Being in a Long-Distance Relationship During Peace Corps

A Memoir of 18 Months Apart & Counting

So, you’ve decided that it’s a really good idea to try to “make it work” while you’re gone. Good call…..noooot

What this means

  • You  might be a little crazy. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this. Think back to your childhood and see if there’s a reason that you kind of enjoy tormenting yourself.
  • PC is a life changing death hole emotional vaccuum …activity. In all likelihood, you are going change during these two years at a more rapid pace than your partner. You’ll come back like, “hey look at my cool new dreads” and they’ll be like, “hey look at my real job and car and insurance payments” and you’ll be like, “what’s money?”. But seriously, you won’t be the same people. Think about how different you are than two years ago, and then think about those changes +body filth +50 new hippie friends +a more worldly outlook +the dreads, etc etc.
  • 27 months = 27 super cheap rent payments that you can brag about forever (and then realize that no one is jealous) = 810 days = 810 chances that you’ll run out of toilet paper and there will be no one to bring more to you.

Normal occurrences

  • In the first few months, you will not be attracted to host country nationals (HCNs). You’re too cool, and they’re not your partner, so end of story, right? Fast forward to the sensual equivalent of a barren desert wasteland, around month five or so. You’re on a trip to the capital , far away from your remote, conservative village and some decent-looking HCNs walk by. Your super-low-standards radar is activated. They appear to be within 10 years of your acceptable age range. You are intrigued. THEY CAN SPEAK ENGLISH. You magically find yourself out on a date with one of them. He doesn’t want you to cook and clean for the rest of your life. The wedding is small and simple, yet elegant.
  • Your skype dates will involve a lot of crying. You’re crying because the village boys insist on stoning stray animals to death. Your partner’s crying because he misses you. The next time, you’re crying because you’re frustrated about the cultural differences at work, and how you never feel truly productive. He’s crying because he misses you. On round three, you’re crying because the language is so hard to learn and no one understands you and the oily food is making you fat. He’s crying because he agreed to this arrangement.
  • At some point, you give up on trying to articulate the subtleties of PC life. You cease to comprehend how a person can accomplish so many things in a day. Laundry dries in a matter of hours? You “drive” from place to place on your own schedule, with your own seat? There is a mechanism that enables food to be delivered to your house? How do the delivery people even find your house? Wtf is a GPS and how does it possess such dark magical powers?? Omg you have it on your PHONE?!?!
  • You’ve resorted to having him spell out words that cause you pain, such as “g-y-m”, “h-u-m-m-u-s”, and “p-r-i-v-a-c-y”. Better yet, just don’t ever talk about those things. Ever.

Consequences

  • Well, your technological underwear is definitely ruined.
  • You basically have a free pass on PCV-PCV hookup drama. You can just sit back and watch. If only there was popcorn here :/
  • You can produce a passable boyfriend tale for locals who want to marry you off more quickly than your friends who invent imaginary significant others on the spot.

But in all honesty…

Finding someone who is willing to wait 27 months is tough. It’s not like I used to roll up into bars like, Hey wadup mofos, I’m Sarah. I get grumpy at night, require feeding every two hours or so, and oh p.s. I’m leaving for Peace Corps…..who wants to date? I got really lucky six years ago and I just want to give a shoutout to my habibi Maher for going through this crazy experience with me. Thank you / დიდი მადლობა / شكرا !

I miss you so much, my dear…….

IMG00252-20110911-1854

oh wait that’s my cat.

I look forward to seeing you back home and spending all my time with you!

IMG00419-20111022-1747

oops that’s a pizza.

But seriously………

Stay tuned for the next segment about the extra special experience of being in a long TERM long distance relationship and trying to figure out your entire future together while simultaneously trying to figure out when the electricity will come back on. Oh the joy.

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6 thoughts on “Being in a Long-Distance Relationship During Peace Corps

  1. Sarah, Gma here. Just read your “long distance relationship” blog. I hope you NEVER realize how wonderful,special,funny,appreciative, etc. you are!!! Your head would be as big as the moon. Yes, you are lucky to have Maher, but I know he realized how lucky he is to have you! Your both special! Merry Christmas. We all love you!!!!!

  2. I randomly stumbled across this post because I was looking for long distance relationship inspiration…haha! Funny coincidence, I’m departing for Peace Corps-Georgia in 3 months!

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