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Seven lists with seven things

May 24, 2012

Here are some lists I’ve compiled during my now-abundant down time since finishing Harry Potter. Enjoy!

7 reasons why I love my village

  1. Because I can nap at work, and it’s OK
  2. Because I can barely communicate verbally and they still like me and have forbidden me from eveer leaving
  3. Because I can wake up, throw on a sheet of fabric and a tee, and I’m good to go
  4. Because in the right seasons, an avocado sandwich costs $0.30, a pile of tomatoes costs $0.20, the most delicious mangoes cost $0.15, and a forty (approx) costs $1.50
  5. Because only in P—, Burkina Faso, could I have learned to be the world’s best American rock-out-of-rice-picker-outer (and if that’s not a marketable skill in this economic climate, then I don’t know what it)
  6. Because it’s really, truly, supremely hard here, but I think I’m doing all right (which is worth everything)
  7. Because of her:


  1. Image andImage

7 reasons why this country frustrates

  1. Because there’s no such thing as a line
  2. Because people are still defending the calendar method as an full proof means of birth control
  3. Because it’s socially acceptable for 3-month olds to consume alcohol
  4. Because Burkinabè have a tendency to laugh when being confronted with a customer (me) telling them of a job poorly done
  5. “Nassara!!! Nassara!!!”
  6. Because the “God Willing” mentality causes people to ignore the rewards of personal effort, perseverance and intelligence, while excusing laziness, poor work ethic, and ignorance
  7. Because of guinea fowl. I seriously loathe guinea fowl

7 things I miss more than you can imagine

  1. Cleanliness
  2. Arugula
  3. Efficient service, with a smile
  4. My family
  5. Talking to people for more than a combined total of one hour per day
  6. Disappearing underneath my down comforter with 5 overstuffed pillows around me and watching the chilly and gray city out my window
  7. Live music

7 lessons learned

  1. You can get used to almost anything
  2. There’s always more to it than meets the eye (especially when you’re essentially in the dark)
  3. “Common Sense” isn’t real; or at least, it’s not innate and it’s definitely not universal but the result of too many social, cultural, environmental and traditional factors to fully grasp
  4. There’s no limit to how stupid shirts can be (: “read with the motto of dialzing new tralls enjorment reference”. Can someone please explain that to me?)
  5. Kids make all the difference
  6. Ladies: moving to Africa for two years is absolutely 100% not an effective way to lose weight, contrary to what you assume or imagine
  7. You can connect to people even in the most random circumstances

7 of my most stomach clenching, Burkina Faso experiences

  1. That time a bat flew out of the latrine hole I was squatting over
  2. Waking up with a scorpion next to my face (not my idea of a snuggle partner)
  3. Eating bugs
  4. Riding a donkey
  5. Eating congealed blood from an assortment of different animals (this is for real, I really did this)
  6. Having a gas oven explode at me, effectively singeing off my arm hair, my eyelashes, and my forehead wispies
  7. Holding a chicken (doesn’t seem crazy, but it’s kind of crazy) 

7 books I’ve most enjoyed while in Peace Corps

  1. East of Eden
  2. Three Junes
  3. Let the Great World Spin
  4. The God of Small Things
  5. The Big Short
  6. Things They Carried
  7. The Harry Potter series, which for the purpose of this list shall count as one book

And, last, but not least:

7 reasons why NOT to read Harry Potter while a PCV in Burkina Faso

  1. Because there “really are” sorcerers in village life and customs, so all attempts to explain the wizarding world as an amazing fantasy fiction that has completely engulfed you will inevitably prove futile
  2. Because when you are walking along with your villagers, and you suddenly stop mid-stride because you’ve come across a stick of wood that looks like it’d make a great wand, your villagers are likely to think you’ve lost your marbles
  3. Because when you’re supposed to be focusing on projects or integration or “development” when you’re out and about in your community, you’re instead quiet and closed off because you can’t stop internally hypothesizing answers as to WHY Severus Snape killed Dumbledore
  4. Because it becomes surprisingly easy to fake illness in order to rush back to your hut and spend every waking minute with your head buried in your — uh — kindle; the next thing you know, villagers are telling you to get yourself to the hospital to diagnose the illness
  5. Because when you finally finish the series, the loneliness and emptiness you feel because you have to say goodbye to these characters who have kept you great company, could easily (easily!) turn into a mild case of depression (because, you know, you live alone in a hut and so emotions can run wild)
  6. Because you start seeing the personality of Dolores Umbridge (bleh) in lots more places than you’d really like to
  7. Because you start analyzing (rather seriously) what qualities and aspects of your personality made that online test sort you into Hufflepuff. And even when you reach a conclusion (fierce loyalty, of course), you still have plenty of time to ponder what that “means”


3 Comments leave one →
  1. colleen anthony permalink
    May 24, 2012 2:16 pm

    Random comments, not in any order: I too suffered a ‘loss’ at the conclusion of the Harry Potter series. What? no weight loss? won’t be signing up for 2 years in BF as a last resort. Our politicians must have learned “Common Sense” from BF. Kids do make the difference, then they grow up :(. Sadly, most of the world don’t even use the calendar method. You’ll be talking about your experiences in BF your whole life, it will shape the way you act, think in ways you might not think are important now (in a good way). I think every American 18 year old should have to spend 2 years doing some kind of ‘service’ they way you did. I’m proud to know you.

  2. Cyndy Wight permalink
    May 24, 2012 9:47 pm

    7 Things we miss about Kailey:
    1. Your smile
    2. Your laugh
    3. Your kindheartedness
    4. Your sense of humor
    5. Your wit
    6. Your ability to ramdonly show up when dinner is being put on the table
    7. And your abilility to shine light on everything

    We love and miss you sooooo much.
    Auntie Bug

  3. Sammy permalink
    November 20, 2012 8:16 am

    Your blogs always put a smile on my face. I read Harry Potter first when I was in Junior High. Of course, I didn’t finish the books until high school but I think you could compare the loneliness of seventh grade to the peace corps site. In any case, I totally understand the depression you feel after finishing the book and having to let go of that magical world in order to live in reality again. you totally would be in hufflepuff too, haha! And East of Eden is my FAVORITE!!

    Last thing, when the stove singed your face, did it burn off the melasma?

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