Home, Sweet, Home

Well, I did not manage to get the book donation, from Germany, out of airport customs. I hoped to fly back, from vacation, grab the books, and head back to site. So, I waited. Maybe, I would get them the following day. I met with the shipping company and waited. Maybe, I would get the books the next day. It didn’t happen. Lesson learned.

Speaking of learning, this is what I learned, during my wait.

1. I had been shopping at the wrong stores. Cheetos in Addis? Yes, it’s a thing.

2. Self care is still important. Now, you might need to apologize (and tip) the poor woman doing your manicure/pedicure, after seven months of Peace Corps service, but you need to Just Do It!

3. I had been eating in all the wrong parts of Addis Ababa. As a new PCV, I was so happy to find pizza, a taco, or a tuna melt, that I completely forgot I’m grown. I can’t not tell you how nice it was to have an “adult” meal. [And, yes, the meal was right after the mani/pedi — Self care, people! Get on that!]

4. I need to come to terms with my Peace Corps weight loss. The downside to back-to-back service, in the Peace Corps, has been a 90 pound drop in weight. That’s not to say that I didn’t have the weight to lose, or that doing it, (over a three year period), was unsafe. But … when you didn’t plan it, you’re not prepared.

I never worked out, didn’t consider what to do with flabby skin, and didn’t think of the complications, of rapid weight loss. For example, I no longer have padding around my tailbone. Sitting hurts, riding to Addis Ababa or my Hub Town hurts. Sleeping on my back hurts. I hurt!

[Left — Peace Corps Kenya 1986/88; Middle –Peace Corps Armenia 2017/2019; Right– Peace Corps Ethiopia 2019 to present].

5. Although being on vacation is fun, I miss my site. When you add in my Peace Corps training, in Butajira, my vacation in Zanzibar, and being in Addis Ababa, (waiting on the book donation), I have been away from site for two weeks. That is my longest time away, since last September. I miss my little host brother. I miss walking in my village and children calling out “Ms. KJ!” I miss sleeping in my tent. I am ready to go home.


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