The start of this month marks 6 months in country and I’m wonder where the hell did that time go!? How have I lived here for half a year already? How have I already finished a quarter of my service? I’ve been pondering all of these questions as I prepare to travel to Morogoro for my Early Service Training; back to the place where I consider the start. I’m excited to be back with all the people from my class and I plan to visit my host family which should be a fun surprise for everyone!
In recent weeks I have been busy but not busy, hard to explain but true. I hadn’t taken many picture and thus why I did not post last week so sorry for the late post again.
I finally have a finished fence making the seclusion of my back yard ideal to retreat to on days I would like to be outside but don’t quite feel like interacting with anyone. I also now have the luxury of cooking and washing clothes without the eyes of onlookers who are amazed that I know how to start a charcoal stove. The fence also has the added benefit of allowing me to hang my underwear up without having to cover them making them dry faster(it’s the little things).
Earlier in June I began having meetings at each sub-village in my village to discuss different health issues and ask questions about what people believed are the biggest issues here. Having recently completely those I have gained much insight not only into possible project ideas but also just how large my village is…it’s HUGE!! Along with the help of Lulu, the clinician from my village, we asked and answered many questions and she conducted HIV testing; it was great to meet with people in their environment instead of having them come to the clinic.
I went to a birthday party for a three month old(I know confusing, I still don’t quite understand it either) which was so great. I spent the entire day with immediate and extended family that traveled in for the celebration. The women taught me to cook many foods and they enjoyed taking turns trying to braid my hair. Sadly for you(fortunately for me) I was enjoying myself so much I forgot to take pictures except of my dog friend, so you’ll have to take my word that we cooked enough rice in one huge pot to feed a high school football team…it’s was wild.
Many events have been occurring and I’ve tried to be a “yes (wo)man” by agreeing to anything and everything I am invited to. Sometimes this is fun and I go to a soccer game in a neighboring village and meet a bunch of interested boys; we sit together and watch the game while they ask me a multitude of questions. Other times….I say yes to a meeting that is said to begin at 8am on a Saturday based on the promise we will be eating goat afterwards. I show up to this meeting that is said to start at 8am like a prompt American and wait and wait and wait and wait and…..wait until 11:15 for the meeting to actual start to then find the whole meeting will be conducted in the village language(sukuma) and not Swahili. It gets better because the meeting lasted for 7 hours….you can bet at the end of that day I was tired. Yes we did get the goat and it was pretty tasty so really that made the whole thing worth it.
Speaking of language, yes it is getting better and yet it is getting harder at the same time. As I wander through the logistics of Swahili people can hear I have started to pick it up more so they begin to pick up the speed of their speech and add more unfamiliar words so right when I think I got it, well…I don’t got it.
Having said all of that I can conclude by saying it’s been a wild 6 months. Between the people I’ve meet, the language I’ve learned, and everything in between I could have never even tried to imagine what this experience would be like but I sure as hell would have never guessed it would be like this. I miss my family, my cats, all my cute friends that are getting married without me there (cue extreme sadness). Buttttttt then I remind myself that this experience is once in a lifetime, I am luck to be accepted, and it’s already a fourth of the way done(how can that be).
As always thanks to those who keep up with these
long boring rantings brief looks into my life as a volunteer and especially thanks those who reach out to me even if it’s just to give me an update in your life, makes me happy to still be involved and hear from people.