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:
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.
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