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Here at Peace Corps Namibia, we have a quarterly newsletter type… - Angie's Peace Corps (Namibia) Adventure

Nov. 5th, 2006

07:56 am

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Here at Peace Corps Namibia, we have a quarterly newsletter type thingy very appropriately titled, “IZIT?”. “Is it?” is a very commonly used phrase in Namibia. We foreigners like to think that when we start using the phrase “is it?” commonly, we have officially truly become Namibian. “Is it?” is used when we in America would say “really?”. You know how we in America use “really?” all the damn time? Well, it’s the same here with “is it?”. Example:

Namene: “I bumped into Maliki while I was in Oshakati at the Pick-N-Pay today!”.
Me: “Is it?”

You get the idea. Anyways, “IZIT?” is run BY Peace Corps Volunteers and FOR Peace Corps Volunteers. Basically it is just a collection of stories, editorials, comments, and observations made by PCVs. Pretty much all of it is based on our experiences as volunteers in this great land of contrasts, written with a huge ass twist of sarcasm and humor. Because to be honest, were it not for sarcasm and humor, none of us would be able to survive the ridiculousness & craziness that is PC/Nam. I look forward to my “IzIt?s”. And I think I speak for most of us when I say that it is just what the doctor ordered. There’s my mental health right there. Every quarter when my packet from Peace Corps arrives in the mail, I toss aside the 3 complimentary issues of Newsweek and dig past all the Peace Corps business-related documents, and dive into my “IzIt?”. I don’t necessarily care about letting PC know what issues & topics I want to be discussed at the next in-service training at this moment. What I NEED is something to make me smile and laugh. I don’t want to read about war, politics, and pretty much how the world is falling apart. I face enough tragedy on a daily basis- poverty, alcoholism, AIDS, death, orphans. What I need is complimentary issues of USWeekly and People magazine. Some real mental health. Why doesn’t PC/Washington DC (i.e. US Government) realize this?

But that’s a whole other story. What I need to see is how other PCVs were better able to document and express their experiences than I was, to see my fellow PCVs make light of all this absurdity. I always promise myself that I’ll read it in small chunks, so as to spread out the good times and the laughs. But I always end up lying to myself. As soon as I open up the first page, I’m hooked. I eat up that sucker in like 25 minutes, max. Then I feel sad that I have nothing to look forward to later. I always go back and read it over again and again though.

It should go without saying that obviously the reason I’m sitting here writing about my deep love for IZIT (I’m tired of using the “ “), is because it just recently came in the mail. Last week to be exact. To get to the point of all this, the main purpose of this entry is that I wanted to share a couple of entries from this latest issue which had me rolling. To be honest, this issue has been my favorite, by far. Perhaps it is because all the Group 24 kids are going home now that they have finished their 2 years of service (which I’m really bummed about. You share so much in such a short period of time, and before you know it, it’s time to go back home) and wanted to give it their all on the last one they’ll be a part of. So here are 2 of my favorite entries from this latest edition of “IZIT”. I tried to pick 2 that you all would be able to find humor in and enjoy, even without being part of the ride.

(And if any of you Group 24s see this… thanks for the advice, many heads up, encouragement, and general consensus that “the 2nd year is much easier & flies by”. Good luck with the dreaded transition phase, as you all get into the groove of things back in the real world.)

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“Rejected PC Slogans”, by M.M., Group 24

This idea started when S, M, & I noticed the following in the PC office on a poster:

“Peace Corps… STILL the toughest job you’ll ever love”.

(What advertising genius decided that adding the word “still” to the old slogan was propaganda magic?)

Here is my response – Rejected PC Slogans….

Peace Corps- Dorks living without electricity.

Peace Corps- Cholera is SO a natural laxative.

Peace Corps- Oh, like YOU knew what to do after graduation.

Peace Corps- We are not a method of promoting American policy abroad. Honest.

Peace Corps- Become a part of the world’s largest clinical study for mefloquine! (malaria prophylaxis)

Peace Corps- Where dirty hippies still smell better than their neighbors.

Peace Corps- Life is calling: How much will you put up with?

Peace Corps- ‘Life is calling: How far will you go?’
‘Uhh, somewhere poor?’ (courtesy of J.P.)

Peace Corps- Two years of labor that will bear fruit just as soon as you get the hell out.

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And i ran out of time, so editorial #2 will have to come next time,

Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Jack Johnson & Friends- Thicker Than Water Soundtrack