Saturday, October 12, 2013

Friday (Saturday) Five (Eleven): How Do Peace Corps Volunteers Occupy Their Time?

As volunteers in developing countries, we tend to live pretty simple lives. We work, come home to our humble abodes, maybe play with some kids, exercise, or watch some Hulu or stored movies one ripped before service. Gone, for the most part, are smartphones and the ability to be perma-connected to everyone and everything. Social lives, for some, grind to a halt compared to their American lives. As a result, PCVs have considerable time on their hands, which, as we all know, idle hands are the devil's play things. So, we think, study, stand on heads, dink around with crafts, be incredibly bored, integrate, stare and/or toss tennis balls at walls, discover better/worse versions of ourselves, construct projects, de-construct projects, and so forth- PCVs undertake a host of new, and relatively odd hobbies, and this blog entry is designed to give some insight into the (potentially un)stable minds and activities of PCVs as they proceed through service day to day.

To start, and to be fair, here are some of the new habits that I have developed: Thinking up ridiculous hypothetical questions (examples: would you rather have babies for hands or have to eat an elephant sandwich every day, accepting the social ramifications of it?; Sharkboy). Also, I'm becoming quite the Picasso on Microsoft Paint. I will spend multiple hours painting crude drawings that require a surprising amount of precision all to make only myself laugh.

Sara, 124 CBOD: Sara has taken to making crafts out of trash and subsequently becoming the neighborhood hoarder.

Theresa, 124 TCCO: Theresa enjoys creating toilet roll flowers just for something to do on Saturdays. She says she wants to feel less guilty about using toilet paper still, even after twenty months in country. Theresa also learned these toilet flowers make nice accents from "far, far away."

Amy, 124 TCCO: Amy is kind and sweet, making greeting cards for friends and family back home to brighten their days.

Trey, 125 YinD: Trey has found cutting his own hair to be advantageous to his pocketbooks. And swag.

Phil, 125 YinD: Phil has discovered a nuance of Thai culture- They often share misguided history "facts" about their own country. As such, he is reading Thai history books to disprove them.

Nancy, 125 TCCS: Nancy constructs dollhouses out of sticks, leaves, and hot glue.

Christine, 125 TCCS: Christine hones her skills painting PCV portraiture.

Chris, 125 TCCS: Chris, being awesome and having incredible foresight, transliterates Korean songs into Thai for inevitable karaoke partners.

Barbara, 125 TCCS: Barbara watches ants, carefully taking notes on their movement, and masterfully applying chalk to prevent their trespass into her house.

Jes, 125 TCCS: Jes enjoys taking and distributing pictures of hilarious Engrish shirts.

Molly, 125 TCCS: Molly is having a difficult time choosing between junior careers of entomology and social zoology- She takes pictures of snails and follows their goo trails to guide them to better locations (other than her house). Additionally, Molly places fake jingjok (gecko) in front of live jingjok, all to watch and document their reactions to the impostor.

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