Attention Passengers: Please Prepare for Reverse Culture Shock

T-minus 29 hours until I am on my way to AMERICA!

We have just lost cabin pressure.

Today I am attempting to mentally prepare for my holiday ku America. But let us rewind to the events of my Malawian life that have led up to this moment…

*   *   *

As I previously mentioned I am transferring sites to Ntcheu. About a week and a half ago my assistant manager, Eliza, tells me to, “Go home and pack and say your good-byes!” So I did. I packed up my entire house and informed everyone of my impending departure THEN Eliza calls me a few days later to tell me the house I was supposed to move into has been rented out to someone else…. Say what?

Then she tells me that I need to just “hang out” at site till after I get back from America then we’ll figure it out. Uh no. I love being here and in Peace Corps, but my experience thus far has told me that while I’m gone nothing will happen towards getting my situation dealt with and I really did not want to leave all my stuff in a house that already thinks I’m moving out AND the security director said I needed to leave.

So with some minor fit throwing, and by that I mean, asserting my wants to my main supervisor, Cornelius, finally I got approval to move out of my house and keep all my belongings in storage at the office while I go to America. However, Malawi is in serous fuel crisis right now, cars lining the streets in line all day for petrol and diesel, and therefore I had to find my own way to get all my things to the office. Luckily I have friends in high places who have cars and found a guy who was willing to pick me up here in Lilongwe, take me all the way out to my village to pack up my things, load them in his car, and then drive me back here! Yes, I had to pay him but still! Ah-mazing.

CIMG4137He was such a sport too, because I wasn’t 100% packed and he had to wait for me to finish up, and it was quite a chaotic experience. There was a group of amayis helping me pack and move things out, and when I announced that whatever was left was up for grabs, all hell broke loose. The women began fighting over my left over CIMG4139things, including empty bottles and plastic bags. I even had to kind of shout at them to stop. It. was. insane. Eventually though, we got everything packed and loaded into the car, even strapping CIMG4136my 3 mattresses to the top. I hugged everyone and some of the ladies even sang a good-bye song, and left Katchale. It was surreal driving away knowing I may not come back. But I had to tell myself that I would visit again to see Helen before my service is over. It was hard to say good-bye to her, but I’m excited about my new job and location and am ready to move on. Ntcheu, here I come!

So now all my things are safely packed away in storage here at the Peace Corps office and I can relax and get ready for my long long trip home. And hopefully when I return there will be a house for me to move into and I can get settled and start my new job! *happy dance*

OH! I’m guessing you’re thinking, “Uh, Ashleigh! What about Nzelu?!” Well! I was planning to give him to another volunteer Adam, yesterday, bring him with me to Lilongwe and then Adam would take him to his house while I’m gone and potentially for good, BUT Nzelu was no where to be found. He was off gallivanting with ouher dogs and I couldn’t find him. Now the plan is that Dre, my site mate, is going to handle is for me (THANKS DRE!). She’s going to get ahold of him and then bring him to Lilongwe next weekend to pass him on to Adam. So fingers crossed that it works out and my pup will be safe and in a new home. It is kind of sad, but I will be living in the BOMA of Ntcheu, which is the main town and that means I’ll be pretty close to the M1, the main “highway” of Malawi, and I worry it would be a matter of days before something awful would happen, so I had to make a hard decision in his interest and safety. *sigh*

Any hoo…

Let’s talk about AMERICA! *hyperventilates*

I leave from Malawi tomorrow! TOMORROW! TOMORROW!! Oh. My. God.

It’s so surreal, amazing, exciting, scary, nerve-wracking and above all AWESOME! It’s scary because I don’t think I’ll realize how much I’ve acclimated to Malawian culture until I’m back in the thralls of American culture. After living such a simple life, America is daunting. I kind of fear the moment of freak-out which I’m sure will happen, but that’s expected. And all the good things I’m looking forward too trump any anxiety I feel. I canNOT wait to see everyone, especially my family. To eat good, affordable food: sushi, ice cream, qdoba, Italian food, and BEER ON TAP! Ohmygoodness… OPTIONS! I can’t get over all the options there will be awaiting me, like the cereal isle! *shudders* OK ok ok, got to stop imagining food. I can’t wait to have clean clothes that are fully intact and CLEAN FEET!

I’m not excited at all, obviously. Hahaha!

Oh home… Open-mouthed smile

*   *   *

Midnight Sun Over Malawi

CIMG4060 A few weeks ago Malawi witnessed a lunar eclipse! I was at my house, laying out on my back patio, bundle up due to the cold, watching the magic happen. CIMG4079It was pretty incredible, the night sky here is so unreal. I tried to take pictures but to get a good photo I had to set it to long exposure, but couldn’t hold still to be able to get a good shot, so I finally figured out a way to set the camera on a bucket and managed to get two seriously wickedly awesome shots. Beautiful. The funniest part of it all way the following day when neighbors we asking me about the “sun rising at night” and whether is was the sign of the on coming apocalypse. hehehe CIMG4081


*   *   *

Well that’s all for now! Expect my next update probably before I leave America to return to Malawi. I’ll have bomb internet so I may try to post a video or two! Yay!

For those of you devoted readers whom are my family and friends… see you soon! Smile 



About Ashleigh

All the world is my stage. I am a Peace Corps Volunteer living in Malawi, Africa from 2010-2012 as a Community Health Advisor.
This entry was posted in Holiday, life, Malawi, update and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Attention Passengers: Please Prepare for Reverse Culture Shock

  1. Grandma Pat Blaine says:

    Hi Ash. I am assuming that your are at a new asignment by now. Also assuming that you had a great time during your visit home. Wonderful!
    Currently the east coast of NC is having a hurricane. Here in the west part of NC, nothing. The big hurricane is supposed to hit NYC pretty hard. All the buses and other city transportation are not running. Here, it is rather warm. I wonder it the hurricane is responsable for the temps as it had began to cool off a little.
    I guess you know Aunt Bertie had remarried. The first part of the month. Her first husband had passed away about 2 years ago. Bertie married a wonderful man by the name of John Eby. They are both extremly happy!!!. And that is putting it mildly!!!
    We are headed up to the Mountain for the annual campout next month. Unfortunately, John Eby is not a camper. I am trying to get him to come and stay at a motel down in Maggy Valley at night and visit with his new family members during the day. We shall see how it all shakes out. Mary Jo is coming this time as well. Otherwise, no new news…I will be looking for your new blogs. Take care and have a wonderful time and “make a difference”! I know you will, Sweetie. Also, is your mailing address the same as before. I will try to get you off a package when I know for sure what it is.
    Big hugs and lots of love, Grandma Pat

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