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My “What Was I Thinking?” Moment

They warned us that this moment would come. The moment where we question our self, our commitment, etc. Mine came today. The unripe almonds I snacked on yesterday made for a veeeery unpleasant morning…and the only bathroom within thirty miles is a bit l-ma (hasek). Basically, one of my worst fears came to life. And I survived it. But when I was trudging up from the floodplain-level igran (fields) to the cliff-top village, I didn’t feel like I was surviving anything. All I was conscious of was that my mind was befuddled by this morning’s prepositions lesson, in a language that is not the one I was hoping to learn; my body had betrayed me entirely; the only “home” I had was filled with people I couldn’t communicate with, but with whom I was expected to spend long, lonely hours… Yeah, I had a What Was I Thinking?? moment. It got worse when I reflected that today is my first real day as a Peace Corps Trainee. I was on site, in a rural village, walking the countryside to assess the surroundings. We’d spent two weeks in classrooms, preparing for this, but this was IT. And I wasn’t hacking it.

But then the day improved. I conquered my fear of the bit l-ma – it lives at the unlikely intersection of the Twist, diaper changing, and honeydipping, but it’s not actually a nightmare – and I learned more “Tash”, aka Tamazight. I walked home with kids who are crazy about me, involved the whole family in my language lesson (body parts!), had a tatfot (delicious) veggie tagine for dinner, watched them dance and toss the baby (!!!), and ended the day feeling pretty great. Kulshi bikhir. (Everything is good.)

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps