When the floods came and destroyed my house and all of my belongings, Peace Corps wanted to send me home or to a new site up north. I didn't want to leave my community-- I had spent a year learning their language and getting to know their culture. I spent time creating programs in the community and I didn't want them to be abandoned.
I called my friend, Percina, and she told me to come live with her in her hut in a small rural village a few miles from my original site.
After pleading with Peace Corps to let me live there despite the lack of running water, electricity, market, or reliable transportation, they agreed. They agreed because they saw such kindness and generosity in Percina, her family, and her neighbor, Gina. They knew that these amazing people would take care of me.
It was a transition moving to this village in such a traumatic time when I felt like I had lost everything. But it immediately felt like home. They taught me how to cook using fire wood, how to cart water, and how to wake up with the sunrise and go to sleep with the sunset.
They helped me when I had nothing. Now it's my turn to help them.