Saturday, 20 August 2011

And for the next too years you will be living in....

So after a grueling game of waiting for our faces to be unveiled one by one, I discovered that I’ll be in Manyara Region, an hour outside the town of Katesh teaching at Mubadaw Secondary school. I would be replacing a current volunteer, which meant that I’d live with her for the next 2 months (A fact that I was really happy about although many people were not) and I would be living in a super secure house in a protected compound. Thank goodness. The plus sides: I would have electricity and running water. I was right by a mountain (Hanang) that you can climb. It is supposed to be somewhat cold there. My Mkuu lives like 2 houses away from me. My neighbors have a car so I can get lifties. Yay! Several of my friends, Kiki, Mel and Huong are not too far in Singida and Dodoma region. Also, a Health PCV named Justin, who form what I hear is supposed to be really cool, if in Katesh. The trip to Arusha/ Moshi is not bad. Best thing I discovered since finding out my site: It was previously a Canadian expat’s home and is supposed to be super posh. Goodness, yes! : ) Downsides: TBD
Woo hoo! So, here is the link to a map that I dug up showing a bit about where I’ll be:
http://www.maplandia.com/tanzania/arusha/hanang/katesh/

And here’s a link to a video and little info about a Girl’s session that the current PCV at my site participated in with some students from Mulbadaw. Sweet, right?

https://sites.google.com/site/ourkiliclimb2011/home/past-peace-corps-activites
Our next big adventure, immediately after I returned home to my host fam and discovered my site, was going to shadow, which all in all was a rough week. So, because I journaled a lot while I was there, I’ll just give a brief overview. But I will also say that the reason that it was rough, for the most part, was because, not due to the change of schedules/scenery…that was actually greatly appreciated. No. No. It was because of the way that we were treated, not some much as white people, but as complete and utter mzungu who, most people assume, have money and are tourists. In Moro, I’ve been called mzungu plenty of times, but up by Kili and then in MKuu and Maragu, it was really overwhelming the way people swarm you offering “help” and services. Oye. So that was that. But, here’s the jist of it:
Shadow was…interesting. I shadowed up in Kilimanjaro region, by the town of Mkuu. My volunteer’s name was Cheryl and she teaches Chemistry and Physics at an O level secondary school there. The region really is just beautiful. So lush and mountainous, with incredible views. Her site was about 2 hours outside of Moshi (moshi = smoke, in Kiswahili). We stayed overnight in Moshi the night that we got there and then, a week later, the night before our bus ride home (to Moro). The bus ride from Moro to Moshi was 8 hours. Oye. While I never want to be on a bus for that long again, I know that it’ll be happening again super soon as I head to my site and then again really frequently through the next 2 years as I travel throughout Tanzania.
I really enjoyed finally being able to leave Moro after feeling so stagnant for so long but Moshi was a quite frustrating in a particular sense. For some reason, the way that I was treated as a complete and utter tourist was insanely frustrating. And all I wanted to do was go back to Moro. And in fact, the day that I went back to Moro, I went straight up to Kihonda even with all my stuff and chilled at the bar for 3 hours with some, actually most, of my fav PCT’s, and we just chatted it up. It was great. Then, on my way home I ran into 1 Tanzanian I know from around Kola Hill, Bonfice (he’s a pikipiki driver) on the dala to Kola and also, on my walk home I saw one of the awesome teachers I’d gotten to know at Kola Hill Secondary. While my Kiswahili was rusty (eek!) it was so great to see these people and remember that I do know people here and am not always treated as a tourist and I can work the transporation system like a pro (most times) and not feel incredibly lost. Then, as I walked into my host fam’s backyard, Lighty ran into my arms and I gave her a swinging hug. It was so great. Made me feel like a million bucks. Some moments make the whole day super rewarding and worthwhile.

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