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

Peke Yangu

So an awful lot has happened since I last wrote:

  • I swore to protect the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic, so I am now a Peace Corps Volunteer instead of a Peace Corps Trainee.
  • I said goodbye to my homestay family.
  • After swearing-in in Morogoro we were bused to Dar (except for the two placed in Moro) and had a free day there before our early-morning departure. I wandered the city with Anita, Rebecca, Aleisha, and later Chris; we went to the fabric district (my favorite place ever), an ice cream shop, the Indian area, and a Lebanese place. It was a great last day in civilization-ish.
  • The next day we woke at 3.30 A.M. to get our luggage out to a pick-up area so we could load it onto a shuttle bus to the bus terminal so we could unload it again so we could load it onto our buses to large cities at various distances from our sites. At the bus station, I was standing with my bags and a Tanzanian man lunged towards my face and kissed me. I pushed him away and yelled in Swahili but he seemed pretty pleased with himself. A lot of the female PCVs strongly dislike Tanzanian men and I’m beginning to see where they’re coming from.
  • Also at the bus station, a thief grabbed my laptop power cable out of my backpack but the porter hauling my bags was off like a shot and retrieved it for me.
  • And then an eleven-hour bus ride. The bus left at 6.30 A.M. and arrived in Njombe at 5.30 A.M. We were met by two of the zillion or so PCVs posted in this region. We stayed at a hotel for the night.
  • The next morning Bret (the PCV from our group who lives even farther out than I do) and I got up early and had an early breakfast so we could get our bags to the bus station to catch the 9 A.M. bus to our towns.
  • At 11 we were still waiting, and got news that the bus had had a flat tire and would not be coming.
  • At 11.30, Bret’s headmaster managed to get him and all his stuff wedged into a dala-dala.
  • At 1 I saw the other PCVs, who had gotten up at a reasonable time and had a leisurely breakfast and visited the district commissioner’s office, across the street, and went over and had a minor breakdown, then talked myself out of it. It would be fine, I told myself. We’d get there somehow and tonight I’d be in my own house, alone, and I’d be able to do whatever I wanted without having to smile to make someone else feel better. I went back to the bus stand to stand awkwardly with my headmaster.
  • Finally, at 2, me and my headmaster and my luggage and another woman and two kids and other luggage and a bag of shoes and some chickens were crammed into the back of a Landcruiser and we were off. I was between the other woman and the bag of shoes, and every bump on the dirt road pushed the luggage towards us, making our already small leg room even smaller. But I could watch the beautiful mountains out the window, and we were going towards my house. Maybe when we got there it would be light enough to unpack (the electricity was out, my headmaster had said).
  • At 7 we arrived, finally, at my school. Makete is beautiful, with great views of the surrounding mountains. We unloaded my luggage…into my headmaster’s house. I asked him when I would move into my house. He told me in a few days. I had to take some time out of the conversation to keep myself from breaking down: the only thing that had kept me going was that that night I would be able to be in my own house, would finally stop living out of a suitcase, would finally have a home, for the first time in three months.
  • I calmed down and told him that I wanted to move in that night. That was not possible, he said, because there was a woman living in my house, a temporary teacher, and “of course” (his favorite phrase)…something about salary and she was supposed to move out and I just didn’t care. I told him I wanted to move in that night. He said that he would go talk to the woman.
  • He came back, said I would move in the next morning. I had to calm down again, but tried to tell myself that was better than nothing. So last night I slept in a hotel and, thankfully, was alone. In the morning it seems better but I still get pissed off when I think about it. He knew when I was coming, he knew that I would want to move into my house, and he didn’t tell me. I do not feel that we have gotten off on the right foot.


Comment from Chris
Time December 1, 2008 at 6:46 am


Comment from thadk
Time December 5, 2008 at 9:58 am

Pole kwa usumbufu! Nadani PC watafikiri kabla ya watatumia ubungo kupelekea mavoluntia wote kama hii tena. Kila la kheri at site, enjoy the three month challenge & the mango season it entails for us ed volunteers!

Comment from Herr Jenkins
Time January 9, 2009 at 8:22 am

Na, na. Alles wird besser sein, neh? Congratulations on pledging to uphold and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of Amurika! Question: aside from the US embassy in Dar, is there any place in Tanzania in which the Constitution would have any legal authority? If there’s one thing I’ve learned about upholding/defending said body of laws, its this: it’s all about the 1st and 5th Amendments.

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