Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy turkey day

To honor the day, I will tell you my favorite quote: I am not a vegetarian because I love animals. I am a vegetarian because I hate plants! :)

Happy thanksgiving to all you Americans. It was odd being in a country where not many people had ever heard of thanksgiving.....I spent the morning swimming in the Indian ocean, looking for seashells and drinking tea by the coast. strolled through some stores, bought myself some amazing jewlery and then went for lunch at the ambassadors HUGE house! It was gorgeous! They had a piano-which of course I just ahd to try out-and an open bar-which I of course had to take advantage of- and a live band and MASHED POTATOES! We only could stay for a few hours b/c our training group had to go back home, but hey!~ We had a great time!

Dar was fun while we were there. We went out with the PCVs, exp[lored and ate some really great food(not beans and rice!!!!). Feeling a little tired today-need some recovery time from my vacation...thats a sin that it was a good time, eh?

This week we are preparing ourselves for moving-swearing in is next Wednesday afternoon, and then...I will be an official Peace Corps Volunteer. Can't wait to show off my hot and beautiful african style dress!!! I'll send pics when I have them.

I'll be at my new site by next Thursday I think-more info when I get it will be sent to you guys:) Love you and happy turkey day! eat a TON for me!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nearing the end of training

hello everyone, I am finally back from my shadow visit, which was WAY in the mountains in the north, with no reception of any phone service, and no computers....pole(sorry) if you tried to get in touch with me:) Today was a kind of big and important day for me! I have now found out where I will be living for the next 2 years-in the southern part of the country in a region called Iringa. Its cool and beautiful and I am surrounded by some of my favorite people. I am actually really lucky I think. I thought for a while they might place me all alone with no friends in sight....but its not that bad! maybe they do like the naughty girl.....:) Health: I have the verdict! I had pneumonia with a bacterial infection on top of it. The antibiotics got rid of the infection, but I'm still trying to get rid of the pneumonia. I have also contracted ring worm on my ankle-which, for those of you who dont know, is NOT ACTUALLY A WORM, why they call it that, i have no idea. It looks pretty nasty though. I took a picture for momento's sake. I figure, during training, I can get all my sicknesses out of the way,so when I go to site next week, hamna shida. No more probs. This week has been a blur, but an absolutely wonderful one! I have been super busy...studied for my final, took it Wed-Tuesday night, while I was trying to study I discovered the worlds smallest snake on my bathroom floor-think maybe 1" long and looking like a small worm...yet it had a toungue that stuck out and scales. we played with it a while, then stayed up late playing with my siblings(my friend Sly was over...his name really isn't sly, but we call him that b/c he just looks sly-esque). The test was easier than expected, after the test we celebrated with a game of football in the field I might have contracted rign worm in, then went home to pack, and headed to Mama P's hotel to stay in town together before catching the early bus to out shadow visit. Shadow is a time where all of us go to stay with various PCV's aroudn the country-my stay, like I said before, was up north in the most beautiful region! Cool breezes, nice days, gorgeous sunsets, waterfalls galore...I didn't want to leave. I got to see a class being taught, talked to the form 3 students about all sorts of things, from 9-11 to abortion to homosexuality to HIV/AIDS. They were so surprised to know that Aids was also a problem in the US. Its nice to know that I can help clear the air up a little and de mystify Americans and the US to some extent. I learned to cook some awesome pasta with spinach alfredo sauce on a kerosene stove, played soccer with some girls(girls empowerment is really important here), hiked 2 mountains, went to the market, and relxed a lot. I took some amazing pics that I can't wait to show all of you-give me some time, and I'll get a CD made and hopefully my wonderful boyfriend can put them online. I would really appreciate some letters and maybe a package or two(hint hint MOM AND DAD....I'm feeling neglected in a foreign country. How is it that Geoff has sent me practially 15 letters already, and you guys....ZERO!!!) I will be spending the next month preparing my home, meeting my community, planting a garden, getting my lessons ready...etc. So, thats about all from my end, love you and PLEASE WRITE!