The guilt of a Peace Corps Volunteer

The guilt of a Peace Corps Volunteer

These are the conversations I have with myself on a daily basis. Where is the line between giving too much and not giving enough? I still don’t know.

It is 2 in the afternoon and I am hiding under my covers, trying to nap off the exhaustion of a long run. There are voices outside my window. My house is in the crossfire between the main house and the one for the herd boys, so the yells of orders and names often float through my windows.

But these voices feel close. When I open my door, I find three herd boys sitting on my porch. My porch, which belongs to me.

It really doesn’t. My space is inside and I suppose the awning could be considered communal.

They are disturbing me. Their voices, not loud, taunt me. I don’t understand them but I know what they say. We are in your space. We are in your space.

Relax, I tell myself. It is a hot day and this is a shady spot. You can’t control everything.

Why do they have to be here?

Relax.

I go to get water and shoot them dirty looks, hoping they would get the hint. The attempt is completely lost on them. They do not greet me. I mutter something about why are you sitting here.

You shouldn’t be so mean. React with kindness. Stop being such a bitch.

What if I wanted to sit out on the porch and listen to the radio? This is the only place I have that is mine, that is private. Why are they encroaching on it?

They are not in your house.

I wish someone in my family would see this and tell them to go away. My family knows that I like to be private.

My host father comes home. He joins them.

Relax. Be nice.

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