Expectations vs Reality (One Week In)

Just to be clear, as a privileged American, I focused on the negative aspects of going to a developing country, so that’s what’s ending up here. I was treated to plenty of pleasant surprises, like the breezy view from CIEE’s rooftop. But here’s how my preconceptions measured up:

ceebujen with Khady – I eat with my hands with the ability of a toddler

What is better than I thought it would be:
Blackouts: There haven’t been that many, and we’ve also been spending a lot of time at the CIEE building, which has a generator.
Mosquitoes: You only really have to look out during dusk and dawn.
Food: The food is delicious!, though admittedly a little oily, but fresh produce, though scarce and a little pricey, is available.
Language Barrier: My French has resuscitated itself quite nicely.
Heat: Yes, I spend all day varying between damp and dripping, but it’s bearable.

I don’t drink bottled water in the states but drinking the tap water here is not advised.

What is worse than I thought it would be:
Water: The water pressure isn’t working half the time = toilets don’t flush, faucets and water fountains don’t flow
Internet: I’m just asking for reliable internet when I’m at school, but the wi-fi is terrible here.
Pollution: Am I in China?
Running: Sun + Pollution + covering up legs = misery. Maybe I’ll be able to go back to early-morning runs when I set my own schedule.

What I’m looking forward to judging (judgey mcjudgey):
-Poverty: we haven’t really visited the ghettos or the rural areas. Unemployment is at ~50% here.
-Living with a host family
-Bartering
-Transportation
-Music
-Markets
-non-orientation food

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One response to “Expectations vs Reality (One Week In)

  1. I think when Steve said that you were going to Africa, I thought you were out of your mind, especially since I know that I take water, internet, clean air, power and A/C for granted. And if I heard there were even mosquitoes, I would’ve NOPED out of living there for a whole year. (I’m barely coping with mosquito bites I got 5 days ago!) I’m glad there are some things that turned out better than expected.
    Looking to hear about the rest of your mcjudgements!

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