Posted on April 27, 2011
During second site visit we stayed with Maria, a volunteer in Eastern Province. It falls between the first two weeks you are in country and gives you an opportunity to see what site is like. I went with Richard, April, Sarah and Musi. Sarah unfortunately left early, but April is going to be placed within my province.
We were able to visit Maria’s school and the classroom that she works in. The photo above is their meeting area and the one below of the classroom of the teacher she primarily works with.
We spent time collecting water, starting a brazier, just getting a feel for village life. Maria’s site was wonderful and her community was really interested in helping teach us. They showed us how to kill a chicken and how to prepare it, which was a first.
Sunset over the fields in Jakobo Village in Eastern Province.
It’s funny because if you asked me if I thought that I would make it three months in and be ready to settle in my village I would have said no, if only because I miss my family and I miss Sudan more than I ever would have thought. After three months I’m really starting to enjoy my new home, my new language (which is slowly and surely replacing Arabic) and I hope it just continues down this road.
Posted on April 26, 2011
While this message comes a few weeks overdue, I am finally living and an alien resident in Zambia. In fact only two days remain for me in my provincial capital before I am taken to my village: Samuteba, Mwinilunga district, Northwestern Province, Zambia.
It is daunting, after so much training and traveling. I know I’m prepared for the time commitment, even if it has been a long time since I spent a consecutive two years in one place. I think what makes me nervous is standing on the verge of what will be my future home and work and I feel like I know so little about it. I feel like the picture below during staging in Philadelphia, just overwhelmed.
We’ve spent eleven weeks in training, specifically in the education system of Zambia and in the Lunda language, which is primarily spoken in the area I will be living in. Our training actually took place in Chongwe district and only a handful of people there spoken any Lunda at all. Most of our training involved living with a host family who taught us our language, about taking care of ourselves in a Zambian household. A lot of time was spent playing with kids, drinking with friends and doing whatever other random things came about.
I visited my site once before, below are some photos from the few days I spent there. When I arrived nearly 150 children and villagers surrounded the Peace Corps truck to welcome me to my new home. I was overwhelmed and feeling totally undeserving of all the kindness of the villagers, children and teachers. I think this time around it will be a lot more quiet and I’ll have more chances to meet with people in my community than the short five days I had prior.
The view from my window before the part of sunrise where there is sun . . . My area is always swept up in a deep fog in the early mornings.
Lastly my favorite photo of Lusaka, a city that is large and bustling but lacking a lot of charm, only in my opinion.
Posted on February 1, 2011