Tuesday Talk: The Stuff Question


As more people find out that Alex and I are leaving for Peace Corps, we find ourselves answering many of the same questions over and over:

What will you be doing?

Where is Mozambique?

What’s it like there?

And the one that surprises me the most:

What are you going to do with all of your stuff?

People are very, very concerned about our stuff. I think it makes sense. But I also think it’s really weird.

The fact that this is one of the most common questions about Peace Corps preparations exemplifies, to me, how much people are attached to stuff.

Very few people have asked us how we are feeling about living abroad for two years or what our expectations are or what the process of getting ready to go is like.

But almost everyone asks us about our stuff.

Part of me just wants to say, “Who cares?! We’re moving to Africa for two darn years….sell my stuff, get rid of it, leave it behind. I’ve got bigger things to think about than the items that fill up my house.”

The other part of me spends time thinking about the many items that fill up my house ;).

While I do greatly appreciate that family members have offered us storage space while we are gone, I would like to not spend too much time in the next few months worrying about our possessions.

To me, one of the appeals of Peace Corps is the feeling of un-attaching ourselves from familiarity, including all of our stuff. It’s exciting to me that we will leave with two bags and that, while we will acquire stuff in Mozambique, we will (hopefully) live pretty simply. It’s freeing to think about.

But it’s a strange thing too: here I am thinking about how nice it will be to shed stuff, while the community we will be living in in Mozambique may be longing to have even a portion of the possessions that we have.

So, the many weird conundrums of going to live somewhere really foreign begin 🙂

And in case you’re wondering, we plan on selling and getting rid of a lot of STUFF. Even if we got rid of everything we owned, we would just reacquire it when we came home…that just seems to be the way life goes.


2 responses »

  1. Hi Cece,
    I quite agree with your ideas over the stuff. Let them not be a hindrance to your mission, go for it, God knows why he wants you to be there.
    JAcob Auma

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