Time flies here in Cameroon – I can’t believe I’ve been here nearly 7 months already. I left America when my Senior year of college at DePaul would’ve been starting and if I were still in Chicago, I’d be starting my last quarter of classes right now. Seriously, where has the time gone? I never anticipated my time here to go by this quickly, and it’s making me sad – I don’t want this experience to come to an end, even despite the hardships that come with living here.

The other day I Skyped with a friend back home who laughed at how much I had changed. According to him I’ve transformed from being very timid and indecisive to being outgoing and more entertaining. At times I don’t feel like I’ve changed too much, but when I talk with those back home it makes me realize just how much I have indeed been transformed by this experience.

While I was quite unsure of my initial reasons for joining the Peace Corps (and still am to some extent), I knew that I wanted to discover more about myself through this process and hopefully change for the better. So, here are the changes that I’ve noticed in myself over the past 7 months.

I’ve become...
·         More patient (waiting for a bus for 5 hours, no problem)
·         More easily amused (let’s watch goats play for two hours)
·         Better educated
·         More well-read (currently reading all the Game of Thrones series)
·         More knowledge hungry
·         More driven
·         More domestic (I sweep and mop every day)
·         More in love with animals
·         More outdoors-y (I would've never fathomed hiking for 5 days in the rainforest)
·         More appreciative of nature and natural beauty
·         More curious
·         More adventurous
·         More appreciative of change
·         More appreciative of family
·         More confident I want to try living in a new city once returning to the US (West coast? East coast?)
·         More travel-hungry
·         A better French speaker
·         A worse English speaker
·         A fake Fulfulde speaker
·         More tolerant of insects and rodents
·         Less patient with rude, derange-y men ("Je suis une FEMME!" I am a WOMAN!)
·         More likely to physically harm a derange-y man (I've punched my fair share of men in Lomie)
·         Better at ignoring people
·         Better at confronting people
·         A proficient hisser
·         More outspoken
·         More sarcastic
·         More accustomed to lack of persona space in terms of travel (sure, let's fit 8 people in a single row of this taxi!)
·         Convinced that an 8 hour drive is a ‘quick’ trip
·         More certain that the best foods come from nature
·         More of a coffee/tea fiend (hint...great care package ideas - just sayin')
·         Certain that the quality of friends trumps quantity
·         More decisive (I think…?)
·         More of a nester
·         Less trustworthy of strangers
·         More of a star gazer (I have a star gazing iPhone app to prove it)
·         More self-confident
·         Less self-conscious
·         Less afraid to dance in public (especially if alcohol is involved)
·         A worse dancer (especially if alcohol is involved)
·         Appreciative of normal bowel movements
·         Grateful for food variety
·         Thankful for decent mattresses
·         More optimistic
·         More cynical
·         A morning person (especially with coffee)
·         Better at sticking up and advocating for myself
·         More independent
·         Less certain what I want to do with my life
·         Content with simplicity
·         Thankful for the little things
·         Certain that to be happy in life, it isn’t about what I’m doing, but rather who I’m surrounded by


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