My New Dysfunctional Family

Choosing to join the Peace Corps wasn’t an easy decision for me because it meant that I would be away from my family and friends for more than 2 years. I lost count of how many times I asked myself if what I was doing was worth leaving my loved ones behind for such a long period of time, not knowing how often we would be able to communicate, what exciting milestones and celebrations I would miss, and how impossible it would be for me to physically be there for them if they needed me. Missing my family and friends back home was an inevitable reality I knew I would face as soon as I got here to Zambia, and on days when things aren’t going so well, or when nostalgia comes knocking on my door, it gets really hard. For a while, I was afraid that I would just have to learn to cope with everything, convincing myself that being lonely was a part of the Peace Corps experience and that everything would eventually be okay. But guess what? I wasn’t alone in feeling this way, and soon I met such amazing, inspiring new friends within my Peace Corps Zambia cohort. Being able to spend time, talk, and share stories of our lives back home in America is always fun and therapeutic. I’ve definitely made some lifelong friends for sure.

Advice to incoming Peace Corps volunteers: the sooner you let go, open up, and make the decision to allow new friends to enter your new life in your new home in a new country, the sooner you’ll feel at home again. You don’t have to make friends with everyone, but I strongly suggest to reach out and befriend someone. It really does help during your training and during service.

Our “Muzungu Running Club” (MRC) and village kidsIMG-20150622-WA000

MRC selfie!
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Teaching the village kids how to stretchMRC Stretch

      MRC’s first run togetherMRC Run

Soccer with the kids near our training center!Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 7.19.20 AM

Meet Lucky. He’s a cool kid. And Jane, she’s pretty cool, too.

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Go half-way across the world. Meet a fraternity brother. GO BETA.Beta Bros

Some downtime with Jessi; she can dance!IMG_20150717_00195413

Meet Teakia. Heart of gold. Kisses galore.11745935_890321052658_7583864479903766203_n

No, he’s not Jesus. His name is Matt, and we like headwraps.IMG_20150717_00183142

My girls: Claudia, Cori, and JaneIMG-20150703-00109

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At the training center right before session

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The ladies of our project cohortIMG_20150706_0032942

Indoor safaris can be fun, too!IMG-20150705-WA019

WE FOUND LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE. AKA PIZZA.

6 PIZZAS. 4 GIRLS. EASY.

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