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

Necessary Adjustments

  • Eastern-style toilets. I will have much stronger leg muscles when I leave Tanzania than when I arrived.
  • The fact that it’s rude not to greet someone if you walk by one another.
  • Actually enjoying learning for the first time in a long time. Swahili is really fun, like a puzzle.
  • Wearing a skirt all the time (the next point is helping with this adjustment.
  • Keeping money/valuables in my bra.
    (This was recommended by several PCVs and is apparently done by local women as well, to make up for the lack of pockets.)
    Paper money I can do fine, although newer bills can be a bit itchy, but it’s difficult to imagine keeping my cell there, which many women do.
  • How quickly the sun goes down! The transition from afternoon to night lasts no more than half an hour.
  • The Call to Prayer. There is a mosque nearby and I can hear it very clearly…and very early!
  • Not having any time!
    I leave for class at 7.30, arrive at 8, leave around 5, eat dinner, study, go to bed.
    Is this what high school and college were like for people who cared and put effort in?!
  • Being so close to mountains. I love it! I keep walking outside and going “oh, the mountains!”
    I’ll be very sad if we’re not allowed to go hiking.
  • Wearing flip-flops around the house! I have never worn them before.
  • Drinking soda, out of politeness! When possible, I stick to Fanta and ginger beer.
  • Apparently German is filed in the “non-English-language” part of my brain, so I keep wanting to switch to it instead of Swahili.
  • There is no glass in the windows, which leads to a great breeze in the afternoon, from air coming down off the mountains. At night it gets downright windy, and in the morning it is still.
  • I am slowly mastering the African handshake.


Comment from kit
Time September 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm

i’m so glad that swahili is enjoyable. i really need to get on it…

Comment from Miranda
Time September 29, 2008 at 9:51 am

on toilets: I got so used to them by the end (of a semester) that I wanted water instead of toilet paper for a while.
on learning languages: it is like a puzzle! There are patterns and exciting problems to solve!
On not having any time: having had an orientation based directly on the Peace Corps training, it’s busier than here-busy.
On mountains: I love just seeing mountains in the distance.
On German: that’s supposed to happen, since your second languages get all lumped together cognitive-wise. You’re just right.

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