Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A “Typical” Day

A common question I get from new volunteers or other people who are not in the Peace Corps is, “What is a typical day like for you?” My answer is usually that there is no typical day in Peace Corps. However, if I had to provide an example of the kind of day that I commonly have when I am not traveling, working on a big project, or doing anything else outside of daily life, yesterday would be a pretty good example.

I woke up around 7:30am to the bright sun streaming in through my open window. Summer has already begun. Sean and I made a quick breakfast of homemade yogurt, ground dried figs, bananas, and wheat germ. I had a glass of [unsweetened] gunpowder green tea with lavender while Sean drank an Americano made with his used camp stove espresso maker he bought at souq for less than 3 American dollars and cream made from adding more than the normal amount of powdered milk. While I did the dishes from last night and that morning, Sean did his workout in our “gym” (we converted one of the many empty rooms in our mud house by putting in my yoga mat, a medicine ball made from a pillowcase with small gravel inside, and two empty 5 liter plastic bottles filled with water as weights). While Sean took a bucket bath, I did my morning workout consisting of about 30 minutes of yoga and 30 minutes of weight lifting. By the time we had both showered and dressed, it was about quarter to 10. We biked the mile or so into town to teach our bi-weekly English class for local middle school students. It is a small but dedicated group. No one showed up for the second class, but that was just as well because we had a meeting with our counterpart at the clinic. However, it turns out that he had to take the 4x4 into the outer villages in the mountains at the last minute because the other nurse wasn’t able to, so he wasn’t available to meet with us anyway.

After checking our mail and talking with a few people we knew from town, we headed back home to start on lunch. By then it was pretty hot, and we were glad to get home into the coolness of our courtyard. Sean made a lunch of lentils and cold salad while I caught up on some emails I had copied from the cyber. Afterwards, I read and took a short nap while Sean did some things on the computer. Around 4pm, we went back into town to meet with our friend the hygiene technician at the clinic. It is harvest time right now, and everyone is working long hours in the fields cutting barley and alfalfa by hand. We had tea and cookies before walking about 2 miles through the cool fields to help her harvest. After about 2 hours of harvesting, we loaded up the donkey for the trip home. Apparently, we didn’t do a very good job of balancing the load, or the harness wasn’t on properly or something, because a short ways down the path, the whole load tipped over. A brief side note about donkeys: they are very hardworking and very stupid. This one was actually the neighbor’s donkey that we were borrowing, and he has been taking the same path between house and field for so long that he has memorized it. Once you slap him on the ass, he will just go until he arrives at his destination. So, this donkey was still going, even after his load tipped sideways. Luckily, a group of 4 young boys were coming down the path towards us, and they caught the donkey and stopped him. We tried various ways of securing the saddle and the barley, but we kept being interrupted by the donkey just deciding to walk away and continue on his own path. About 20 minutes and several laughs later, we finally managed to secure the load. We said goodbye to the helpful boys and continued our way home. By this time, it was starting to get dark, so we said goodbye and walked the rest of the way home. Sean made delicious Thai food, and we watched an episode of Firefly before heading to bed. Overall, it was a pretty satisfying day.

1 comment:

  1. the donkey story is hilarious, Amber! glad to hear you guys are doing well. -holly o.