in a relationship with you does not make me your slave, a captive. It is never okay for a man to hit a woman.” – Another Female Participant

The camp counselors in addition to some participants made sure we drove home the key message which was it is NEVER okay to hit a woman, whether in a relationship or not.

All in all, this was a successful camp. The learners learned about the consequences of engaging in risky behaviors that led to HIV such as multiple partners, older partners (sugar mommas and sugar daddies), unprotected sex, and substance abuse and sex. The learners enjoyed themselves and did not want to leave on the last day. They have already started contacting me about when the next camp is going to be. I am glad I had this camp and might another one in July with fellow Jersey PCVs. Shout to Taylor Crosby for helping me out at this camp. Now she is some of the learners favorite American. That’s okay. Lol

Until next time, enjoy some pics!

Fact & Nonsense group discussion

Is this statement about HIV a fact or nonsense.

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

Getting ready for risk field

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

Is this statement about HIV a fact or nonsense.

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

Discussion after HIV Limbo

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

Is this statement about HIV a fact or nonsense.

Is this statement about HIV a fact or nonsense.

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

Discussion after playing risk field

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

The more risky behaviors for HIV you engage in the lower the bar.

We agreed to respect each other, lead, and participate. Post 12 : Holiday Camp In 5 days, I will be left with only 12 months to go as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Karma's a bitch.

So, I’ve finally started teaching. Its def a whole different world than being a student. Right now I’m having a hard time with classroom management and the kids can get rowdy, but I’m doing my best, and I think they’re learning. Or, I hope they are….

I also started staying after school and doing a study sesh with my gr 5 kids, I think it’s really helping them because they get extra practice with English, and I can see small improvements already. 

So far that’s all I got, I’m def feeling the karma for the kind of student I was in school haha, but I’m also trying to teach a foreign language to grade 5 kids. These problems were to be expected and it’s not terrible, I just def do not want to be a teacher as a career. There’s way too much pressure. 

Holiidaaayyyyy!!

Well this is a tad late, but I finally have a new laptop charger and can use my computer again. 

So vacation was pretty sick. Started out our trip in Coffee Bay and it was BEAUTIFUL. The beach was perfect, and it was just a really chill place. Our backpackers offered a hike/cliff jumping thing so we decided to go, little did we know that we would be hiking to our death and prob should have signed some waivers before doing it, or at least wore regular shoes and not flip flops. It was still cool, and def makes for a great story to tell. 

Our next stop on vaca was at a place called Spot Backpackers, it was a chill place, chill vibe and just chill. haha Kat and I went Kayaking up the river that goes to the ocean, that was an adventure. I had the worst balance and fell out of the kayak twice. We also went to the town about 30 mins away and did touristy things. Melissa got a tat, and Kat and I got piercings. I also bought sunglasses, of course. 

Next stop was Mantis and Moon, this place was really cool. We stayed in a tree house dorm and the backpackers was really pretty. Kat and I went to the Orbi Gorge and did the zipline tour, it was soooooo cool. High speed and a really pretty view. Def worth every penny we spent. I took a surfing lesson which was def way harder than I expected. Did quite a bit of drinking and acting like a fool, and just hung out. 

Our last stop was Happy Hippo in Durban to finish out the year. The beach was the best. Perfect waves, perfect temperature, just amazing. We hung out pretty much, ate good food, met up with other PCVs, did some shopping, ate some more, and went to the beach. New Year’s was mostly good. Got to run down the street in my dress and flip flops with pizza so we could make it back to the group in time for midnight. 

The next day we drove back to our sites. It was a long trip and it was full of ups and downs, but it was pretty epic to have my first vaca in SA under my belt. 

Lets get down to the brass tax here shall we?!

So its Nov already. Seems like I’ve been here forever and yet not at all. Its a pretty crazy feeling actually. 

So I suppose I should update you on what’s going on right? I mean that’s mostly what I created this blog for and that’s prob why you are reading it, neh?

Well here’s the update. IST(basically a fancy word for training) is coming up and I’m actually pretty stoked, it will have training sessions, but it’s also a break from village life and being around a million people asking a million questions or making a million demands. Plus I get to see my frannnssss and that’s always nice. 

Village life reminds me of Lancaster, a small town with nothing else to do but drink and have sex. Now, I’m not saying that’s entirely a bad thing, what I am saying is that it gets boring. You have to find new ways to keep yourself busy, my way is watching a redic amount of movies and reading books. Which at first was miserable, but I’m getting used to it and the alone time sting is easing up. I’m actually finding myself feeling relieved when school gets out and I get to run home and hang out in my room for a few hours before I have to rejoin the world and watch Generations. (A pretty awesome SAfrican soapie) Anyways, I can’t lie, village life isn’t all that grand, you walk around the village once and you’ve pretty much seen everything that there is to see. I did discover a new tuck shop a couple weeks ago which was cool. I doubt I remember how to get there though. 

The term at school is ending and all the learners are pretty much taking their exams and heading home. It’s not a very exciting time for me since I don’t have exams to mark, but it is nice to enjoy the lack of stress from having to teach and mark exams and basically do my job for right now. Come Jan, that’s all gonna be different. I’m pretty ready for this phase to be over though, I wanna teach and get started with stuff, I don’t really like observing, I learn and focus better when I’m actually doing and I have the chance to fall on my ass and then get back up. But alas, I’m in PC, I don’t always get what I want or what I’m comfortable with. 

Speaking of teaching I have a tentative schedule that I will be teaching. I will have Grade 5 English which will be 10 periods, then I’ll have 8 periods of Physical Education, which means I really need to try and remember wth I learned in PE class so I can teach it. It’s part of the life skills unit so I have to review the requirements and make sure the learners know them, and that will be for all grades.(mind you in SA they don’t start teaching English until grade 4, so I’m teaching PE to learners that prob won’t understand a word I’m saying, but it’s PE, its all about the body language anyways) Then I will have some periods dedicated to the school library and having different grades come in to check out books and have reading time. I think it’s a pretty good schedule and it will def keep me busy. Not to mention I have a girl’s and boy’s group that I want to start, helping the current athletics coach with coaching, and hopefully starting a college bound group at the high school.

These are the dreams I have right now. Who knows if they’ll work, but they’re nice to think about and plan for now so I stay busy. Like I keep saying PC is all about keeping busy or you’ll go insane, not that you’re not already insane for joining PC in the first place, but yeah.

Kenny left for the Navy last Thursday, I was surprisingly ok for some reason, did a little crying while he was swearing in, but I spent so many months dreading it and stressing about it, that when the day came, I was just numb. I miss the kid, and there’s so many times I want to text him and know I can’t, but he’s starting his adventure and I couldn’t be happier or more proud of him.

I can’t deny that things here haven’t been the best. There’s still so many hurdles to jump through, things that I’m learning and trying to teach, and just dealing with myself in this crazy environment that I’ve thrown myself into. I need to be more assertive with the staff at my school and my host family. I let them say what they want to me and I just bottle it up for fear of disrespect and I’m finding myself holding resentment toward them instead of wanting to learn from them. Granted there’s things that they’re telling me that I need to listen too and I have to accept as part of my new life, but I also have to be able to say no when there are things that I just won’t do or can’t do. I might be in SA, but I am still American and I am not used to everything that goes on here, which I am trying to learn, but there are also things that just don’t need to be done. Like bathing twice a day, I’m sorry, but that’s just not gonna happen, I barley wake up early enough to get dressed and make it to school, most of the time I don’t even eat breakfast before I get to school. But little things like that I have to just say no too and stop constantly worrying about pissing someone off, because right now, the only person that keeps getting pissed off is me, and that’s not really gonna help me get through the next two years.

Other than that, things are getting along. The homesickness is easing up and I’m getting into a routine and kinda just going through the motions. Not the best way to go about it, but hey, I’m still here, and no one can really say shit about how I’m getting through my service. I’m ready to start teaching and get the new year underway. But I’m also SUPER ready to go on vacation in Dec and actually get to be a tourist. I’m sure I’ll write a separate post about it when it gets here. So I’m not gonna talk too much about it now. Just counting down the days until Sunday and then till vaca. Cause PCV life is mostly about the countdowns. Sad but true. Until the next time I get wifi. I’m out! 

Emotional Rollercoaster: Let me take you for a ride.

So happy 3 ½ months! Let’s update you on the world that is a PCV:

First off, its been a month at site and I’m getting in the grove, it’s still a different world to me, but I’m adapting and working my way though each day. It’s def hard, but I signed up for this and I’ll be damned if I quit because times go tough. (Pride is a bitch)

That is something that you have to learn as a PCV though. The normal up and downs of everyday life increase 10 fold here. You can go from really happy to angry to frustrated to happy again to crying to pissed to whatever emotion we have as humans. It’s redic honestly and it leaves you going to bed exhausted and worried for the next day, wondering how the fuck you’re going to survive another day let alone two years, you drift off to sleep and what seems like five mins later your body is awake at 5 in the morning ready to battle another day. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are many reasons to get through the day. I started a girl’s group with grade 7 and they are really excited to be involved and I hope that I can be that motivating factor to create change in their lives, even if its just one girl that respects herself enough to tell the world that she won’t be it’s punching bag anymore I’ll be happy. 

