Facebook Is Not My Friend

Early Termination (E.T.) (verb) [ur-lee tur-muh-ney-shuh n]
1. When a PCV exits their service prematurely
“Another one bites the dust.”
“Oh? Who ET-ed?”
“No, I mean another friend just got married. But it’s the same thing.”

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook these days. I enjoy that I am still connected with my friends, but the flipside is that every week, someone else has either gotten married or engaged. It’s a painful reminder of the fact that I’m still single, broke, and jobless.

“But April, Peace Corps is your job now.”

Oh please! I can’t decide if this is a never-ending version of riding the Tilt-o-Whirl, or It’s A Small World After All. And if I choose the latter, I’m not sure if I’m in the little boat, watching and learning about this new culture, or if I’m a little mechanical doll, and everyone else is staring at me.

The other day, I smiled at a curious child and made him cry.

My friends and family are supportive. They tell me what I’m doing is amazing, and that I am a role model. But I don’t feel like any kind of superhero. I’m not wearing a flashy outfit with a cape; I’m wearing a t-shirt with armpit stains and I smell bad. Showering is a hassle, because my hair clumps and clogs the drain, and the amount of dirt that comes off me would make you think I’m a real life version of Pig-Pen.


But I’m good, until I face the choice between taking a walk in the blazing sunlight, or camping out in front of my fan and playing solitaire on my computer all day. Reading on the veranda is always a winning option, if I can tolerate being interrupted by every other person passing by who wants my attention.

But between crowing roosters, oversized spiders, little black ants that will get into your food if you’re not careful, and the abundance of mosquito bites that adorn my body, I’m doing pretty well.

I’ve done a thirty-mile hike, I frequent the beach, I’ve attended a church service, and I’m finally remembering more community member names than I am forgetting them. I’ve made many Jamaican friends, my students occasionally stop by to say hello, and I keep myself busy by organizing dusty books in the library (when playing solitaire doesn’t sound more appealing). I’ve also managed to balance a social life with my responsibilities, which for many volunteers in other countries is considered a challenge. Then again, I’ve only been a PCV for three months, and it’s the summer time. Let’s see how things go when school starts up again in September.

facebook-sign-outMy bitterness comes primarily from my lack of A/C and pizza. I also grow impatient while I wait for friends to reply to my emails or send out the care packages they’ve promised. Mom and Nana, meanwhile, are busy gallivanting through Italy on a five-star cruise. This friend is posting pictures of her dinner, that one is complaining that a specific television show isn’t on tonight, he’s boasting about that awesome concert he just went to, and – oh shit. Another friend is engaged.

It’s time to log off Facebook.


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