By The Numbers: Pre-Service Training

Here’s my tally of random happenings that sum up my Peace Corps Pre-Service Training.

  • Days of Pre-Service Training: 69
  • Hours of formal language classes: 75
  • Number of training sessions (health, security, cultural, technical): 94
  • Insect bites (mostly mosquitoes and ants): 164
  • Days with diarrhea: 7
  • Times I had an oopsie-poopsie: 0
  • Times I peed on myself while trying to use my pit latrine: too many to count
  • Highest fever: 103.2 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Skin rashes: 3
  • Skin infections: 1
  • Times I ate benechin: 14
  • Days I didn’t consume rice: 4 (Two of which were merely because I didn’t eat anything while sick)
  • Mangos devoured: 32
  • Times I ate something without a clue what it was: 6
  • Times that meal was actually pretty good: 4
  • Pounds I lost: 12
  • Times someone called me “toubab”: too many to count
  • Days with rain: 27
  • Spiders seen inside my house: 23
  • Rats seen inside my house: 0 (Thank Heavens!)
  • Lizards seen inside my house: 5
  • Hippos seen (inside the river): 2
  • Times I crossed the River Gambia: 2
  • Swims in the ocean: 1
  • Villages visited: 9 (plus 6 that I walked through during Marathon March)
  • Flat bike tires: 1
  • Gelly-gelly breakdowns: 0
  • Books read: 3.5 (Personal, not counting stories I read to kids)
  • Pictures I took: 722
  • Text messages sent: 631
  • Text messages received: 869
  • Times I thought: “What did I get myself into?”: too many to count
  • Times I thought: “Peace Corps is the best decision I ever made!”: too many to count

–JDF