Hannah Goes Fishing

A Fishing (and more) Blog

A Brief Hiatus

13 Comments

Dear Readers,

This post is for you, but also for me.  Over these past (almost) seven months I’ve been in Peace Corps, there has been one consistent and wonderful aspect of my life that has only ever improved as things here got tough: you.  You have written in with beautiful comments, reached out with empathy, support, and kindness, and sent hilarious emails that had me laughing to myself long after all my friends thought it was funny. I want to sincerely thank you for following along on this little adventure, and reaching out of the blogging abyss to say, “Yes! We’re listening!”

It is with that gratitude in mind that I am taking a little break from the blog-o-sphere.  Blogging has always been something I did for me as a means of pursuing my love for writing. I have always kept a deal with myself that if blogging ever became more of a burden than a pleasure, that I would take a little break.  While blogging (and your response to my blogging) has gotten me through the last few months, a few recent events (and by recent, I mean I laid awake last night thinking about this) has given me pause.

First, I have a confession. I don’t want to go back to my village.

I know. I have a new house, a new village, and a most excellent friend visiting for a week to help jump-start my new life there.  I should be thrilled. Motivated. Excited!  But, I am not. Frankly, I’m dreading it.

To make things worse, I have incredible friends and family (and blog readers) who do nothing but support me and encourage me every step of the way. While I couldn’t be more grateful for them, all that love sometimes makes it pretty dang hard to want to stay here.  “Why,” I ask myself, “am I here doing this when I could be at home with all these sensational people enjoying the easy life (and cold beer)?”  Well, dear reader, we both know that I’m here specifically because it isn’t easy, but that’s a tough thing to remember at insomnia ‘o’clock.

But Zambia, like any good hiking trail, has its own little bit of “trail magic”. Just when things are their worst, something perfect happens.  Yesterday, that perfect thing was a volunteer enjoying her last day at the provincial house before her close of service. She told me that there were many months during her (very successful) service where she did not want to go back to her village. She didn’t necessarily want to quit Peace Corps (and I don’t, either), but she just didn’t want to be here. But, she said, you have to go. You have to be there. Because buried beneath all the frustrations and uncomfortable things are those little golden moments of hope and friendship and all the other gems that make life worth living.

“If you aren’t there, you’ll miss them.”

And so, I’m going back to the village and taking a one month hiatus from blogging.  Fear not! This is not permanent. I will return, as scheduled, on October 5th with new content, photos, and stories from my little piece of Africa/almost Tanzania. This break will help me look more inward, rather than focusing outward on all the American people and places I miss, and I think this blog will be better for it about a month from now.

So, thank you again for all your readership, your support, your love.  I’ll be back soon.

In the mean time, fish on.

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13 thoughts on “A Brief Hiatus

  1. Hi Hannah- just wanted to let you know I love your blog! I too am from Alaska and plan to serve in the next few years- I’m not able to apply yet but am so excited about the possibilities. Reading your blog (and others too) really motivates me to really want to do this. Thank you!!

    • Hello! Thank you for your comment. It’s always so nice to hear from a fellow Alaskan. Where in AK do you live? I’m from Homer. Stay in touch and please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help make your application process easier. There’s a lot of really great information out there! Cheers.

  2. Good luck back at your village — I’ll look forward to hearing more later this fall. 🙂

    • Thanks Mark! How’s your process going? Any word on an invite? How are the owls?

      • Hi Hannah, the owls are great! I actually received an invitation for a position in Zambia and an offer for a MS Assistantship on the same day. After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to take the MS position; however, I still aim to serve in the PC afterward. Hope all is well.

  3. Enjoy your brief hiatus Hannah and savor the magic moments. There may even be more than expected.
    Love, Linda

  4. Dear Hannah,
    I am having a hard time understanding why Volunteers are not assigned a room/mate, especially when you seem to be so isolated in your village. I was in the Peace Corps 1964-66, at the beginning I guess, and it seemed to me that all women, especially, were assigned a room/mate. I don’t think I could have done what I did without Jean Johnson whom I lived with… we were a definite team and a great support to each other. I will be wishing good things for you as you return to your village and will look forward to your next post.

    • Hi Gretta,

      In some countries they do still assign “site mates”, or another volunteer who lives in close proximity to you. In Peace Corps Zambia, the nearest neighbor I’ve ever heard of is 6km away, and that’s REALLY close. My nearest is about 25k, which seems to be more the average. Sometimes I wish for a closer neighbor, but the solitude can really force resilience. Things have been much better in my village this past month, and I’m looking forward to the rest of my service in a brand new way. Thanks for all your support!

  5. As usual, Hannah, you have good reason to trust your instincts. BTW, This month you are taking off includes the Jewish new year, a traditional time for turning inward and refocusing our energies. The time must be right! We look forward to your next post – whenever it is.

  6. Hannah, you are a mind boggling, terrifying, amazing human being. I can’t even fathom how you do what you do. You are truly an inspiration. But in all seriousness, I want more fish pictures. There are some super cool cyclides where you are at.

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