Hello wonderful followers of my Peace Corps Journey,
I know it has been a while since I wrote but so much as happened in the last 4 months since my last post. I have been at site officially for 7 months, I have created lots of ideas and special things for my students and grown tremendously in ways I can only imagine. Aside from living life and continuing to cope with things such as mice and mosquitoes, I realized that I lost a big chunk of myself while serving in the Peace Corps. The part I lost is hiding in my clothes back home. “Clothes?” you ask. Yes, clothes. To better explain myself let me back track (climbs in time machine). Wayyyyyy back to last November as I prepared for the journey to Uganda, within the various emails I received from Peace Corps, dress code was mentioned a lot. Along with the advice of Peace Corps emails, various volunteer packing blogs, and just plain guessing I was able to come with a solid wardrobe for my service. I made sure that everything was as appropriate as possible so that I would not create a bad impression through my form of dress. This proved to do me justice. Since being in Uganda I have gained a reputation at my school for being very well dressed among my fellow teachers and PC volunteers. This pleased me for quite awhile until yesterday. I was preparing to go to burial service and was having trouble picking out something to wear. Everything in my closet I noticed made me look either too fat, too old, or just plain school marm-ish. It then dawned on my that my clothes reflected how I had been feeling the past couple of months….old and worn out. All of my clothes reflected a serious, beaten down, stressed out Peace Corps volunteer; Not a young, vivacious, women traveling the country. Along with that I then noticed that my daily routine was predictable. Cleaning, sleeping, eating, teaching and watching cartoons. I felt so old and washed up…and I’m only 25. At that moment my wardrobe filled with ankle length skirts, underslips, beat up sensible shoes, safe mono colored tops, and dresses that make me look like a pioneer woman reflected how sad I felt inside. I hated that I felt forced due to the conservative dress constraints on women in Uganda to lock up fun, happy Vashalice, with her stylish dresses and pants. I longed to feel like me again. I love Uganda and all the people that I have created relationships with…but I missed being fun and fancy free. I cried inside. I wanted to burn all my clothes go back home to the states.
That is all for this post. Its not very happy, but honest. I’m now online window shopping for clothes and telling the old Vashalice I miss her and I wish I could let her out for just a little while.