About me

I was born. I lived awhile. I joined the United States Peace Corps. I blog.

That’s all I’m putting on a public site, since I like my privacy. If you want to know more, comment regularly and/or send me an email and if you’re not a creepy stalker or spammer, I’ll friend you.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alex
    Aug 22, 2011 @ 12:39:40

    Hi Abraham,

    I hope this doesn’t come off as a stalker comment, but I myself just recently received my PC invitation to serve in Burkina in October!! I’ve been researching BF and other current PCVs and randomly stumbled upon your blog. Just wanted to say hi, if you do have time, perhaps we can chat via email about packing plans as I have no idea how I’m going to fit 2 years of my life in a backpack. :)

    Best,
    Alex

    Reply

  2. We Can Only Speculate
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 14:35:42

    Love your blog and can’t wait to meet you in The B.F. in October. Hints: Pack the following, you’ll never regret it – Heavy-Duty wall-mounting velcro (sticks to unever mud walls). You want to hang stuff in your hut. Also, hooks with very long screw-ends (because the mud walls crumble easily); Ziplock bags; Cling-free dryer sheets (fabulous to put in with your clothes and they pack flat); and most importantly, a quart of brush-on chalkboard paint (Home Depot). You’re correct — all electronics come here to die, but you’ll be glad you’ve got ‘em while they’re alive. Enjoy this time. Aniticipation is half the fun. Best regards, Kathy Davis

    Reply

  3. Mahadevan
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 05:57:48

    Wonderful topic, Apiaring! I just took to beekeeping recently after watching a few large bees dying in front of me, burnt to death by the locals here in India. It is such a fascinating experience – we have soooooooo much to learn from bees, and gradually you fall in love with them. It is among the most remarkable insects and everytime now i watch a flower, i look for a bee. Everytime i watch a bee, i look for a lesson. Everytime i learn a lesson, i look into my ‘beeing’! Good to know your thoughts. Let’s be in touch. Maha

    Reply

  4. Ben
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 05:05:51

    I’ve just been accepted into a Masters program at a University. Teaching International Languages is the name of the degree and program and is also involved with the Peace Corps. I just got my BA in Spanish and although I’m aware of needing to be flexible of where they will send me, I’m really only wanting to go to a Spanish speaking country; seemingly because that has been my highest focus for the past six years. I’m not sure if you know about the PC in Latin America, however, all I read about is the PCV’s living in mud huts and in real uncomfortable settings. I’ve been to different places in Central and South America, so I know what to expect for the most part.
    Any possible questions that you could think up or that you had, I have. What to bring like two + years of my special toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste etc etc… Electronic devices to make calls back home and internet access etc etc…
    Clothes- what do bring. I could bring a lot. I’m not sure of the terrain where I’ll be placed.
    How are interactions with the locals? Are they all children? I suppose it really depends on where you go.
    Anything you can tell me would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply

    • andtheseashalltell
      Jul 04, 2012 @ 12:41:45

      Ok, first of all: congrats on being accepted to the Master’s program! I know that’s a lot of work, and you didn’t just stumble into it.

      Now the tough part: your language ability has little or nothing to do with your posting. One of my best friends here is fluent in Arabic – one of the ‘super hard’ languages – but they still sent her here. It’s all about what you can do and when you can leave. You may get lucky and get sent to a Spanish speaking country, but you might get sent to Kyrgyzstan instead; Peace Corps places you where Peace Corps needs you.

      Now, that being said, you certainly can state certain preferences in your interview and during the placement process. I said I wouldn’t want to serve anyplace that had 3 straight months of sub-zero weather in winter, unless it was unavoidable. If you say “hey…I’m doing an MI in Spanish, so it really doesn’t make any sense for me to serve in a non-Spanish country”, you can probably get your wish. Just be warned: most “Spanish speaking” posts also have heavy local language elements as well: if you go to Paraguay, your service will probably mostly be conducted in Guarana, not Español, because that’s what the people in the villages speak.

      Which brings me to my next point: you will be living in a village. You will poo in a hole, you will eat godawful local food 3 meals a day 7 days a week, you will get giardia, you will rarely talk to your friends and family, and 90% of what you try to do will fail. That is the Peace Corps. It’s a hard life, and there’s no way to compromise; if you aren’t prepared to accept it fully, don’t come. The worst thing you can do is to join with a sense of entitlement, expectation, or exceptionalism.

