Definitely the hardest part of being a Peace Corps Volunteer is that it is a 24/7 job. No matter whether you are teaching, walking down the road, having a beer with friends, or sitting at the beach, you are always a Peace Corps Volunteer and everything you do reflects upon both the Peace Corps and America in general. And it can be exhausting. When I am napping and students come knock on my window because they want homework help, I can’t tell them to scram (well at least I have to do it politely). When I am walking down the road at the end of a long day and I don’t necessarily feel like greeting every single person I walk past, I still do it with a smile. When the men at the bar/restaurant are harassing us and I would really like to tell them exactly what I’m thinking, I remind them how rude they’re being and we relocate. When I am running and all I want is one hour where I can zone out and the kids keep running along next to me and I really just want to send them tumbling into the brush, I focus on each stride and greet and wave to each person I pass.
A South African man asked me where I was from today. When I said America, he responded “well obviously, but where?”