With the fact that light no dey – there is no electricity in my village, with the exception of generators – combined with the daily, invariable sunset between 6:30pm and 7pm, I go to sleep much earlier than I used to and receive the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep per night. I usually read by flashlight for about an hour, and then am asleep by 10pm. Right before I woke up the other morning, I was singing a song to myself with the lyrics “the last dream I ever had” – not the best, but the last. It got me to thinking about the dreams I have here, both while I am sleeping and while I am awake, about my present and my future. Now that I sleep more, I evidently dream more.
How have my dreams changed?
My dreams during college were about practical things or worries, like what I did that day, or an exam I was stressing over. Sometimes, I would dream about the past. Now, I still dream about the past, but I dream about what I am missing in the U.S. I think that is why I often wake up feeling lonely. I dream about dancing, swimming, and other things I did in America. I also dream about nice houses, with microwaves and washing machines. I spent most of last Sunday washing laundry by hand. And I thought I dreaded laundry days in college… I dream about American restaurants and being caught in the snow. Other PCVs who became my friends in training as well as my friends in the U.S. often make brief appearances in my dreams. We are rarely doing anything of consequence, but at least my dreams give me a place where I can be with them again.
The Peace Corps gives you a lot of time to sit and think, especially if you live without electricity. During the day, I dream about the work I might be doing in the next two years. Things seem so unknown right now, and two years seem like a really long time. A lot of things will happen and a lot will change. I think about what I might be doing two years from now, and take comfort in that I don’t have to know right now. I will take one day at a time and keep on dreaming.