Saturday, May 05, 2007


I went on a jog this morning and about half way I took a short break at a place on the edge of town where a few watering holes had been. During the rainy season these holes filled up with water and animals used it to drink and people used it to wash their animals. Since the end of rainy season, around mid-October, it has not rained one drop on the Department of Kaolack where I live. So these watering holes that used to have at least a couple feet of water and flowering water plants, are now bone dry complete with cracked mud and a dog carcass at the bottom. Yeah, so I’ve been here a long time.

To be exact, I’ve been in Africa for 1 year, 7 months and 6 days. But I am coming home in less than three weeks. I’ll be home for about 2.5 weeks and I am really looking forward to seeing family and friends, eating delicious food, enjoying some relatively cool weather and seeing what I’ve missed. Home is something that every PCV thinks and wonders about daily from the day we step off the plane, and I am no different but lately this pondering has become a mild anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I am still extremely excited about it and when I imagine what it’ll be like, everything is fine but I just don’t know if my memory of home is enough to prepare me for actually being home. Hearing stories from volunteers who have already made the trip about reverse culture shock, I wonder if it’ll be similar for me. After all, I am in a city, I have running water and electricity, my cute little room is quite comfortable (even for my parents), I even see other Americans at least weekly. Will I be stunned by the pace? by people speaking English all around me? by all the options? by the materialism? I guess I’ll find out soon enough. What I am pretty certain of though is that my formerly thick Wisconsin blood has now thinned beyond all recognition and I’ll be wearing a sweater when it’s 75 degrees, and that my GI system will go through reverse culture shock with all the cheesy goodness I’ll be eating, hey, maybe it’ll even be enough to get rid of the amoebas.