Pretty much all of my life I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by so many people that genuinely care about me. From the start there has always been a familiar face right there to pick me up when I’m down or catch me when I fall. Sure, I have always continued to make new friends and form new relationships, but that safety net was always there. When I first started school way back when there was my family and my neighbors. When I went away to college , I went in with some of my best friends from high school. When I went to Luxembourg two of my best friends were there with me. In Chicago there were two great friends from my studies in Lux (now there must be a dozen of them there).
I think the Peace Corps marks the first time that I am truly trying something on my own. It’s definitely an exciting feeling, but coming into it was more than a little nerve-racking. I think I did a good job focusing on the excitement, but the anxiety was there whether I chose to admit it to anyone, or not.
I ran a fever today. It wasn’t anything too serious, but I felt like shit pretty much all day, and in Africa a fever can mean countless different things that are pretty much terrifying to even think of. I bring this up because as I sit here writing this, texts and calls from my fellow PCTs are pouring in just to check on how I am feeling. I realize now that I am not alone. A few weeks ago, I had never met a single one of these people, and yet today they are willing to take time out from what they are doing, drop a couple hundred shillings which they don’t really have just to make sure I am okay. In just a few short weeks we have already formed some very real bonds of friendship, and I couldn’t be more grateful that we have each other. I know that in a about two months we will all go our separate ways and head out to site, but I still feel encouraged. I am sure that it will take a bit more effort, but I see now that I can do this again. I think that I can continue to make friends and build relationships despite whatever barriers lay between me and my future community. I guess time will be the ultimate judge of this, but for now I am looking forward with optimism.