Revelations and Exasperation in Sierra Leone

Author’s Note: This post was previously posted last week, but as a new page rather than in the “Blog” section of the site. Anyway, this post is technically a week old. Such a blogging newbie, amirite?

In the past month or two, I have come to a number of conclusions about a variety of topics, and while I can only assume that some will change, there are definitely some life lessons to be found. First, and foremost, among these conclusions is that any drug that’s name sounds like “meth” is probably terrible and not to be taken. I am referring to Mefloquine, a malaria prophylaxis (though not to state the obvious this is clearly applicable to actual meth as well). I’ve been in Sierra Leone about 6 months, and nearly the entire time I have been taking Mefloquine. It was only recently that I switched to Malarone (and was the last of my fellow volunteers to switch). Now, I contribute most of this delay in switching medications to laziness; why take a pill every day when there is another option that is only required once a week? But also, because unlike the other volunteers I wasn’t having any side effects. There was no depression, hallucinations, panic attacks, (continuous) exceptionally vivid dreams, etc. Every once in a while, I would have a really vivid dream during PST (Pre-Service Training) about bugs or mice, but I contributed them to the stress of actually dealing with bugs or mice while I was awake. As such, I continued to live in my blissful ignorance of sound logic (i.e. switching medication). However, my stubbornness has outlived its usefulness and I am now taking Malarone. I really should have done this a long time ago, and if you don’t believe me look up the side effects of Mefloquine on Google. Isn’t the internet a wonderful place J

My second conclusion: while burning trash as a way to get rid of your refuse is effective when there is a lack of infrastructure to address the buildup of waste, it is the literal worst. Though I came to this conclusion a long time ago, I just feel the need to emphasize how obnoxious it is…and also because I had to get up and close my window shutters while typing this because the smoke from my neighbor’s burning trash pile/grass/weeds started blowing into my kitchen window. I don’t have any reliable or sustainable solutions to offer as alternatives, but still.

My third conclusion: Donald Trump is the anti-Christ. No really. He is Satan incarnate. That is all.

In other news, I got a puppy. I cannot decide if this was a good idea yet, but here we are. It’s adorable and happy and playful….and pees on everything. It’s really small at the moment (no idea how many months old it is) so I keep him inside, but once he gets bigger I plan to let him roam around outside during the day and let him sleep inside at night. I figure he’s a good companion to kill time with for the next couple years, but with the added bonus of being extra security. I don’t have the best internet connection right now, but I will post a picture of him the next chance I get. His name is Pablo.


And finally to round out this post’s list, I give you 7 additional, albeit, brief thoughts I had since my last post (there are some pretty good stories attached to a few of these):

  1. “Nowhere, will I ever see a brighter full moon than in my village in West Africa.”
  2. “You can never have enough cornflakes.”
  3. “Maybe I can just use my [Penn State] keychain as prayer beads… crap, that really will make Penn State a cult.”
  4. “Hmm that kind of looked like a bat….FUUUUCK”
  5. “oh shit.”
  6. “I would definitely never be able to do this in America.”
  7. “Well that looks concerningly similar to a dog.”

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