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

Nimesikitika kidogo

So the problem I’ve been encountering is that my default behavior is to curl up in bed with a book and maybe a cup of tea. If there’s something else that has to be done, be it something no fun like washing handkerchiefs (it’s gross, trust me) or something I want to do like going for a walk or practicing my mandolin, I have to force my inert self to put down the book and get out of bed and do it.

I’ve been doing okay with the chores that need to be done–washing clothes, washing dishes. I’ve been kind of enjoying cooking, which is good because it takes for-frickin’-ever if you’re doing it on a charcoal stove. First you have to light the charcoal (which I do by dousing it in kerosene and then leaving the room for five minutes while it flames down), then you have to wait for it to be a solid enough fire to put a pot on, and then it’s impossible to control the heat so you just have to work with the high heat until it burns itself out. So that’s good times.

I’ve been practicing the mandolin, too, since that’s an activity I can do by myself in my room with no electricity.

I’ve had less luck with making myself go out for walks. Partly it’s that preparation is involved–I have to put on sunscreen and bring an umbrella, due to the unpredictability of the weather at this time of year. Partly it’s that when I walk, I walk to be alone, but anywhere I would walk here there are people. I should still go out, though: walking makes me feel better. Every day I tell myself I’ll start tomorrow, and make excuses.

And I’ve had way less luck with talking to Tanzanians. I’ve chatted with the neighbors a little, and with people at the market when I’m buying stuff. I think I’m relegating this to the beginning of January when classes start (on the fifth for Form IV and the twelfth for everyone else) and I’ll be forced into socialization with the teachers and students. Until then I’m happy enough to hermit in my house and I’ve been advised by PCVs to do what makes me happy, so that’s that.

I’ve been rather unsuccessful, too, at not thinking about home and family and friends and the things that I really miss, now that I’m alone at site in a big empty house. I’ve been really trying not to think about Christmas at home because it’s a surefire way to make myself unhappy but there I go thinking about it again. Christmas here will be fun, I’m sure–I’ll be spending it with other PCVs and we always have a good time–but it will be the first Christmas I haven’t spent with my family and that’s really hard to think about.


Comment from Chris
Time December 12, 2008 at 9:44 am

Have you aimed for the mountains, or are they a) too far or be) not a good idea this time of year?

Comment from Chris
Time December 12, 2008 at 9:45 am

Also, don’t burn the house down!!!

(“which I do by dousing it in kerosene and then leaving the room for five minutes while it flames down”)

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