Back From the Bush Again
Whew. That was a better stretch in the bush than I've had in a while. The last few months have just felt like I was always away from post for this reason or that with the odd two or three day break. It was definately nice to have some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of Niamey. I find the times that I get most frustrated with being here is when I'm in Niamey. When I thought of all the challenges I would have to face in the Peace Corps, I never thought that the things that would make me want to go home would be the PC Bureau itself and other PCV's. Funny how life is never what you expect.
Unfortunatley, to do the kind of work PC seems to encourage us to do, we have to leave our posts to slog through the mire of beaurocracy. This frustration compounded by the local infrustructure's own eccentricities. It's seriously frustrating and it hurts to watch it destroy the moral of so many otherwise enthusiastic and happy PCV's. It doesn't help that there are also many PCV's who are definately not happy here and yet refuse to go home out of somekind of stubbornness. Instead they piss and moan and make things unpleasant for everyone else.
So this past week and a half have been very nice. I got back into the swing of reading and playing guitar. I think it also helped just to reaffirm with my villagers that I am, in fact, there. It was also nice to have alone reflection time again. The chance to just be, not do anything but just exist and contemplate that existance, is one of the things about peace corps that I think has most changed me. And it's something I had not had much opportunity for lately. So, I've started walking down to the river every evening to watch the sunset. I've also been writing a lot lately, particularly poetry. Getting that part of my brain back into gear has been a difficulty my friends have heard all about.
Mostly though, nearly two weeks without having to report to anyone at the bureau, or wrestle with poorly planned office hours, or just the challenge of getting people to do the things they said they'd do, was very nice. It made me happy to be in Niger again. Well, if not happy than atleast not actively wanting to go home. That's been hard for a lot of us lately, it seems.
Sometimes, when I'm just chatting with my friends here, it's hard not to get sucked into the "what the hell are we doing here?" thought process. From there, you start to think of reasons why you should stay vs go home. Here is the trap that I have found. If you start counting all the things you miss and enjoy about home, or that are just convenient and pleasent, then you will never run out of reasons and you will go home. I've decided that I'm only going to ET not because I have things I would rather be doing, but if there are things that bother me so much here that they make me want to not be a part of Peace Corps anymore. Some days that's actually not so hard, but most of the time, when I think about it like that, I feel pretty good.
On the bright side, I have been told that I will get money for my cereal bank in the next few days. It really couldn't have been more in the nick of time as rainy season is just around the corner, and I need to get a roof on that building. Hopefully this post doesn't jinx that, as I don't actively have the check in my hands yet. But, it should happen... in ch'allah.