Greetings from Tanzania! I am here typing away about my first few days in country. It’s nice to be able to reflect and to share my experiences in a blog. I’ll type entries as the days and weeks pass, but I might not have frequent if any access to electricity or the internet in certain locations, which will of course limit my ability to post entries. So pay close attention to the dates written in each entry (not the post dates) to keep track of when things actually happened. Also keep in mind that all views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. I am working for the Peace Corps, but I am not reporting for this organization or for the U.S. government. (The necessary disclaimer.) Okay, now on to my first experiences as a Peace Corps Trainee!
After our one day of Staging in the US, and a killer 40 + hours of travel, we made it here to Tanzania, specifically to a Christian center in Dar es Salaam where we are staying for the next week. After arriving on Tuesday (Jumanne), we have spent three days training. Topics include but are not limited to Kiswahili language training, the missions, goals, visions, and values of the Peace Corps, safety and security info, cross-cultural training, and health training including malaria info (I’ll be taking Malerone for the next 2 years) and vaccinations. We’ve also had lots of time to ask the PCVLs (Peace Corps Volunteer Leaders) and the current PCVs (Peace Corps Volunteers), all here for our training, the millions of questions we have – it is so helpful to get some current advice face-to-face. Tomorrow (kesho), we will go for a walk around Dar to see first hand what life is like in a Tanzanian city. Then, this coming Jumanne, we depart for our training site and home stays in/around a town on the Northern coast, close to Tanga). There we will live for 10 weeks with families in villages nearby.
So goes the first week of what will be a grand adventure. It has been filled with sweat day and night, lots of beans and rice (maharage na wali), spinach-like greens (mchicha), and watermelon (tikiti maji), long days of near-information overload, and a really engaged group of fellow volunteers to share in the experience. I’m excited – as is to be expected of a PC trainee during her first week in country. Next step: total emersion into the culture and language with a host family that is only able to speak Kiswahili. We’ll see how it goes…
Sawa, kwa heri na usiku mwema! Okay, goodbye and goodnight!