My first week as a Peace Corps Volunteer involved a lot more Netflix than I anticipated it would.
Luckily Reed Hastings, Netflix founder, was also a PCV* so I feel good about it. (Now, if he could just pick up Good Girls Revolt for a second season, that would be great. I finished the first season on day one of my quarantine and 10/10 would recommend.)
Back to my volunteering adventures.
I ended my last post on this high note, excited to see what was next. It turned out what was next was over 55% of the kids in my school were sick with the flu and when that happens, the school goes on quarantine and everyone stays home. Almost everyone anyway.
The teachers still had to go in for part of the day, so my week consisted of sleeping in, making myself some breakfast, walking to school, planning with my counterpart for an hour or two and then walking home to work out, watch Netflix and read.
Not exactly the grand adventure you think of when you hear about the Peace Corps.
That being said, I’m sure I will treasure those quiet days when my life starts to get crazier of the course of the next two years.
After the week of quarantine was over, I was excited to get to school and see more of the students. They are still in the stage where they’re really excited that I’m here. I’m sure that will change, but for now every time I walk anywhere students from the 2nd-11th forms yell “hello!” to me, the braver ones will ask how I’m doing or say my name with it too.
I’ve been able to have conversations with a couple of them and I’m really looking forward to more. They seem excited for the English clubs that will be starting after the holiday break as well. The teachers are definitely excited, I’ve been asked by at least one teacher every day when the clubs are starting and some have asked how to say “good morning” or “goodbye” and they make a point to say it when they see me.
What my first two weeks as a PCV have taught me was that my expectations should be thrown out the window. In some ways, this experience has been exactly what I expected, in others not, but it’s still been an incredible experience nonetheless. My first week was not at all what I thought it would be, but my second week brought its own challenges and triumphs. I mentioned to another volunteer that I felt that this week showed me that I was wanted here and that there was a need for me here. I have found my home in Mamalyga with its people that are making me feel so comfortable.
We’ve got one more week of classes and then two weeks off for the holidays.