Change Yourself…Change The World.

The 4 Stages To Having A Complete Meltdown
December 12, 2012, 11:39 am
Filed under: Paraguay, Pictures Post

What stories have you heard about Peace Corps Volunteers having a crazy meltdown? In Paraguay, there’s always the popular story of a Volunteer going berserk and stabbing a cow with a knife for eating her last pair of underwear. I’ve also heard the tale of Peace Corps staff finding a naked Volunteer alone in his house, stapling pancakes to the wall. While both of these accounts are a little bit hilarious, the stories ring true: we all have moments in our service where we go bat-shit cray-cray.

When you’re in the Peace Corps, ridiculous situations happen to you on a level that’s hard to even comprehend anywhere else. We’re alone, new to our communities, struggling to learn the local language, and trying to figure out how to live our lives in a completely different way. Many times in the developing world, things never go as planned, safety hazards are blatantly ignored by everyone, people are blunt and disregard what we consider polite, or rituals and customs in-country are completely different than what we would ever consider ‘normal’ from our American values. Peace Corps Volunteers do a great job of handling these extreme and often stressful situations with humor and grace. However, when a lot of them happen at the same time, there reaches a tipping point, and the littlest trigger can send us spiraling out of control into cray-dom, turning us into a blubbering, deranged mess.

How do Peace Corps Volunteers go crazy? I’ve illustrated a few examples of how a couple of bizarre situations can lead to a total meltdown. All of the situations outlined below are true instances that have happened to some of my Peace Corps friends in Paraguay. One of them happened to me: I’ll let you guess which one it is.

Walking down the street and being screamed you’re fat by a stranger (who by the way, is usually morbidly obese) can sometimes be worthy of a melt-down itself. But for this purpose, the Volunteer is pretty calm about the entire thing.

Bee hive in your house? Green chunks in your drinking water? House flooded by dirt and slime? Rats scuttling around your kitchen? Frustrating and annoying, but always a situation that can be ignored and dealt with later. This extra stress causes the cray-meter to slowly rise a little higher.

Crazy medical condition? Plastic bag full of groceries that you have to carry for 3 miles splits open in 90+ degree heat? You killed that rat in your kitchen by feeding it poison, but now it’s dead and decomposing somewhere in your house? Maggots got into your food and now there are a million flies in your kitchen? The cray-meter is rising, and you feel an explosion coming on…

The next and littlest inconvenience in your life, like not being able to fit the key into your lock because you’re impatient and just want to get into your house, is the trigger to an insane meltdown.

And that my friends, is how you end up sobbing in an aisle in your supermarket because you can’t decide on the right shampoo.

12 Comments so far
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Brittany! I’m sorry you’re doing cray-pocalypse. You’re amazing. Thank you for sharing these adorable cartoons…I’m glad you could make light(er) of the situation….and good luck with your butt scabbies ❤

Comment by Liz

Hahaha, guessing doesn’t count if you know the story!!!! Glad you liked it. Miss youuuu!!

Comment by brittanygoesglobal

You have butt scabies?????????????

Comment by HJB

Also I seem to remember a certain someone who shall remain nameless telling a lady she was fat in a grocery store once.

Comment by HJB

*had* :/ hahahaha

Comment by brittanygoesglobal

i’m a current pcv in nicaragua. i’m pretty sure almost all of these examples have happened to me. hilarious post!

Comment by Lauren

Haha thanks! It’s so funny how our experiences can be SO different, yet SO the same!

Comment by brittanygoesglobal

Love it… so true…. I was a PCV in Guatemala!

Comment by Steph


Comment by brittanygoesglobal

I’m the mother of a brand new RPCV. I enjoyed your post! I visited my son in Paraguay, and can relate somewhat…

Comment by Susan

Haha, thank you! I hope you enjoyed Paraguay 🙂

Comment by brittanygoesglobal

[…] the point where something small could just push me over the edge. (remember when I wrote a post on The 4 Stages to Having a Complete Meltdown? I was on Stage 3). This happened while I was sitting on my sofa chair with my kitten, reading a […]

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