A couple weeks ago I was sexually assaulted while on vacation. Yes, it happened during Holy Week, which I won’t get into here. This is the second time that I have been assaulted during my service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru; the first time was in January of 2010. After the first incident I found myself avoiding the world and have chosen to take a different route this time, like dying my hair, which I haven’t done before. I was reflecting on this instance and came to the question: why? I know that the unsatisfying answer is because I was there and am female; such is life. I put forth the following series of questions not to receive answers (because many don’t have answers), but to get them out of my own head and to give a glimpse of what goes on in the mind of at least this PCV.
Why did I sign up for this again?
What was I thinking?
What do I do now?
Why do people live here in one of the driest deserts in the world?
Why don’t people wash their hands?
Why aren’t there toilet seats?
Why is there urine on the toilet again?
I have been here for months, why are people still staring?
Why am I arguing with these people about 1:00 to 3:00 being two hours?
Why is it so difficult to communicate?
Why is it that the longer I am in world the less the world makes sense?
Why do people burn their trash?
Why is it that some days it feels like the world is slowly steeling my optimism?
How did I end up with such great friends?
How do I go back to the U.S. after this?
Why will this f*#@ing fly not leave me alone?
How do people just sit there for hours doing absolutely nothing but watch the world go by?
Are these clothes going to last for my last six months?
Does nobody read in this country?
Why are there so many naked pictures of women in the newspapers?
Am I really sitting in surgery watching doctors remove a woman’s gallbladder?
Do people really poop in this country with all that rice in their diets?
Really, we only get water every two weeks?
Was that a dirty diaper in the irrigation canal?
Do the dogs have to be so evil?
Who knew that sunsets in the desert were so amazing?
What did they just say?
Will you repeat that?
How much longer do we have?
Did that really just happen?
What is it with eighties music?
Michael Jackson died?
Why is there never any toilet paper or soap?
Who steals water pumps?
Do I look like I have tons of money?
What do you mean I have chicken pox again?
Is that ringworm?
Did you see my bruise from the dog that bit me?
Why are there always cockroaches?
Why do people keep asking me about husbands and boyfriends?
What keeps me here?
Why can’t things just work the first time?
What am I doing here?
Am I actually helping anyone?
Did you really just say that to me punk?
How did I get so lucky? Is it really luck?
What was he thinking?
Why holy week of all weeks?
Isn’t this supposed to be one of the times when we are supposed to take extra care of our fellow man?
Why does it feel like all men are bastards sometimes?
Why does it suck so much to be a girl sometimes?
Why didn’t I do anything?
Why is there not more delicious dark chocolate in the world?
Why o why?
*Photo is of the square in Ayacucho during Holy Week. I will put more up about this later.