This week has been a week of first’s for me. It all started one evening when I was laying in bed, and having a really hard time falling asleep. I was hot, people were yelling outside my bedroom, and I had a headache. I started to feel down in the dumps. I was thinking about everything that I had gone through these past 6 months, and wondering if I had even changed in the slightest bit. I didn’t feel different, and to my knowledge I was still acting the same way I had back home. To be honest this made me a little upset. I didn’t join the Peace Corps to be the same person! I joined to grow and change in every way possible. Needless to say when I did finally fall asleep I went to sleep a bit angry/depressed. During the night I awoke to this rustling sound. At first I shrugged it off, because lets face it “rustling sounds” are quite common and fankly you're better off not knowing what is making the sound. I fell back asleep. However I awoke again to that same rustling sound. Again I went back to sleep. Finally the third time when I woke up I got up to see what was making this obnoxious noise. It was pitch dark, and the only light I had was this really small flashlight. I realized the noise was coming from this plastic bag I had on my table. I threw something at it, hoping that whatever was in there would run out and go away. It didn’t. It was stuck, whatever it was. I finally got closer to the bag and tried inspecting what was inside with my small flashlight. At first I thought it was a cockroach however after closer inspection I realized that it most definitely was not a cockroach. It was a rat. The rat had gotten itself stuck inside the plastic bag. Without even thinking, I grabbed a nearby water bottle and started beating the rat to death. I didn’t stop until I knew it was dead. Afterwards I grabbed the bag and threw it away, and when I was getting back into bed it hit me... what I had actually just done. Then I realized, that I have changed! Because there isabsolutely no way I would have even been in the same room with a rat, let alone have smashed it to death with a water bottle pre-Peace Corps. So killing a rat with my own hands…yup definitely a first. A few days later I was laying in bed and felt this crazing shaking. I jumped out of bed, and freaking out a bit. I ran out and was telling a fellow PC volunteer, “There’s a rat under my bed!” ( I must have still been thinking about a few nights before J) She said, “Lindsey there is no rat under your bed, that was an earthquake.” An earthquake!? I was certain it was a rat, but she convinced me that it was most definitely not. It was an earthquake. I have never felt an earthquake before in my life so I had no idea! Another first to put in the book!
So now it’s the end of the week, and looking back I am taking back my previous thoughts of not changing. Although I do not think I have made any drastic changes (at least yet) I do think that I am slowly, very slowly changing. Probably with each of these “first’s” I might even be changing a little bit more. Here are some more first’s that I have had while being here.
· Taking a bucket bath
· Sleeping with spiders and roaches
· Eaten a fish with its head still attached
· Let a stranger sit on my lap
· Accidently Cussed at someone when I was only trying to ask for a bowel (in Samoan)
· Listened to food being killed hours before I ate it
· Killed my own food
· De-gutted a chicken
· Jumped off from the top of a waterfall
· Swimming in the ocean while fully clothed
· Washed my clothes in a bucket
· Been sunburned in less than 5 minutes
With a year and a half left to go I am sure I will have sooo many more firsts. Here’s hoping to them being good!