Shit happens. The last two months of my life can be explained by this simple phrase. I wish I could say I am still that cheery, enthused, and optimistic volunteer I was when I started working in Linden, but right now I am not. I have changed. I have had multiple bumps in the road that have thrown me off kilter and made me want to give up. It is such a surreal concept to want to just pack my bag and move on.
I was often told by former volunteers Peace Corps would challenge me on multiple levels, that there would be moments of despair, but also moments of triumph. Currently, I am displaced from my site due to protests and unrest in my community over an increase in electricity rates. It is a complicated issue that brings to light many other disparities and socioeconomic realities that exist in the community of Linden. It is not a problem that can be fixed over night, but hopefully a truce can be found and all involved can start to work together to build a better Linden.
Until then I cherish the moments of triumph that I have had thus far in my Peace Corps Service. It is often easy to “fall in the shit hole” and feel like everything is working against me. I have cried too many times to count, I have been angry, I have felt hopeless and apathetic. But in these moments of wallowing I am reminded that despite how horrible things may seem there has been good and there will be good.
I am reminded of how I had a wonderful host mother who opened up her home to me in my first months in Guyana. I think of how our Guyanese friend made sure we got on a good bus during our big move to Linden. I smile when I think of my neighbor Malissa and how we have spent afternoons chatting away. I remember attempting to learn to cook chicken curry (and while not succeeding, laughing). I think about all the hugs I got after coming back from my Panama detour. I stare at the picture of my other PCV colleagues and can’t help but think how lucky I am to work with such a supportive and innovative group of people.
So yes, shit happens, and today might not be the best of days. But this will pass and I will learn a thing or two from it. I will smile more each day and before I know it, this moment will be a distant memory. A memory that while not perfect, a part of my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer. A memory I can look back on and say, “Shit happens!”