They say some people see the world through rose-colored glasses.
As it turns out, you can also see it through Peace Corps Goggles.
‘Peace Corps Goggles’ are legendary around these parts. A sad truth of service, at some point every volunteer will find the haze of Africa obscuring what really is.
Unlike Beer Goggles, Peace Corps Goggles don’t just tint your choice of romantic partner—lucky for us, a whole slew of bad choices can stem from PCGs.
Peace Corps Goggles are on when you squeeze between two big fat mamis in a rusted-out beater as it’s leaving and between gasps of air proclaim yourself so lucky for catching the car as it was pulling out.
Peace Corps Goggles are on when the idea of digging through piles of used clothes in a Cameroonian market place now seems like a fun girls day out.
Peace Corps Goggles are on when you wonder how your training group got so many attractive members of the opposite sex, and how did you not notice them during your first few months together.
Peace Corps Goggles are on when you drop food on the dirty African floor and pick it up and pop it into your mouth.
Peace Corps Goggles are on the first time you throw on a caba (muumuu) and think ‘Damn, I look good’.
Peace Corps Goggles are on when you decide that you don’t need to wear deodorant, because you’re pretty sure you don’t smell that bad or sweat that much.
Peace Corps Goggles are on when you watch a three hour Nigerian movie and think “that was pretty good, I should pick up the five sequels…”
Peace Corps Goggles are on when swirling your clothes around in soapy well water probably means they’re clean enough.
Peace Corps Goggles are on when you smell what you think is coffee, but is actually burning trash.
Peace Corps Goggles are on when you’ve worked 12 hours and sincerely think it’s time for a very restful vacation after such a hard week.
I become more and more thankful for the journal I’m keeping here (outside of this blogging adventure I’m on), because it’s able to show me some of these changed perspectives in my own life. The first few pages of my journal are now hilarious to me—I’m shell shocked, confused, and barely able to breathe due to the Yaounde smog. I was alarmed at getting zapped by electronic, now a regular occurrence, and was pissed that the country didn’t have elevators and I was forced to climb the three flights of stairs in our hotel.
The weather was too hot. The music was too loud. Food was too spicy.
Now I sleep with two blankets in 78 degrees, blast music all day long, and take shots of hot sauce for fun.
Thanks, Peace Corps Goggles.