The content of this blog is the creator's own thoughts and does not represent the views or opinions of the Peace Corps or the United States Government. I would also like to apologize for all my spelling and grammatical errors... there will be a lot.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Last Christmas is the US

Merry Christmas everyone! And if you follow another holiday happy that too. My family was very thoughtful this year...

- My mom got me 3 books about Zambia one with a map (thank god), one about the culture and one that is a memoir about a volunteer teacher in Zambia.

- My solio charger came today I'm sad its cloudy out so I can't test it.

- My Chaco shoes also came (woo!)

- My cool-max socks are amazing

Overall I actually think I have a lot of what I need, my Marmont tent, and sleeping bag are still in the mail so is my pack. I'm almost all set!

I'm getting so excited about this, I can't stop watching the Zambia videos and reading all my books. The Vagabonding book is especially exciting to read. Only a bit more then a month left before I leave, I can't wait its going to be amazing... dirty, buggy, new and amazing!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Getting ready for departure is tough, but not is physician sort of way (although my hand is cramping from all the forms). It's mentally hard to completely put your life on hold for the next 2 years.

So far I have sent in the Resume, aspiration statement, passport, and visa. I have also informed my job about leaving (they are very excited for me but they were very sad). Today I finally told the parents of my students, their were tears - I have gotten very close with the families I work with and I will miss them so much. I have bought a few things (new hiking shoes, a new water container, some Nalgenes and a book). I still have stuff to do though...

After I get all the staging info, and after my last day of work (January 14th) I plan on packing, calling my bank/credit card/student loans/gym, then visiting family and friends before I leave.

There is still more to do but for now I'm just working up the nerve and tact to tell my kids about leaving... you try explaining for a group of 4-5 year olds that you are leaving to teach in Africa.

In the mean time enjoy these videos from about her Peace Corps service in Zambia.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

For my birthday I got my invite to Zambia!

This is my happy face! Best birthday present ever! Who says 23 is a boring age?

My invite had been delivered to the wrong apartment - I stalked my poor neighbor until they came home and ran to there front door the second their lights came on... I swear I'm mostly harmless.

So where am I going?

I'm going to Zambia! I'm going to be part of the RED program (Rural Education Development) working as a community education specialist! I'm so excited!

So a few things I have found out already about Zambia and my service...

- I will be expected to bike about 40 kilometers a day (24 miles)
- I will be living in VERY rural conditions (no electricity, no running water and such)

Now about Zambia

- The climate consists of three distinct seasons: a warm,
wet season from November to April; a cool, dry season from
May to August; and a hot, dry season in September and October.
-Kwacha the currency 2,500-4,900 Zkw to each US dollar
- Meat will not be often available (YES!)
- The offical language is English but I will be able to choose a language to learn for my community

There will be more to come! In the mean time here is more pictures of my beautiful invite!

Woo! Official answers!

Holy mountains of paperwork batman!

I'm so excited... I sent in my acceptance E-mail and am currently reading through the many many pages in this packet I think tomorrow (my birthday!) I will write my resume and aspiration statement this weekend will be all about getting through the forms.

Woo Happy Birthday to me! All other Zambia people lets be friends!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Are you lost in the mail again?

So no sign of the invite today, I'm starting to wonder if its lost in the mail... I have a history of getting Peace corps mail not getting to me until the 3rd time sending it out (I have no idea why, maybe my mail man hates me or my mail hates apartments.) - called Jason he said he had no idea why it wasn't there he's gonna double check the tracking number and if it says delivered he'll resend it although apparently a few people's invites were also late this week. Haha it would be my luck to get one final trip up.

*Update* Turns out UPS brought the package to 397C instead of my apt 391C yesterday, I'm currently stalking my neighbor who isn't home atm. I really hope they didn't throw is out or anything I'll cry...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

First step to going... trying meat again

So I took my first step to moving to Africa I tried meat for time in 10 years of being a Vegetarian - with 2-3 of them being Vegan. Before Vegetarians friends strangle me - hear me out, I don't know what my options are going to be at my site for the next 2 years. My placement officer flat out told me I should strongly consider reintroducing meat into my diet for my assignment and there will most likely be an instance where I will be offered meat as a sign of welcoming. And because I'm a huge nerd I feel like I wont be able to acclimate fully to a culture if I don't experience food culture. So I want my body to be able to handle meat if I HAVE to eat it and I'd rather get used to it here in the US then get sick in the middle of Zambia 100miles away from a doctor.

So what was is like eating meat again? Surprisingly anticlimactic. All meat tastes the same as I remember it which I found weird. Fish is still the best thing ever, chicken is chicken and I still don't love beef that much. As for my getting sick my stomach hates me but I have been taking meds so it more feels like a huge rock in my gut. I'm more morally having issues - I really don't want to eat meat again it feel horribly wrong, I'm trying not to think about it to much and I'm reminding myself its only for 2 years and I may not have to eat it all the time.

My other veggies how are you handling it? Are you planning on staying vegetarian the whole time or are you gonna try to stomach it down?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


So today went from horrible to amazing. Invite will be in the mail tomorrow!

I was grumpy at my job, had no sleep, and was annoyed at the Peace Corps application process. Out of retaliation at the universe, I decided to call my official placement officer at 6:30pm so I could leave a voice mail - he picked up. I was so shocked I kinda just stuttered for a bit. Then I brought up my questions about if it looked like I was gonna get my nomination date, we ended up talking for like 20-30 mins he basically gave me my placement final interview - asked about if I was still interested, if i was worried about leaving my family, about my tattoos, about being vegetarian, and what I had added to my resume, if I was comfortable riding a bike everyday.

Because I have been working as an assistant teacher he asked if I would be interested in having a more education based (but still community development) assignment leaving January 31st or if I wanted to do an HIV assignment in February. The education assignment is basically working as an education assistant, sometimes teaching classes, helping to make creative education programs (clubs and such), and working with young girls. So its basically EVERYTHING I need experience in for my career, so of course I said yes!

I'm being invited to a 'Rural Education Development' program leaving Jan 31st, its either Zambia or Mali! I'm leaning more towards Zambia because come on Victoria Falls!

So invite is going the mail tomorrow, he said it should be here by Saturday-ish - here is my updated toolkit!

I'm so excited I can't wait to actually have it in my hand so I can accept!

*Notes for applicants who are for community development in Jan/Feb and on...
- The deadline is still technically 6 weeks they are CHANGING it to 8 weeks as of next year, so they are saying 8 weeks on everything now
- They had to cancel 2 programs this month so they are trying to place the displaced people ASAP so its a bit crazy in their office
- They also were moving all last week so are also out of it
- My invite was going to be be handled next week with a bulk of January/Feb departs
- I had a mental health medical accommodation and it only affected one possible program so if you are worried about it don't!