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Thank you all so much for all your love and support on my health! I hvae just finished taking antibiotics for my "chest infection"...not malaria of the heart, not TB.....Im still feeling a little tightness, but I have a check up in 1 week, so hopefully they can tell me whats up before I am shipped off to my site. I have just finished my classes at Uluguru....the name of my school. The teachers threw us this wonderful goodbye party, to thank us for being guest teachers and for coming to their school. They all said some nice things, and then we had some 'bites' to eat-us Americans decided to spruce up the party a little and we introduced Nutella to the teachers. I think it may be their favorite thing in the entire world now! We have just been reviewing our Kiswahili b/c this coming Wed is our final written exam, and then we all leave for our shadow visit-I get to hang out nearby Moshi(in the north) and kick it with a volunteer who teaches Chemistry. i am so stoked to see what it will be like! and all the volunteers that I have met so far might be the coolest people I have ever met(besides all my friends, of course). I have had quite the week, playing catch up from missing a week of school due to illness, but this weekend has been WILD! Thursday we all went to an NGO to see what other organization do in TZ, and I was amazed at this program called Faraja we went to! They want to be self sustainable so they can stop asking for money from gov'ts b/c govt money always has strings attatched-first its was "teach HIV clientele the ABC's of life", now its only abstinence..ABC's meaning Abstinence, behavior and condoms...we talked about all the programs they offer, the things they did in the community-very amazing, and possibly the most successful NGO in TZ...Friday, our group got together to discuss how we wanted to present our thoughts to the larger group at CCT day(when we all learn about issues like PC policies, etc). We ended up just drinking some beers and talking about all of our experiences. It was a nice way to end the last day of school. So, we then all decided that people should come over to my house that night for a littel get together. 9pm rolls around and 9 friends, lots of beer and some snacks arrive. We play cards, teach my shagazi how to play circle of death and P&A,(card games for you adults who dont know what those are), drink beers, listen to music....then my baba comes in with an entire case of 24 beers, some sodas and mandazi(fried donuts like things). It was awesome! Then we moved the furniture around in the living room, had a dance party until 3am, then sat up talking with my family in kiswhili until maybe 430 or 5am....we all had breakfast made by my shangazi-fried eggs, mandazi, chai ya maziwa(tea with milk) was GREAT! Went to CCT, where I got in trouble for having a party. I look the director right int he face and tell her I am doing exactly what they want....we have integrated into our community, I consider my home MY home, my family MY fmaily....and my family ASKED all my friends to stay lae. Quite frankly, the director of our training HATES me because of my personality. she looked me in the face and told me I needed to contain myself b/c people were attracted to my charming personality and that they would end up depending on me. and that causes me to be emotionally immature. bite me. I told here to treat me like an adult, that i didn't mean to be a mkorofi(trouble maker)and that I respect here, but I think she is getting the wrong impression of what happened at my house. I have now nominated myself as the 'naughty girl' in my training class, and have formed a small group of others....
so, party at my house friday, get one hour of sleep....will remember that night forever...and then the next day, play football on some feild(and girls usually dont play sports here....)so we have a little audience....b/c I'm playing in a skirt....then had some juice at my favorite little touristy place, played some pool, then went home, helped cook, then went out AGAIN with my baba and shangazi to listen and dance to African music...again, WHAT A BLAST! the way people dance here is so funny-lots of stiff upper body movements, pelvic thrusts, and just the continuous shuffle of feet....stayed out too late again, and got up when the roosters crow.
I'm going to the saba saba(market) with my aunt(shangzi) to get fabric so I can get an african dress made fro my swearing in ceremony. I will hopefully b able to send pics soon....Love you all, please write!
If you are sending a package or letter, you might wait until I know my permanant address, otherwise I might not get it for a couple of months. I will know soon! Letters take about 2 weeks to get here, so the latest I would send a lettr would be the 15th to the training site.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I am doing better

Well, I want to say thank you to all of you wonderful people that send encouraging words my way...I needed them and i loved them. As for my health, the final diagnosis, if I can even call it that, is still up in the air...according to this doctor here, I never had malaria, but I have a chest infection (I beleive this doctor more than any of the others...maybe b/c she tapped my chest, asked a lot of questions...and I hate to say this, but spoke my language!) and so now, i am on some antibiotics, waiting test results to see if I have TB or typhoid fever. I am hoping to go home(to morogoro) soon b/c I miss my family I miss my friends..and I miss knowing my surroundings! I have only been in my community for about 6 weeks, and yet, I do beleive its home. I know where places are, I know whats going on there...I know my neighbors, they know me.....familiarity is KEY!I know if I can get through this period of extreme boredom and loneliness, I will be fine...I am going to hang out with some PCV's that are taking off this weekend for different destinations around the I will have company tonight! Not much else is new, I am feeling a little better-will let you all know more when I know more. And I have heard wind that my typing is not bad but atrocious....I DO have an excuse...the keys are sticky, and I am on a time budget...and I dont feel like taking time to fix it:) LOVE YOU ALL