Things My Mother Told Me Not To Do

I was definitely not supposed to get on a moto…with two other people.

I’m sorry in advance. Or after the fact. I’m not sure which one makes more sense in this situation. Either way, there’s a ton of things that at one point or another, Stella expressly told me I should not do. I’m coming to the end of my time here in Rwanda (t-minus 11 weeks!) and I’ve been feeling reflective, which has inspired me to think about all the things I’ve done over the past two years that I maybe shouldn’t have done. #sorrymom

  1. Left the house without sunscreen
  2. Got sunburnt
  3. Got dehydrated. Pretty much every day.
  4. Forgot to take anti-malarial medication every day in year 1
  5. Decided not to take anti-malarial at all in year 2
  6. Skipped a shower (or two. Ok fine sometimes three. Whatever, we live in the middle of nowhere)
  7. Delayed filing my absentee ballot, which prevented me from voting. Leave me alone, I live in a reliably blue state.
  8. Talked to strange men
  9. Walked outside barefoot
  10. Wore leggings to work. Many, many times.
  11. Got less than 8 hours of sleep. As in, I live with 525 teenagers, and I can count on two hands how many solid nights of sleep I’ve had in this place.
  12. Ate french fries and ice cream for dinner
  13. Told strangers where I come from
  14. Told strangers where I live
  15. Told strangers what hotel I was staying at
  16. Left personal items unattended at the beach
  17. Got into cars with strangers
  18. Rode in the back of a truck
  19. Hitchhiked
  20. Rode in the back of a truck, while hitchhiking
  21. Walked alone at night
  22. Allowed my cellphone battery to die
  23. Traveled without a cellphone
  24. Spent money on expensive flights
  25. Traveled to Malawi
  26. Traveled to Tanzania
  27. Traveled in Rwanda by myself
  28. Got drunk in a foreign country
  29. Ate strange fruits and vegetables from local markets
  30. Ate strange fruits and vegetables from local markets without washing them first
  31. Stayed in hostels
  32. Failed to bring my own pillowcase to hostels
  33. Failed to wear shoes in the shower
  34. Bought only one of things, instead of two (Stella has a thing for buying things in pairs. Don’t ask.)
  35. Failed to call home at least once a week
  36. Went places by myself, without telling anyone else where I was going
  37. Allowed someone else to wash my underwear
  38. Used plates and silverware that were questionably hygienic
  39. Drank tap water
  40. Rode on motos
  41. Ate bread on Passover (smite me, oh mighty Smiter!)
  42. Went for a run by myself in the dark
  43. Forgot to floss
  44. Ignored my student loans (the half-hearted attempts to cover the accruing interest notwithstanding)
  45. Exercised while injured
  46. Failed to go to the doctor when I was clearly sick
  47. Spent the night at a hospital in a foreign country
  48. Spent the night at the hospital without calling anyone to come help me
  49. Lost a lot of weight really fast, without going to the doctor to make sure there was no sinister underlying cause
  50. Got attached to my life in Rwanda, chose not to remember that my time here is temporary, allowed myself to get overly emotionally invested in a group of people that I will have to leave come November

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