Tuesday Talk: Peanut Butter Stories

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Black words centered on a white page. That’s all it was. In my new quest to learn about Mozambique, I came across one of the most- if not the most- beautifully written Peace Corps blogs I’ve ever found. I could be considered a Peace Corps blog connoisseur; I have pored over them for years. I love the ones that tell me stories about Peace Corps life, but this one told me a lot about Mozambique, and in a depth that went far beyond Peace Corps life in Mozambique.

It was not a recount of ‘what I’ve been up to lately as a Peace Corps Volunteer.’ There were no LOLs. Never did a post start with ‘So I haven’t posted in a while.’

The writer shares meaningful stories about how he is tied into a community, what his work is and isn’t doing, and how small actions over time can ripple into big waves.

Mostly, it is about peanut butter. (Read it!)

Peanut Butter is a big deal for Mozambicans living with HIV/AIDs, I learned.

Black words on a white page, telling me how peanut butter is a big deal for Mozambicans living with HIV/AIDs. That’s all it took.

Soon enough, the morning was gone and I had read every post on this blog. This blogger fulfilled his promise of documenting his Moz journey with stunning photographs, but he captured me with his writing too.

I learned something amazing and unique about this country we are preparing to journey to. And I realized that I’d like to write again with imagery and pace and play on words. I realized that I used to write narratively, to tell stories, and that I miss it. And that I want it back.

How do I get it back?

Well, write.

Writing as a routine feels like another lifetime these days. One reason that I think I don’t make the time for it is because I don’t have anything specific to write about.

It’s a vicious cycle. Kind of a ‘which came first: the chicken or the egg?’ type of problem.

I blog, but do I find story in my life, or do I share with you diary entries?

I journal, but am I writing story there?

Now, after struggling to come up with a satisfying Tuesday Talk topic (as I do most weeks), I think of how to start writing well again, and how to look for stories. I think of creativity and how to re-ignite it in the midst of the many other tasks needing to be completed between the end of work and bedtime. I think of these tasks, and how the list of them has grown immensely since accepting our Peace Corps invitation ten short days ago.

But mostly I think of peanut butter, and of the stories that find us.

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