With only 13 days remaining in Peru, the time to reflect and reminisce has arrived! I present to you a fun compilation of questions & answers, which each departing Peace Corps volunteer was asked to submit for the upcoming newsletter---the perfect opportunity to brag, confess, and have an existential crisis. By reposting these responses, my hope is that friends and family can better understand the highlights and hilarities of the past two years. Enjoy!
What Peruvian article of clothing or accessory are you planning to rock when you return stateside?
Market bag! I hope to be the envy of every middle-aged woman in Whole Foods.
What will you be most remembered for by people in your community/or your host family?
My strange running habit
Good toilet paper substitute:
The inside of my skirt?
What will you miss the most about Peru/your site?
All of the amazing food, the pleasant climate, and the friendly people who greet me on the street every day.
Craziest health problem:
The various ailments I invented in my mind: assorted STDs, ovarian cysts, and, best of all, Lyme Disease.
Best thing you’ve seen on a t-shirt:
“I Make Good Babies.” My 17-year old host brother rocks that shirt pretty hard, though I doubt he understands the translation.
What will you not be sad to leave behind?
Most of my Peace Corps wardrobe, which could best be described as “Modern Mormon.” I hope to avoid anything made of technical fabric or machismo for a long time.
Any bad habits you’ve acquired?
I’ve forgotten how to leave a coherent voice mail in any language.
Favorite/least favorite Peruvian dish?
Favorite: Aji de Gallina
Least favorite: Mondongo (cow stomach)
How many cell phones/bank cards/USBs/sunglasses/cameras/girlfriends/boyfriends have you gone through?
One cell phone, one boyfriend, two USBs, three sunglasses, and four bank cards.
What are you most proud of?
I’m still here!
Any disgusting hygiene habits you wish to share?
I might have turned my underwear inside out on a couple of occasions, when I lacked the “ganas” to do laundry.
Culinary masterpiece you’ve perfected in site:
Biggest language blunder:
I once asked a male teacher if he wanted a hickey instead of a lollipop.
How has Peace Corps changed your future plans?
I’ve decided to become a sex therapist.
What scares you the most about returning to the States?
What did you miss most about the States?
The people I love. And good quality ice cream and chocolate.
“I couldn’t have done it without…”
My awesome sitemate, Richard Cochran. Not sure how many times I called him late at night with some ridiculous fear or anxiety. And when I say “late” I mean 9:30.
Memorable first impressions of other volunteers?
These kids would beat my ass in Survivor.
Have you changed? How so?
I take fewer showers and more initiative.
What kept you going when times were tough?
I would often remind myself of Woody Allen’s quote: “80% of success is showing up.” Even when you don’t feel inspired, get out the door, teach your class, and attend that meeting. Quit being so hard on yourself and broaden your definition of success.