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Emails from the Peace Corps, No. 12

  • Jul. 21st, 2008 at 6:09 PM
Hello beautifuls,

First of all, thank you all so very much for all your birthday wishes. You really made my day. And, Anna, you made me cry... but in that good, I miss you kind of way. You're all so lovely. I know I say that a lot, but it's true and I can't really invent other ways to say it anymore.

I'm thinking that this email will be a short one because I need to get back to my site soon. I can't seem to remember where I left off in my last email so I think I'll just throw a couple of anecdotes in here and call it a day because, well, life has just been the same ole, same ole at the site.

Anecdote #1: So, a couple of months ago my friend Kevin (who appears in my birthday album) came to visit me at my site and he stayed the night. And for those of you thinking that he's the love of my life you're wrong. And even if he was he doesn't swing that way so there's no chance. Anyhow, he comes to visit me and we're in my house just chit chatting about life and he hears a flappy noise come from the corner of the house. He starts flipping out and running into my room saying he's getting into the mosquito net. On top of it all, there is no electricity so we can't see anything so it makes him flip out even more. Which, of course, makes me flip out and I start running around like a crazy person also. I get the flashlight too see what the hell is going on and, lo and behold, the flappy creature is attracted to the light. It starts flying around and eventually lands on the neck of my shirt and I scream. Apparently it was quite a screech because within 5 minutes there were 10 men at my door with machetes ready to kill something for me. They thought I was being attacked or that there was a snake. But no. It was a flappy insect. I say it was my test of the Emergency Scream System -- I have felt so safe in my house since that night.

Anecdote #2: This is not so much an anecdote, more just a story of something that happened that may or may not be amusing. So, on my 23rd birthday I was at my site. I woke up and went to Oliva's house (my best friend in my community) and we were getting ready to eat a chicken that she had killed for me. I thought that we were going to go to the river but she was cooking in her house and I didn't say anything. Then her brother showed up and we went to the loma where her mother lives and we had lunch up there. All day long Stacey, my best friend in Peace Corps, had been calling me and wishing me a happy birthday and whatnot and asking where I was and if I had anything special planned. While on the loma I get a missed call from her and I call her back. She showed up at my site to surprise me but I was no where to be found. I told her to come up the loma and meet me for lunch and so she did -- she brought me chocolate chip muffins and a bottle of wine with a poem. It made me really happy.

We come down from the loma and Stacey is hot and wants to bathe. We start buying stuff to make dinner and making plans to go back to my house. Oliva is being weird and telling me to stay and I do. She says we need to go to Mary's so that she can wish me a happy birthday -- but I was thinking of just going back to my house so that Stacey could rest. We do go to Mary's and I see a youth from my youth group scurry into the house. I knew something was up. My youth threw me a surprise party! They really do love me. I thought that they had all forgotten about me. That was really lovely. There were snacks and soda and a little bit of dancing. I felt really loved. So, my birthday was a good day.

I've posted some pictures from the 4th of July, where 70 or so volunteers packed up and went to a beach called Bahia de las Aguilas in the south of the country. It was absolutely gorgeous and there was a ridiculous amount of drinking. Some of us even got on a party bus to head down there. 6 hours on a bus with a keg. Yeah, I'm in the Peace Corps. There are also pictures of an early birthday celebration, shared with my buddy Kevin at the Hub and some of the surprise party in my community.

http://maryam.smugmug.com/Street%20Scenes

Under "My First Peace Corps Birthday" and "Bahia de las Aguilas"

I love you all. I always think about you guys. Really, I do.


Hugs, kisses, etcetera,

Maryam

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