5 April 2015

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I’m sitting here looking out at the Indian Ocean with my computer. I just tried to post some blog entries, pics, and poems using this uncertain internet that I have access to at the moment, but it’s simply not working for me… I hope I can find some internet that supports the uploading of words and pictures in addition to reading and looking at the words and pictures of others. I have a feeling this will be an ongoing struggle for the next  2+ years. Oh well, that’s just the way it is here!

It’s been a week since we returned from our site visits. I’ll fill you in… We found out on the 18th of March where we’ll each be living for the next few years. I will be in the wonderfully chilly Southern Highlands – a welcome and exciting change from this heat and humidity of the Tanzanian coast. In other words, I’ll be wearing a sweater at night rather than sweating through my sheets in bed! Oooh yeah… It turns out my site is about 50 kilometers from my banking town, which translates to about a 3.5+ hour drive on rough, dirt roads. At least it’s a pretty drive through the hills and mountains. There are evergreens all over – and corn. The main rainy season is roughly January through March (from what I’ve heard), but it can start earlier and/or last longer. The rains come hard at times, but there are also frequent periods of misty, drizzly rain – similar to the Northwest in the US. The cold season is June-August, which means temperatures will get down around freezing during the night. It’ll be especially chilly at my site because it’s high up in the mountains, and my house is at the top of the ridge on which my village is situated. I’m very much okay with that. The hot season then is November-January, give or take. I’ve heard the temps can get up into the 80s with the sun during the day, but it mostly stays in the 70s for the daylight hours. Wow, just typing about cooler weather right now makes me anxious to get down South once again! I’ll have to get in the water soon to cool off…

The site visit week was a blast. We left on the 21st and returned on the 29th. It was great to see more of the country, experience different towns and cities, see different sides to village life, and become more competent with TZ travel. It was also awesome to meet other PCVs. I met a lot in my region, many who I’ll see in my banking town on a pretty regular basis. And I also met PCVs from other regions as well. They shared stories and gave us advice about PC life and our banking towns, along with lots of other pointers. All in all, an awesome week filled with new sights and people.

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(Sights from Morogoro)

Some highlights:
We drove through a national park on our way and saw lots of the classic African animals – antelope, warthogs, wildebeest, water buffalo, giraffes, and elephants. And there were baboons, of course, along with some other monkeys.
We went to see a current PCV playing her cello along to some traditional songs being sung by her friend in his home, which was quite the TZ experience – it made me laugh.
We ate great food at some awesome places to just chill – Indian buffet night, milkshakes, pizza (not me, but others), veggie curry and mashed potatoes, veggie omelets, etc. etc.
Freedom! It was a necessary break from the life of a PCT – we got to make our own decisions for a change. Don’t get me wrong, training is a fun time, and I do enjoy it even with all the work we pack into our super busy schedules. But it was perfect to take a little vacation and see more of the country we will be serving. Now I’m even more excited to serve – the reality of the next two years has hit me.

Some challenging moments:
I ran into some travel troubles trying to leave my site, which I will elaborate on later… And my house was not ready for my arrival – hopefully it will be in a few weeks!
Lots of people unfortunately got sick over the course of the week – at least once… There were lots of angry stomachs, and even some accompanying fevers.

Anyways, I think I actually have internet that will work for posting things right now, but I only have 15% battery on my computer and no where to charge it!! Over and out. More as soon as I am able (with details about my site – and those travel troubles..)!

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