Naturally, when you move to a country you've never been to before, you are going to get some different experiences. It is part of the reason why I signed up for the Peace Corps, to experience different people, cultures, foods, and to gain work experience. I always say that I am willing to try most things once, for the experience. But what makes an experience different from just going about your day to day business? The dictionary states that "an experience is the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation." That describes the process, but in more precise, meaningful terms, an experience is "the conscious events that make up an individual life." They are the stories you tell, the pictures you show, and the things you laugh at and learn from.
So now that I have been very philosophical about gaining new experiences, I will let you in on one that was very surprising and of course a little embarrassing. My life here would not be complete without a few awkward/embarrassing moments (some things don't change).
Our training center for Peace Corps is made up of two rooms. For some sessions, our Health and Education Volunteers split up into separate rooms. The washroom (bathroom) also happens to be attached to the same room where the Education Volunteers have their sessions. Not a big deal. So today I went in and used the washroom (per usual) fixed my skirt, and walked out to wash my hands. I walked out of the room and back to the room where the other Health Volunteers were. As I was walking I noticed something kind of poking me in, well...the behind. I just thought it was a tag sticking out from somewhere and tried to ignore it. I tried to readjust my skirt, but then it started to get pretty painful. I felt the spot where I thought the problem was coming from. To my surprise/horror, I felt something and what ever it was got angry and started biting/stingy even more. Upon realizing that something alive and angry was in my unmentionables I proceeded to freak out. I shouted to the whole room that there was something in my pants and proceeded to sprint out yelling. I ran through the other room and straight into the bathroom. The Education Volunteers were very confused and amused as to why I sprinted full speed into the bathroom. I am sure my "Oh My God! Oh My God!" shouts from inside made it even better. I immediately looked at the troubled area and found a small black wasp literally attached to my derriere. I promptly smooshed the sucker and exited the washroom to explain what had happened. As I would have suspected, everyone laughed and sitting through training was a little more painful than usual. Luckily, I am not allergic to wasps/bees (I can't imagine how that would have played out) and it definitely will be a moment I won't soon forget. I was also reminded of how new experiences can humble us and how important it is to laugh at ourselves. I am, however, still quite perplexed as to how that wasp ended up where it did.
Until next time,