27 Things to Love and Hate about Returning to the United States After Serving in Peace Corps Ethiopia

  1. Quick service and being able to complain to managers who do things to make it better. No more “it’s coming in the next 5 minutes” only to show up 30 minutes later and no more having to make sure I don’t go to dinner hangry. 20 minute food service – here I come!
  2. Fast internet and reliable phone service.
  3. Having the ability to drive places with open windows and people actually obeying traffic laws.
  4. The variety of transportation. No more “the only way to travel is by bus and air, but only if you are really rich.” Bring on the taxis, the trains, cars, buses, planes and boats.
  5. Having the option to wear skirts, shorts and short sleeved shirts on a hot summer’s day.
  6. Being another face in the crowd. I will miss all the fist bumps but it will be nice to go to dinner and not be stared at.
  7. Being able to jam out to some Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts in the car.
  8. The land of possibilities. Bring on the yogurts, smoothies, milk, cheese, cereals and different varieties of food. Also, bring on the job opportunities and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer services!
  9. Being a couch potato and understand everything that is happening. No more having to fumble around and thinking before I speak in Amharic. Let’s have a real conversation instead of saying some repeated phrases.
  10. Meetings starting on time and people taking accountability for their actions. So many times, I have to talk to three or four people and consistently speak to them before I see results while I served in Ethiopia.
  11. Being able to go to a dance club and dance like an idiot, but still not be the only one being stared at. I am no one’s entertainment.
  12. Going stag to the movies and having it only cost $3. I will miss date night with myself consisting of popcorn, ice cream and cupcakes coming in at $8.
  13. Negotiating. I didn’t always like this, but I sure got some stuff cheap!
  14. Clothes and shoes that don’t fall apart after only a few months.
  15. Being able to people watch and be an introvert. I was able to do this sometimes but most of the times, I was the one that people watched. I won’t be told all the time “tataw’ači” or “talk” all the time. Let me just observe, dang it, and if I have anything to contribute, I will!
  16. All the violence in the States. Gun violence! Possibility of Trump being president! Hatred among minorities!
  17. Being surrounded by computers that have little or no viruses.
  18. Western toilets and privacy.
  19. Not washing clothes by hand. I lost count on how many times the kids told me I was not washing my clothes correctly.
  20. Being dirty or muddy all the damn time.
  21. Considerate of volume with televisions and radios. People wearing headphones on buses!!!
  22. Drinking clean water and showering with hot water.
  23. Paved roads and getting to places quickly.
  24. Houses that don’t smell like mold, or wet mud.
  25. Animal feces covering every surface.
  26. Having seasons instead of just having sun or rain.
  27. Catching up with loved ones. I missed many milestones like birthdays, holidays, engagements, babies, new jobs, new homes and departure of my mom to the Netherlands. No more.

2 Comments Add yours

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