Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Anniversary! Or: Wheeeeeeeee.

So I was thinking, to myself -- which I do modestly often: "It's been about a year since I found out I was coming to Georgia." I checked my blog archives, to see if I had ever mentioned a more exact date for the receiving of my Peace Corps formal Invitation (notice how I have indicated its formaltude by Capitalizing it). And, it turns out, that today is a much more IMPORTANT anniversary! Today is the One Year Anniversary of this blog, which as far as I'm concerned is the REAL date of importance, in terms of the beginning of this Grand Adventure. Yes, friends -- this blog, and along with it the Chronicle of Record of my years as a Peace Corps volunteer, is one year old today. Go ahead and scroll back, in the archives, to my first post. I'll wait.

How stupid was THAT post, huh? Full of lame jokes and a total lack of information. The staggering difference between that post and my current posts is an indication of just how much this experience has changed me, and just how much I have matured (poop). I have not had time to compose a lengthy entry at home, musing about the things that have changed in my life in just one year. Perhaps I will write one tonight. But, for now, I will give you a haphazard and just-now-thought-of list of things that are true now, but were NOT true on February 5th, 2007:


  • I now know what pigeon meat tastes like. At least, I'm pretty sure I do. Last night I went to a supra at my host sister-in-law's family's house. They were very excited to have, as they termed it, "bird meat stew." They encouraged me to eat some. The bones and the meat parts were very small. It wasn't so bad, really. But it wasn't good enough to warrant killing a pigeon and then trying to gnaw a cubic millimeter of meat off a tiny bone.
  • I could, as any regular reader of this blog knows, now talk about different kinds of toilets, and the various merits and demerits of each, for hours. I took toilets very much for granted, on February 5th, 2007. I think at one point I said that I would leave Georgia immediately if it did not have western style toilets. If there is a Jesus, He/She has a sense of humor, because I have only seen one (1) western style toilet in my town, and the toilet at my office would have been the most disgusting thing I'd ever seen, if I had seen it on February 5th, 2007. Now, of course, it is at best the fifth most disgusting thing I have ever seen.
  • One year ago, I would never have considered that either (a)washing myself from a bucket or (b) washing, sometimes, once a week could ever leave a person actually clean. Now, I have considered it, and: no, such a person is not at all clean. But sometimes that person doesn't care anymore.
  • I now know that you can, indeed, survive on a diet consisting, entirely, of: pasta, bread, potatoes, cheese, eggs, mandarins, and occasionally the meat that you can glean from a chicken that has not been shot up with steroids but has instead been living in your yard, near the latrine. You will, however, burp a lot more often. This is in stark contrast to America, where I lived entirely on sandwiches, fast food, frozen chicken patties, and cottage cheese, and did not burp particularly often.
  • In America, I lived (most of the time) in a place that was basically 70 degrees 24/7/365. Occasionally, it would rain. Now, I live in a place where it is obsequiously hot in the summer (ten credits to the first person to look this word up and realize that I have used it in a flagrantly incorrect manner), constantly raining in the fall, and colder than the Devil's genitals in the winter. Thus, I now know: boy, it's a lot easier to live where it's always 70 degrees. I'm getting pretty sick of having difficulty swallowing a pill in the morning, due to the shivering of my hands. Also, my sleeping bag is starting to smell bad (see bullet point #3).
Well, friends, that is all the time I have for right now, but I will try to post a follow-up tomorrow. Stay tuned! And, happy anniversary, to me! Mailing me a gift in appreciation of this anniversary will earn you eleven credits.

Oh, and speaking of gifts, I almost forgot: a gift from myself, to this blog, in appreciation of our first anniversary together! As I am sure you have noticed, there are additions to the blog above this post. These are fun flash timers. One of them shows, pictorally, the 24 months of my Peace Corps service, and where I stand in it, linearly. I have selected a turkey to mark the Where I Am part because, well, the website had some pretty stupid choices, and I have been known to have turkeys in my yard, until we ate them all. Underneath this timer is a timer showing how long it has been since I have been in America. I was thinking about this this weekend; all volunteers have things that they miss, not being in America, that they regret. A volunteer here, from the group ahead of ours, had never even heard about the unbelievable Boise State - Oklahoma football game from two Januaries ago, until we described it to him, and he was very chagrined. Another volunteer, from Cleveland, missed LeBron James' Crazy Playoff Game last June where he scored 11,456 points in six minutes playing one-on-five (you cannot possibly be surprised that male volunteers rue missing sporting events instead of, say, weddings or baby births or discoveries of important lifesaving medicines). This weekend, I missed the Super Bowl, which turned out to be the Greatest Football Game of All Time, Mostly Because the Patriots Totally Blew It Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Peace Corps Officials: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make Super Bowl Monday at 4am a volunteer holiday. I beg you. I know others have begged you. I missed the Greatest Thing That Has Ever Happened to Humanity because it was not.

Anyway, I got to thinking that, boy, I haven't been in America for a while. So I made another timer to show, numerically, just How Long it has been SINCE I have been in America. Note: in a New Breaking Development, I may be coming BACK to America in August. Note this on your iPhone iCalendars!!!!!! So this timer will probably reset before the one above it.

Okay, that is all. More tomorrow (offer not binding).

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