It’s officially the end of week six, and every day swear in gets a little more attainable. This week is only a partial rejuvenation from training, simply because I still have a little over a week of site visit to become fully rejuvenated and ready to return to training.
Right now, I am laying in my tent in a field right outside of a current volunteers house. We have been at the provincial house for Northern since Thursday, where we completed some trainings with our future hosts at site. (Note: each province in Zambia had a provincial capital, in which peace corps has a provincial house that is open for all of the volunteers in that province to visit and take advantage of the running water.) I have so many things to recount from the past few days, so I will just start from the beginning.
Wednesday meant a “free” day in Lusaka as we prepared to hop on busses at 4:30am to our respective provinces. By free day, I mean heavily monitored and coordinated by our language and culture facilitators. I don’t know if I would call being marched around malls in Lusaka like a bunch of kindergarteners headed to recess counts as free time, but that’s the best we’re getting.
Thursday was a day full of travel to the provincial capital. I somehow managed to choose the furthest sight from Lusaka, so for every future meeting and travel I will be taking a 12-14 hour bus ride from Kasama to Lusaka. That first bus ride experience was surely an adventure. It went rather smoothly, other than one flat tire and me getting much more comfortable peeing in a semi visible area. Believe me, there are few options for public toilets and sometimes it is best to just follow what all the other women are doing. Sometimes that also means baring your butt in front of a bunch of strangers.
Friday and Saturday were full of meetings with our futures hosts about expectations. Which means, yes, I met my future host father and potential counterpart!! He lives right across the way from me, works in the clinic everyday, and has 11 children. I am his first PCV, and he seemed very enthusiastic about our work. It was a great relief to get to put a face with who I will be living next to/ working with for the next two years.
I was also able to spend some time at the prov house during those days, getting to know some other volunteers and relaxing. It seems like the prov house will be a wonderful place to go for a few days a month for some relaxation (& to use WiFi and submit PC reports). The house included and extensive library AND movie room, so needless to say I was right at home.
This morning we headed out to our cluster site relatively early in the morning. Rachael (our cluster host) actually lives on the same road that I will, just 60km further down. I am only 12km from our boma Luwingu, whereas she is around 75km away. I was able to get my first glimpses of my future home from the road! It looks like it will be amazing. But anyways, now we are here for a week with Rachael to learn more about the day to day life of a volunteer in vill. And I am using my fancy new camping gear for the first time ever. I have a feeling it will get a fair amount of use over the next two years.
I am sure that I will have an even more exciting update next Sunday on my week in vill and getting to visit my own site. Tukamonana!! (Until we see each other!!)
Side note – once I am sworn in and have some access to WiFi on my computer, I will create a photo library in order to share pictures of my like here in Zambia.