This week has felt kind of strange because although I’ve only been here for two weeks, life in Moz is already starting to feel somewhat “normal” to me. I’m really starting to get into the routine of going to classes every day, coming home, taking a bucket bath, making dinner with the family, and watching novellas every night before bed. I’m learning a lot, and feeling more comfortable every day, especially with the language. Alhough even though some things are starting to feel routine, I still find it really exciting just to passear around my neighborhood; I feel like every time I leave the house I see something new.
Despite how great everything has been progressing, I had a really tough week. We had our first set of “get to know you” interviews with the Peace Corps staff who will be assigning our site placements within the next couple of weeks. I didn’t really know what to expect from this interview, but I didn’t really prepare for anything, and was a little taken aback when they asked me what brought me to Peace Corps in Mozambique. Although I’ve answered this question approximately 100 times in the last few months, I found myself struggling to come up with an answer I felt was adequate. For the first time, all of the things that I left behind at home to come here kind of hit. Of all things, I couldn’t stop thinking about how sad I was to have had to sell my car before I left.
After the interview on Tuesday, I was feeling a lot of anxiety and doubt about my decision to come here. I kept asking myself why I am here, if I am strong enough to be here, if I am qualified to be a teacher, etc. I had a couple of really tough days where I just felt generally anxious for no real reason, and was practically on the verge of tears at any given time. Although I’m sure it is natural to have a lot of these doubts and anxieties, I began to realize that this is just not normal for me. Knowing that the malaria medication I was on is known to cause anxiety, I spoke with the Peace Corps Medical Officer on Thursday when they stopped by our training session, and was able to switch to another type of medication. It’s hard to say whether my anxieties were exasperated by Mefloquine or not, but either way I am glad to be off it, so that I can at least now have peace of mind knowing there are no medications influencing my stress level. Although I still am feeling occasionally emotional and anxious, today I felt better than I have all week, and hopefully my anxieties will continue to dissipate!
It’s still really crazy to me that I have only been here for two weeks. In this short amount of time I have learned so much, had so many new experiences, and felt such a range of emotions that it feels like so much longer. Other volunteers keep saying, “The days go slow but the time goes fast,” and I already feel like I can agree with that!