I haven’t been blogging as much lately, and that is largely because so many things have happened in the last few months that I simply cannot go into detail about here. These include a spat of homelessness, multiple big moves, lots of difficult interpersonal drama, one sitemate and another good friend Early Terminating (leaving their service early), and a slew of Peace Corps stuff on top of my actual work at my organization (which is one of the only things that has still, thank heavens, been going consistently very well). At the present moment, I am airing out my apartment after my terrible Soviet oven basically blew up, caught on fire and very well could have burned the building down (luckily just the one corner where it stood is charred, and needless to say the oven is now unusable. According to my landlady, this is a blessing because “baked goods are bad for you.”).
[My charred oven and the offending brownies I was baking for our last Women’s Club this season before summer break. It was a lot scarier looking when the entire apartment, and my lungs, were filled with smoke]
We Kaz-21s have been here 9 months now, which as one volunteer recently pointed out, is already a whole 3rd of our service gone by (!!). One musing I heard from other PCVs before turns out to be very true – some parts of your service crawl, and others fly. You will experience high highs and potentially very low lows. The Kaz-22s (next generation of volunteers after us) are probably getting their nominations now, and will soon be reading up on this far-away steppeland that they may never have even heard of before. This inevitable progression of time and volunteer generations produces for me both a sense of excited anticipation and a pride in having made it thus far, combined all the same with a slight unease. Assuming a new role as an “old and experienced” volunteer has its burdens. What can we possibly tell you, Kaz-22s, to prepare you for this experience?
As a recent newbie myself I have felt before both overwhelmed and slightly disillusioned upon hearing older volunteers vent the many difficulties they have faced throughout their service, though I know all of them to be very real. I think those things need to be presented with care to be really useful, and certainly forewarnings about what to expect should be balanced with respect for the relative subjectivity of any situation and viewpoint (in other words, everyone’s experience is different and such things are still largely up to the individual). That being said, it is worth noting that 9 times out of 10, PCV blogs are aggressively edited and exorcised of content that is political, religious, negative, controversial, shocking, disillusioning, disconcerting, uncomfortable, emotional, overly personal and sometimes – in short – realistic. I’ll just say it: I like to share vignettes and cultural experiences here that offer brief (and usually positive) glimpses – but there is no way this blog can even begin to completely reflect my life here. There simply is no way to really do it justice – you will just have to come and find out for yourself.
(But before then, if you want, feel free to email me at beccazsky [at] gmail. 😉 I don’t know what I will tell you yet, but I promise I’ll try to make it helpful!)