The more movies I watch by myself, the more I've come to find that the emotions and anxieties I never thought I'd be able to explain to anyone else have been perfectly explained through children's films! I first noticed this distinction in Tangled, and then again in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It's scary how much parts of those movies explain my life here, so:
The Life of a Peace Corps Volunteer as Explained by the first 20 minutes of Tangled.
1. When will my life begin?
"7 AM, the usual morning lineup:
Start on the chores and sweep til the floor's all clean,
polish and wax, do laundry, mop and shine up
and by then
it's like 7:15"
Every chore needed to make your house Cameroonian level acceptable clean, but you also have to add doing the dishes and, for me, making coffee and catching up on journal writing.
It's not nearly as fun as she makes it seem...
"And so i'll read a book or maybe two or three
I'll add a few new paintings to my gallery
i'll play guitar and knit, and cook and basically
Then after lunch it's puzzles and darts, and baking
paper mache, a bit of ballet and chess
pottery and ventriloquy, candle making
then I'll stretch,
take a climb, sew a dress
and I'll reread the books if I have time to spare
i'll paint the walls some more, i'm sure there's room to spare..."
This is a scarily accurate list of the hobbies that PCVs throw themselves into to pass the time, either when there's not power or when there's not a project to be working on. Just add visit my neighbors and catch up on letter writing and you've pretty much got it covered (even including sewing a dress, stretching, and candle-making!).
"And I'll keep wonderin' and wonderin' and wonderin' and wonderin'
When will my life begin?"
The entirety of PC training.
2.Mother Knows Best
Emanuel knows best.
(Emanuel is the head of security and would largely prefer that PCVs never left their house as that's the best way to secure safety. He even mentioned men with pointed teeth!).
3. Escape from the Tower
This entire sequence pretty much sums up all of the emotions of first getting to post... or just the entirety of PC service in general: The wild excitement and joy and all the amazing things in the world, but also the difficulty of being so far away from home and friends and family, and the annoyance of the strange men bothering you constantly.
4. I've got a Dream
Every seemingly impossible project that you want to accomplish here.