I live alone. That is very strange in Mexico. I have talked with many people who are shocked to hear that I, an unmarried woman, have been living away from my family for many years, and also that I am not living with a family while I stay here.
Aren’t you lonely? Aren’t you bored? Don’t you love your family? With whom do you share your life?
These are interesting questions that always bring about fascinating conversations. I love the cultural exchange, but I also love to personally reflect on questions like these. Especially the last one; with whom do I share my life?
Yesterday, my bosses from Peace Corps came to visit me. They wanted to see how I am adjusting to my new life and to talk to my work partners, ensuring that I will have appropriate opportunities. I was surprised how much I enjoyed my time with them! I was able to show them my favorite quesadilla place, share funny stories about learning Spanish outside of a classroom, impress them with a great park vista, and serve them each a hot chai and a coffee in my house. We even went to my neighbor’s house for soup and star-fruit juice. Just like with me, my neighbor pressed them to eat beyond their comfort level.
As it turns out, I enjoyed myself because I was really excited to share my life with others.
No doubt, life in the Peace Corps can be lonely. Here, I am an outsider; I look different, I don’t often pick up on cultural references, my language skills are functional but still limiting, and I don’t have friends here that extend beyond a few months. Of course I was excited to see familiar faces in my office and in my little town.
In thinking about that question, I stopped to think about other things that I have enjoyed lately:
- Receiving letters from the sixth grade students in Minnesota who are my pen pals
- Receiving texts from my friends in the next city over who have finally returned from holiday travels…we are going to see a movie together today!
- Writing posts for this blog so that my friends and family can see what I am up to, and occasionally receiving comments or emails about what I write
- Getting an actual phone call from my mom and stepdad
- Learning to appreciate tranquil moments alone in my house
All of these things are about sharing my life- with others, but also with myself. I think that life in the Peace Corps provides many opportunities to share.
Thank you for being a part of that.
PS. Speaking of sharing, I updated the page about my house. Check it out!
Making me smile
- My nesting efforts are paying off in my house. It is totally cute and cozy now
- I am not afraid of spiders. This is a good thing for residents of my house
- Hand-made tortillas topped with soft, sharp cheese and salsa spicy enough to induce sniffles
- Work projects are commencing now that the holidays are over. I am ready to set my nose to the grindstone, to start the tree inventory, and to plan my environmental ed curriculum for the primary school
- Roof dogs, even though they can be alarming at times when you are not expecting barks to come from above