“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…” - Charles Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities"
I know it has been a while – almost exactly a year – since I last wrote, but absence makes the heart grow fonder. Correct? I can give you a load of excuses for why I haven’t updated this blog until now, including lack of time, electricity, internet, etc. All pretty valid excuses I think, but they still don’t justify being absent for a year. I have tried to keep people somewhat updated on my life via Facebook and I know my mom has been the major source of information for friends and family back home (thanks mom!), but hopefully with this blog I can now keep everyone in the loop with more details, pictures and stories.
As you might have noticed from the title of my blog and the quote above, I like Charles Dickens. Actually “A Tale of Two Cities” is my favorite book and thus was a source of inspiration before departing on this adventure that is Peace Corps Burkina Faso. I recently turned to it again at my year mark and realized that the opening lines remarkably applied to my life in Burkina (the genius of Dickens is that it might just apply to every time, everywhere, every person). Life in general is a roller coaster, but Peace Corps service is a more intense and jerky ride. Although I have always loved this quote, I have never felt all of the sentiments all at the same time, except for during my time here in Burkina. Peace Corps service in itself is such a contradiction that it is possible to feel both ups and downs, goods and bads not only within the same day but often within the same moment. Having a two-year-olds face light up when you give them an empty toilet paper roll is both amazing and sad at the same time. Life here is full of these contradictions (I hate this country, I love this country, I hate this country, I love this country…), so much so that you are rarely sure where your head is at. I guess I will be spending the next year trying to figure out where my head is at and putting the stories up here. Get ready for a wild ride that for better or worse will end the same way it began, boarding a plane, starting a new adventure.