      As for packing tips, etc: it’s really dependent on your country of service. When you know more I’ll be happy to help, but in the meantime I suggest browsing the Peace Corps Wiki:

      http://www.peacecorpswiki.org

      Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

      Reply

  5. Ben
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 20:34:14

    Being trilingual, my college career has been all about learning foreign languages that will serve purpose in my future. As selfish as this may sound, I find it to be a waste of time and talent to go somewhere for over two years, learn their language and then return home where that indiginious language will never be needed.
    English, Spanish and Japanese are the languages I can speak. I chose a Spanish speaking country because I just got my bachelors degree in Spanish and going somewhere where the language is spoken will greatly improve my fluency by one hundred folds. Afterwards I plan on going to Japan to live and study their language.

    Reply

  6. Ben
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 20:39:19

    Also I really don’t have anymore skills for the peace corps other than my language abilities. Really languages is my only talent. I don’t farm I don’t know dick about agriculture or medicine or engineering. I’m an interpreter and translator and now with my MA program in Teaching International Languages, I’ll be a teacher later on.

    Reply

    • andtheseashalltell
      Jul 04, 2012 @ 21:14:45

      LOL.

      Trust me, my friend – NONE of us know anything about that crap. My degree is in history, my expertise is in business, and I was *supposed* to be in Africa to teach accounting and savings skills. That’s the position that I accepted – to teach small business skills in an urban setting.

      Now I’m living in a “town” of 5,000 people, planting trees and helping onion farmers find markets. And allow me to assure you, I am frequently displeased about it. I’m writing this in bed right now, beneath a mosquito net, roasting my ass off and listening to my neighbors kill a goat with a dull knife. If you think this is my idea of the best use of my abilities, think again :p

      I’m not telling you all this to sound preachy or to promote Peace Corps ideals. I’m telling you because it’s a hard truth: Peace Corps will accommodate your wants if it’s not too inconvenient for them, but at the end of the day they could give a fuck about what you might or might not think would be best for you. If you don’t think you can swallow your pride repeatedly make the best of a shitty situation, go do something else, stat. If you have Japanese, maybe JET might be more your thing?

      Reply

  7. Ben
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 22:06:45

    FYI goats are my most loved animals. If I were there I’d beat their fucking asses and turn that dual knife on them. Fucking cowards!

    Reply

    • andtheseashalltell
      Jul 04, 2012 @ 22:57:40

      Uh…life in a 3rd world country may not be for you then. I’m not sure which suffers more, the goats, the donkeys, or the chickens, but the lives of all 3 are nasty, brutish, and short.

      If you can’t handle seeing animals slaughtered, cleaned, and eaten daily, you will be *very* unlikely to finish any amount of service happily.

      Reply

  8. Ben
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 07:27:33

    I remember when I was a vegetarian in Colombia I went to this neighbor with my ex girlfriends mother and helped her catch a chicken. It wasn’t registering to me right then what was happening. She bought it for $25 (50,000 pesos). I never saw the poor chickens fate. They knew that I loved animals and that I didn’t eat meat of any kind. I contemplated many times of going out back and setting it free because it was trapped in an area out back. I can’t help it that I am find of the lovely creatures that roam our earth and it hurts me to know that there are those out there who get their jollies off of hurting the innocent and defenseless.
    I was a vegetarian for one full year. It was extremely hard for me especially when I was in Costa Rica, Panamá and Colombia.
    I’m a very open minded person but even when I am in the Peace Corps I’m not going to slaughter or watch them be slaughtered. During my time there, I’ll have to focus on my thesis that I’ll be preparing.

    I appreciate all your advice and time spent on me.

    Ben -

    Reply

  9. Mary
    Nov 25, 2012 @ 07:44:46

    Hello!

    You started a series on here about the “Real” Peace Corps, but now it seems you’ve taken it down. Have you decided against posting it? I was very interested in reading it as I will hopefully have my invitation in a few months if all goes well.

    Feel free to email me. I’m really curious.

    Thanks. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

    Reply

  10. Stephen Butler
    Jan 14, 2013 @ 20:19:49

    Hey!
    I only read a few posts but I find your blog hilarious. I’m currently a tefl PCV in Azerbaijan.and can relate to so many things in your blog. Thanks for writing.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 276 other followers

%d bloggers like this: