Being Black and American is mutually exclusive. Proving your Americaness is damn near a daily reality that you have to navigate as a VoC.
Bringing a suitcase of cosmetic products for my skin, and hair is competitively the best life decision I’ve ever made
You’ll spend more time explaining what you DON’T do as a PCV than what you actually DO do.
Indoor plumbing is a gift from God Himself
Unapologetically wearing my hair natural aspires little black girls to let their own flourish
In the face of this growing movement to save icompi (saving the complexion), my ebon skin is not a struggle to overcome but wonder to behold
I really do wholeheartedly love working with children, youth and families
I’m actually doing something that makes my heart full: pouring out self-love and strength into the children and youth of Mambane, Swaziland
Silence is deafening when you’re in the boonies. But I’ve recently been all the more intentional about the relationships I build with the locals which has progressively allowed my social needs to be met
We have yet to decolonize our minds, even in a Black populated country: Whites still receive preferential treatment
The old age fair skin over darker skin is prevalent
God did not gift me with the ability to carry much less balance a 20l bucket of water atop my head (tho maybe 10l)
The language barrier feels a little less insurmountable every day once I became intentional about learning Siswati
Puking and pooping simultaneously is not the way forward
How to take a shower with 7 liters of water
Killing flies and mosquitoes is surprisingly very satisfying, especially when no insect spray was used
I’ve a newly found appreciation for Haitian food & I’m unexpectedly good at it
Having hand sanitizers on deck is a necessity that I stupidly didn’t foresee
I really do hate using latrines
Talking about speedy wifi with folks back home is the new phone sex
You’ll sweat from all crevices (pits, tits, and naughty bits), so brace yourself and embrace it
Swazi time is actually a thing, so stocking up on snacks and entertainment for unexpected long waits (and cancellations) have prevented me from resorting to throwing a justifiably disrespectful shade
The pre-service packing list sent to us was absolute trash. Daily, I’m reminded that I could have brought what I’d normally wear back home (excluding short shorts); Swaziland is not nearly as conservative as they portray it to be. Of course some areas more so than others. My bosisi have been very generous with their side-eyes, given the number of missionary-looking skirts they’ve seen me desperately trying to pull off. I also should have left my TOMS at home. Crocs are the way forward & I do not mean the clogs (which come thru daily for me), but sandals, and flats because once outside of the city, you’ll be left with dusty or muddy feet. And ain’t nobody got the time to wash them recurrently.
I am extremely thankful for my hard-drive (the bigger the capacity, the better), and most importantly its protective case
Hard drive and chill is Peace Corps’ netflix and chill, but the difference is that bae is one of the many creepy crawlers that I continuously fail to DOOM back to hell
I should have brought flash drives because I’ve been caught slipping once before and lost all my files due to viruses on the High School’s computers—thankfully it was the peace Corps’ flash drive and not my hard drive.
I should have brought Nyquil or Dayquil
I should have packed home snacks, tho I would have probably eaten them in one sitting
Diva cups are the way forward
I can do without TV
I can do without electricity
My BM double feet have taken me further than I could have imagined, tho having a car woulda facilitated a whole lot
Being young is not perceived as an asset; in fact, there’s this lingering feeling that people are waiting for me to slip up, or that I oughta prove myself
Care packages give me all sorts of feels
As I live in the boonies, multiple trips to town is not only time consuming, but expensive. As such, I’ve learned to maximize my trips to town as much as humanly possible: go to the Peace Corps office (meeting with my programing manager, check-ups, pick up a package, use the computer center, etc.), meet up with other volunteers, get lit, stock pile on cans of black beans because there’s only one grocery store countrywide that sells them, go grocery shopping, etc.
Hauling groceries from town 3 and half hours away, on 2 different khumbis isn’t the way forward
I wish I had a sturdier, and bigger travel backpacking backpack as by the end of a trip to town, I find myself amassing a ton which inevitably leaves me with multiple bags. This has proven not so ideal when you’re packed like sardines on khumbis/busses