This week has been a week full of adjustments. I don’t have as many stories as I did last week, but I do know my medical kit very intimately. I also have a deep appreciation for my host family, fellow PCTs, and PC staff.
After this week, it is clear that training will be a day to day grind of eat, sleep, and study. Learning a brand new language is hard. However, I can already introduce myself, my family at home & in Zambia, and what I am doing here. After only two weeks of language, I would say that’s pretty impressive. The goal is to be able to hold a steady conversation by our swear in date in December. I am trying my best to practice the language in my home stay, but for some reason anytime I do not have the vocabulary I automatically switch to Spanish. I will be trying to think of a way to say the phrase in Bemba and Spanish will come sputtering out of my mouth. I’m just hoping that goes away with more time learning the language.
Just as last week, this week has had it’s ups and downs. I had a small safety and security concern, and the PC staff went above and beyond to make sure that I am safe and feel secure. I also endured my first bout of sickness, of which I’m sure there will be many more. Luckily, Peace Corps equipped us with every medication we could ever want in our med kits, so I was able to quickly combat my stomach problems with medication. These two things also made me so appreciative of my host family. At this stage, it is hard to be close with them because of such an intense language barrier. But when I was feeling insecure, my bataata (host dad) made sure that I knew every one of his sons would come defend me any time I called. When I was feeling sick, my bamaayo (host mom) made me only BRAT diet meals to help calm my tummy.
I know that these two years will be FULL of ups and downs, but the trick will be to always know that the downs are only temporary. This week I was also able to speak to two wonderful currents PCVs and get so many insights on service real life in Zambia (now doesn’t count, we still get to ride in the PC cruiser whenever we want). I am very happy in the homestay that I was placed in, and am also looking forward to bonding further with my fellow CHIP trainees. Lastly, I will look forward to when I’m finally used to riding 8km uphill every morning on the way to training. Maybe that’ll come next week?
PS- I have gotten more adjusted to the bugs. If you ever have an ant problem, use baby powder. They respect the boundary I placed around my bed! I still don’t like the spiders, but I am slowly recognizing that they are scared of me too. And I just love my lizard friends because they eat the spiders!!!