I never wrote the milestone one year entry– the blog post in which the PCV reflects on how much s/he has learned and changed since that first day in country X. Somehow the year anniversary snuck by me without bringing a well-timed epiphany or intense need to reflect.  In fact, now I find myself at the two year mark, and I still have difficulty capturing all the ways this experience has changed me.  But I have been thinking about it a bit, ever since my sister visited and told me one way– after I argued with someone over 500 USh (25 cents), she said, “You’re not as nice as you used to be.”


One of the things I remember quite well from my arrival in Uganda was meeting the second-year volunteers.  They seemed so comfortable and all-knowing.  They had stories.  They joked about their parasites.  They had tons of hints and experiences to share.  On Monday, I went to train the newest incoming class of volunteers and realized that I have become that seasoned second-year, complete with the comfortable confidence and a suspected case of amoebas.  Funny, though.  I’m anything but sure.  I think I have just found a certain comfort in not knowing.  You could say it’s a tolerance for ambiguity.  Yes, I am curious, but also have a certain patience with the unknown.


A former PCV once said that when he got home to America after his service, he always struggled to answer the question, “So how was it?” in a meaningful, honest way before the person asking lost interest.  After some time, he settled on an answer: “It was transformational.” 


As I begin considering what’s next myself– though I still have plenty of time (October is my new finish date)– I have a feeling this word, transformational, just might fit.

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1 Response to transformation.

  1. Janice says:

    Hah! You know that by, “You’re not nice,” I really meant, “You don’t let people walk all over you,” right? I was so totally impressed and awed by my confidently bargaining sister. My butt (which I never thought of as bony until the ride from Mbale) will forever thank you for having a seat to itself.

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