The views expressed herein are mine and not those of the Peace Corps.



Useful Acronyms

PC Peace Corps
ICT Information & Communications Technology
PCT Peace Corps Trainee (pre-swearing-in)
PCV Peace Corps Volunteer (post-swearing-in)
PST Pre-Service Training
CBT Community-Based Training


The days of easy Internet access are at a halt (subiri in Kiswahili), at least for now. Once I reach my posting in late November the Net will once again be freely available. For now, I am in my host family’s home (nyumbani) and learning Kiswahili slowly and incompetently. I do well in the classroom but when it comes to application–actually talking about it–I freeze up. Paul, our teacher, pointed out today that we have only been learning for four days, which is a comforting thought. Also comforting is the fact that all the PCVs we’ve seen speak fluently in Kiswahili.

Arestha, my host mama, is wonderful and very understanding of my difficulty retaining vocabulary. My small language-learning group is Anita, Bill, Andrewblond, Theresa, and Shannon, and we get along very well. I will not see the other PCTs until Friday, for the most part (we will meet with another small group on Thursday). I am missing them already, and I saw them yesterday!

To get into town from our house, Arestha and I took a dala-dala. Imagine twenty people in a minivan and you’ll have an idea of what the dala-dalas are like. It is quite an experience, and one that will take some getting used to.
The house is very nice! Electricity, hot water, an electric stove (but I will have to learn to cook with a charcoal burner, in case I do not have electricity at my post). I have my own room and three host-dadas (sisters) and one host-kaka (brother). Arestha and Harold are very nice.

So far, mental-health-wise, I am doing fine, but I can certainly imagine that this learning of Swahili will become a strain. So we’ll see about that.

No pictures so far–I haven’t uploaded any to my computer yet. When I do, you’ll need to be a Flickr friend of mine to see pictures of people, so you should friend me now rather than later, so I can friend you back next time I’m online.

I should go now–the sun sets very suddenly here, and the time when it does is approaching. Useku mwema.


Comment from Chris
Time September 23, 2008 at 11:29 am

Googling dala-dala got me this story: http://www.fieldofpearls.net/Adventures/DalaDalaRide.htm

Similar / dissimilar to your trip(s)?

Comment from gramps
Time September 23, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Hi Marie
You certainly are getting a education on the wide world of people. We miss you and keep posted on your site for more news.

Comment from Nora
Time September 24, 2008 at 11:45 pm

oh man today I was reading a book from my publishing company and it has a main character named Nora who “obliterates” NYT crosswords. so I thought of you (well, after I thought of me). everything you are up to sounds very cool. I hope it continues well.

Comment from Kim Cayes
Time September 25, 2008 at 6:48 am

Hi Marie – I’m the mother of your fellow PCT, Taylor Cayes. He’s not good at communicating, so I’m enjoying getting any information I can off of your blog. If you see Taylor, tell him that I love him & miss him. Thanks! Kim

Comment from Susan Reis
Time September 25, 2008 at 10:19 am

Hi Marie. I’m the mother of Andrew (blond) I think. His last name is Engel. If indeed Andrew (blond) is Andrew Engel, please tell him to write us an email if he can. We’re anxious to hear how he’s doing. Thanks, Susan Reis

Comment from Chris
Time September 30, 2008 at 1:26 pm

You are the parental information clearinghouse of the group!