Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.
One day it’s just easier. You start to sleep better and the fatigue wears off, you feel genuine support from a cohort that has grown immensely, and on the other side of MST, you can really see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the day when you emerge from your cocoon not because you feel like you should, but because you genuinely want to interact with the outside world. This is the day where you stand outside, basking in the sun, and just watch without a need to do more- free to just be. This is the day where you play with the kids but still have energy for yourself, the day where you slowly stop assuming everyone is dangerous.
This is a momentous occasion.
Life in the village is slow. We meander to and from places- eager kids knocking at my door so we make it to school on time, only to saunter over at a snail’s pace. The long afternoons stretch out, sun blazing overhead, only the movement of the cows signaling the passing hours. We wait days, weeks, sometimes months for water, praying for that life-giving source to trickle out of the tap. The slow pace of life in the village is a constant reminder to be gentle to myself- to feel no need to rush the process, to slowly rebuild my safety zone. It is a reminder not to be judgmental towards my thoughts and needs and to be grateful for the person I am becoming.
If you look at it one way, life in the village is incredibly difficult. It is lonely, exhausting, and full of creepy crawlers. On the other hand, my home in the village is my sanctuary- a space where I can recuperate and spend quality time with myself with endless amounts of time I can only dream of in the rushy pace back home.
There is a sense of arrival in this moment. Sure I physically arrived in the village over a year ago but here beckoned by the shouts of children playing soccer and surrounded in a swirl of Setswana and isiXhosa I feel at ease. This was the place I wanted to come to while I was exhausted and traveling. This is my home. It may not be a permanent feeling, but today I am genuinely comfortable.