Guess the celeb: Who could truly sympathize with my PC life?

The other day, I read an article that outlined a certain interview with a certain someone on a certain topic. Helpful, right? Well, I felt that the sentiments of the article really resonated with me, but not in the context in which they were spoken. For this reason, I’ve taken pieces of the interview and changed just eight words or phrases to highlight one of the most challenging parts of my Peace Corps experience: living in a spotlight under constant scrutiny. While it’s pretty bleak, I’ll add a disclaimer that I of course don’t always feel this way. Take a gander below and let me know if you can identify the true orator of these words. *Hint* It’s someone you all should know!

Here goes:

“You get lonely, you know, when you’re [living 30 miles away from anyone that remotely understands your culture],”

“I just want [Malawians] to know I’m human. I’m struggling just to get through the days. I think a lot of people are,”

“People see the [happy moments] and the amazing stuff, but they don’t know the other side. This life can rip you apart.”

“And I feel isolated. You’re in your [house] and there are [people yelling] all around, [children] following you everywhere, and it gets intense.”

“When you can’t go anywhere or do anything [in peace] you get depressed. I would not wish this upon anyone [who can’t appreciate all of the better parts of Peace Corps service].”

So as I warned, it’s pretty grim. Yet, I promised to keep my blog as honest as possible and I truly believe that a lot of volunteers feel this way at some point of their service, including myself. As we’ve been told countless times, you’ll experience your highest highs and your lowest lows during service. All you can do is persevere and remind yourself of the reasons you signed up.

Okay, so who said these manipulated words?

The answer is…..

Justin Bieber! (Talking about the pressures of being famous). The true article can be found here.

And who were you thinking?


Maize, nsima, bike taxis and iwes… What else is new?

Hello all,

Here are a few pictures from the past month of typical things that you might see in the villages around Malawi, or while in transport. Let me know if you have any questions!

A very typical scene in the village during the month of May. Women sit around on their “mphasa” mats, chatting and removing corn kernels from the cob. The kernels are then stored for the upcoming year and will be taken to the maize mill to make nsima.
Community members unload sacks of sweet potatoes at the main “tsika” (market) in Maganga. Vendors often purchase produce in different districts and truck them to Salima to sell at a higher price.
Classic kids playing in buckets with sharp objects. Two of these children are my counterpart’s sons and one is the boy that lives next door, also nicknamed “Chiri” like me!
This was at the funeral for the head teacher of the local primary school, who I had worked with before and whose daughter was in my Modern Malawian group. Pictured above is her friend helping to cook an enormous pot of nsima. The funeral took place in a the head teacher’s home village about 20 km from Maganga and over 200 people attended, including our Traditional Authority (mayor).
Visiting Chitipa in the far north. Pictured above is the soya pieces and tortillas we cooked and packed for lunch!
A village we hiked through in Chitipa
Traveling on a big “luxury bus” means you have enough space for both your child and your pot of nsima!
Riding on a bike taxi with my friend’s child in my lap, a back pack on my back and his car battery between my legs. For one hour… fun.
Surrounded by my favorite iwes! I’ll miss these guys.