All About Context: Another Post About Peace Corps

Lounging in the living room, half-watching Jurassic Park. I must have listened to the soundtrack on cassette tape (back when we still had those) a gazillion times. I don’t know what songs go with what parts of the movie (other than the helicopter ride to the island), but certain parts of it bring back such strong memories (mostly of sitting in the car, which is where we listened to cassettes), even though it’s been 20 years since I’ve listened to the soundtrack (housemate says he saw it when he was 8).

Related, but not related: this blog is being circulated around the internets. One of the most refreshing Peace Corps blogs I’ve read (not that I’ve read that many) about the ups and downs of el Cuerpo de Paz. One of the points that stuck out to me was “You will miss your family, your really hot girlfriend, and the contextual clues you associate with fond memories.” Funny how context is such a big part of everything.

When I went back to Ecuador in November, one of the strangest things I found myself remembering was the smells: the overwhelming scent of deja (laundry detergent), the perfumed smells of people’s houses, the saltiness of the ocean, the people smell of buses. I never, ever talk to people about what Ecuador smelled like (even to other volunteers and we talk about EVERYTHING Ecuadorian), yet that was such a huge part of our trip.

Yes, in a way, this post is Just Another Post About Peace Corps.

Let There Be Light…

The fluorescent light outside our apartment has been out ever since I moved here. I’ve flagged it as a problem and had been meaning to fix it for ages. (The catch, of course, being that I can only fix it when there’s natural light and these days, that’s when I’m at work)

Yesterday, I finally dragged out the folding chair (we don’t have a ladder). I couldn’t figure out how to remove the cover, so I googled it. Then I wasn’t sure how to remove the bulbs, so I googled that, too. As I unscrewed the light bulb, both of them came on. Whatever happened to the lights, it wasn’t an issue with the bulbs. I suspect it was an issue with the starter.

The takeaway being (and I use this in my job all the time), if you don’t know the answer, you should probably google it. Also: don’t touch live wires. They’re scary.

Update: I went to take a photo of the light this morning for this blog. The lights are out again. Back to Step One. Time to replace the starter. Sigh.