“Everyday here can be filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows.”
I remember reading that in my volunteer guide to Zambia from Peace Corps. I imagined my lowest lows but of course you will never truly see them unless you experience one.
I have yet to experience lows with my service. There were lows but not with Zambia. Frustrations are the better word for it. I seriously could look at my time here and see certain bumps by the side but so far, waiting and disappointment have been the two common frustrations I have had.
Since I applied, waiting is the number one requirement for a successful volunteer. Waiting to get posted. Waiting for the plane. Waiting for everything to begin. Waiting for training to end. Waiting to go to the village for three months. Waiting for three months to end.
That’s the frustration I am feeling lately. Community entry is this great process of integration and community that sometimes it can be pretty isolating after a while. I’m here for two years but I’ll be in and out of my village. But here first three months feel like a standstill after a while. Sand under my feet. Trapped. Doing the same routine day after day. Sometimes I wonder if it just me who can’t stand the monotony or maybe it is the fact that we are not allowed to leave our village. Visiting other volunteers is difficult for me without knowledge of transpiration or better word: unconventional means of transport around here. I would like to do as much as possible but waiting is all I get. Waiting for something to end or something to happen soon.
It is difficult to constantly be waiting for things to happen especially when you are supposed to be starting them. Which comes to my next frustration.
Especially neighborhood health committees pocketing the money for food for the clinic workers who drive all the way there on a small motor bike for under five health check ups in the bush. NHC not knowing their his and assuming they are supposed to be paid. Assuming that our knowledge is not good enough to just be hear but we should provide money and medicine to motivate people to choose better health practices.
It doesn’t happen much but it happens in a way that bites me back. People don’t meet their end of their deal even though they seem enthusiastic in the beginning. They praise and laid and go crazy at the idea of more help but then when I expect them to provide their half of the help, they disappoint.
Life is busier these months for the village but these small frustrations get under my skin and stay burrowed making it hard for me to return to work with such people. But I have to press on with these people. Not all are like this but nothing ever goes to plan which is quite difficult for me to handle.