Once a week I teach a grade 5 class and I have been journaling with them. They love it and they def have interesting answers to my questions. Its a way that they haven’t interacted with their educators before and they do enjoy it and I feel that they are learning or at least getting their voice heard which is another great thing to look forward too. 

I also started reading and comprehension lessons with a high school student. We started reading “Around the World in 80 Days” and he had a great grasp of the content. He was sky to answer my questions, but here, they are not told to be confidant and that they can understand, so the fact that I pulled it out of him was great. I’m sure by the time I leave he’ll be reading books that I read in college and still have no understanding of. 

Frustrating points are just how much people inhibit themselves here, as an American I’ve grown up always being told “if you work, you can do it” so I’ve always know that I’ve had to earn everything I had. Even if some people in America weren’t raised that way, I was lucky enough to have that mentality instilled in me. However, here, Apratheid still runs deep in the minds of the nation and many black South Africans have internalized oppression that keeps them from reaching their full potential. Constantly my fellow volunteers and I have the race card pulled in which we have to defend our reasons for being here (why would a white person want to be in a village and teach blacks), or we are told that a person can’t learn something (computer, copier, etc.) because they are black. 

Now I know that America has plenty of problems with race and that it runs deep as well, but being here, we can actually SEE the issues of race and how they really keep people down. I’m just reminded of “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” and as racist as that saying was, and the problems it had, there’s not even a saying like that here it seems. It’s hard as an American to face so much adversity and not feel lost, confused, and frustrated. Some days I just want to pretend I’m back in America and ignore the issues that I face here, but I know that I can’t and it honestly is enough to make anyone resort to a glass of wine (or two) and just sleep. 

Being a PCV means dealing with 10 million emotions and managing to get what you can done. I tweeted that the other day and its so true. You cling on to the idea of home, a place where you belonged and you could at least try and blend in, and then you come to a place where, as my friend describes it perfectly, you’re a fish in a fishbowl, constantly being watched, your bowl being poked, and no way for you to communicate any of your feelings. The days you get to meet up with other PCVs and shed the layer of protection you have to have on your mind is also overwhelming because there are so many emotions bottled up that dealing with them with people that understand is just a whole different ordeal and then you have to go back to your village and contain all these emotions. Mind you, I’ve only been here three and a half months, so I’m sure things will calm down and I’ll find my stride, but right now the rollercoaster that I’m on is at the point where I want to barf and pass out, but there’s not end for the ride in sight. 

After all this I bet you’re wondering “What. The. Fuck. Why? How? Why don’t you just come home? Why keep going?” The main answer is pride, I refuse to quit just because its hard and different. I know this experience will be rewarding and will make me a better person. No matter what, I will have an impact somewhere, but it one child or all of them, I will motivate someone to break the oppression and seek something better. 

Another reason is that because there is that silver lining, here we have to find the small things to make myself happy. I def didn’t do that enough in America and now I’m forced to do that and find ways to be happy. This is another chapter in my life where I have to put my strength to the test and really dig deep. 

Also, it helps that I have an amazing support system, not one person from home or here is letting me quit, they know it sucks and may not always be able to see why(mostly people back home) but they get that its hard and they’re helping me take those steps toward the future. 

Lastly, this is only 2 years. I’ve actually started my service now and I’m just checking off days until I come back. (686 according to my countdown) I literally have to just make it through these holidays and the next and I’m on my way home, I miss this football season and next and I’m on the way home, For some people, just one more bday I have to miss and I’m home, so many different ways to count it, but either way, I just have to keep going to bed exhausted, waking up, and crossing another day off that countdown. I have to keep finding the little things to focus on and keep reminding myself that I’m here to do work. If anything I’m here to teach grade 6 English and that is my job. PC is a job, and at the end of the day sometimes I have to to just remember that it is a job not exactly like one in the states, but there’s the good and the bad in everything and only focusing on the bad will make for a shitty two years. 

The transition has def been rough, and things like this are never easy, but its a test of character and something like this is a chance to grow and become stronger and better than who you were before you left. In three months I’m already finding myself growing and realizing how strong I truly am. I may cry all the time and complain, but I’m here and I’m waking up everyday and I’m coming home and crossing another day off my calendar. Right now that’s how my strength is being displayed and that’s what I have to do to get through. Another lesson you learn in PC, do what you can to get through. 

Its def tough, but it’s not forever and it’s not all horrible. Its just getting my head right and getting myself to a comfortable spot. With time, it will come.