Friday Five

Five Things Peace Corps Volunteers Do That No One Tells You About Beforehand

Introducing yourself, at the very least, a thousand times to people in your community and any curious country national you come across. Answering the same questions over and over again with a smile on your face.

‘Working’ (ie school trip or being out and about in the community) 12 sometimes 13 hours and the idea of time and a half is laughable. In Thailand this often means waking up while it’s still dark and the karaoke and whiskey drinks are started before breakfast.

Saying ‘I’m sorry, I was wrong’ even when you were right. There’s not a lot of room for an ego in Peace Corps and a host country national will often tell you how incorrect you are. Even when you’re talking about your own country. Or something purely logical.

Make really odd friends to stave off the loneliness. Animals. Grannies. Small children you may or may not teach everyday. Seriously, some of my best friends in Thailand are my students. I cringe internally when I realize I was in high school the year they were born.

Become a breast lump checker. Or baseball coach. Or Uno team champion. Or craft queen. Volunteers are often thrown into situations/projects, sometimes with little background, but you learn to just go with it. That’s usually when you have the most fun.


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