If you plan on visiting me in Namibia... - Angie's Peace Corps (Namibia) Adventure
Apr. 4th, 2006
09:51 pm - If you plan on visiting me in Namibia...
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ON 4/1/06
To those of you planning to visit me in the motherland (and as far as I know there are only about ohhh 2 of you, but just in case), may I please make just one request. How can I say this diplomatically? .... ummmm... Please do not surprise me by showing up at my/Namibia's door. I know, I know. You probably think I suck. I honestly don't know who's coming to see me (and perhaps no one will), but because of the very fact that I don't know is precisely why I'm writing this. If you need reasons why I am asking anyone thinking on coming to not surprise me, I have 3.
1.) If I know you are coming it means I have something to look forward to & it means I can have a countdown to something big. I don't think you guys realize just how important this is to us. It is extremely motivating. We live for countdowns- it's what gets us through. When days are rough, we can always think "well it's going to be okay, I've got this or that to look forward to." Countdowns & upcoming big events to look forward to are the things that keep us going and give us the strength we need on those trying, difficult days. For example, since January we've been counting down til April for Re-Connect & it has been tremendously helpful. You just think, "ok, if I can make it til this date I'll be okay. I just need to make it til then." And then that day comes along & you trick yourself and start all over again. After Reconnect, I'll just be thinking, ok next up is June- all Volunteers are getting together again in June for a big conference. So I have that to look forward to. And thus this is how we get by- you look forward to something & when that something rolls around, you hope that there is something else big to look forward to. And you play with your mind & say "Make it til then." And when that has come & gone you start all over again. Before you know it the two years are over.
This is a technique that one of the Volunteers who finished her service while we were in training told us about. She is an older woman, was a teacher volunteer, and had a very rough time her first year. She talked to us about being strong & sticking it out when things got rough, and that's when she told us about how she got through her first year. If it was January, she'd say to herself to just make it til April. In April she'd say to herself, just stick it out til August...and on and on. And she made it through her first year, and after that she realized that she no longer needed to do this. She gave a really emotional talk, and I am grateful because of all the talks we had, I remember her words the most. She said whatever you do, don't give up. She mentioned that she had many trying days but she always tried to stick to her word, and that she's happy she did because she had an amazing experience that she wouldn't change for the world. Right on.
So yeah... give me something to look forward to.
2.) If you plan on coming to visit me, I suppose you want to spend quality time with me. Well as some of you may (or may not?) recall, I didn't come to Namibia on my own. I came with & through the Peace Corps- a government agency, no less. That means that if I want to take time off, vacation, whatever, I have to do it in writing & I have to do it ahead of time. So if you show up at my door/ Namibia's door without warning me & then expect to spend a lot of quality time together with me, you're gonna be in for a big disappointment. Warn me that you're coming- we can make big plans to see the beautiful land that is my new home.
3.) If you show up @ my door without a warning, I might just have a heart attack. I don't care who you are, seriously, seeing anyone from home, from my old life, right now could cause me to go into cardiac arrest. And that, my friends, is not a good way to go out while living in Africa. I mean really, if I must die while I'm in Africa let it be something big, huge, unbelievable- like getting trampled by an elephant, getting eaten by a lion, or getting kicked repeatedly by a wild ostrich. But definitely not a heart attack.
Surprises are great & all, but this is one time I really prefer not to be surprised. Besides, I can guarantee you that you are gonna have one heck of a hellacious& stressful time trying to get to Gibeon from Windhoek. It also would not be the wisest thing to do as this will be your first time here & you don't really know the transportation system here.
Enough of that, I think you all get the point. And I hope atleast one person will come to visit me while I'm here :) Otherwise, I wrote this out for nothing.