Alphabet Soup

3 May

This might be a typical conversation to overhear between two PC Ethiopia volunteers:

PCV1 – Hey! Did you get your CNA to the APCD on time? I heard our VRF was due before the PAC meeting at the end of IST.

PCV2 – No I didn’t have time with all the TOTs I was doing. The HCNs and CPs really pulled it together at the last minute there. Minum aydalum.

PCV1 – For sure. I tried to call the PCMO the other day about that double dragon situation but then I got the text that the pizza was coming in a yellow box. Dude I’ll ET if I have to share my chocolate store in consolidation. Ebt!

PCV 2 – Crazy! That and the new PCTs get all their attention, especially ‘cuz they’re ed. But chigerellum man.

PCV 1- Ya well that HIV BCC  ToT you did after WMD and the BAMM competition was pretty cool. You might get pulled in for a PSN or CCC training after that. Can you believe it’s almost our MSC? Next thing you know we’ll COS. Ishi baka gotta go, I’m outta birrrrr.

Catch all that? Ya, me neither six months ago. But with all new jobs, you start to learn the lingo. What’s fun about a volunteer’s job though is that each country creates its own slang- a mix of Peace Corps acronyms, local language quirks, and code words. Don’t ask me what a double dragon is… let’s hope you never experience it.

I remember talking to some RPCV (returned volunteer) friends before I left and only understanding about half their conversations. Development jargon, peace corps jargon, and the experience that every volunteer has no matter their country (you will poop in a hole) create a bevy of inside jokes and complete nonsense. But it also creates a community and bond that goes beyond linguistics. As funny as this website is, I can guarantee it is 10X funnier to a peace corps volunteer.

But we’ll hide behind the jargon for now. At least as long as this holds true, don’t look behind the curtain!:

peace corps meme

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