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

Nipigie simu!

This post will make Chris Segal very happy.

So in America, I pretty much hated my cell phone. Sure, it was useful for coordinating things on the fly–in fact, I’m not sure how I would have done without it, we’d have had to plan things in advance or something–but I’ve never been particularly fond of phones and having one with me all the time just made matters worse.

But here in Tanzania, it’s totally different. My cell phone is my link with other PCVs, my family, my friends. Very few days have passed since I got to site that I didn’t send or receive a text message. In fact, it’s much more usual for me to Jiachie (a deal offered by my cell service provider that makes texts cheaper if you send more six of them in a day) and have extended conversations with other PCVs through text. I’ve gotten extremely fast at typing using the T9 text-guessing system built into my phone. When the network went down for almost a day last week, I got almost twitchy, worried about what I might be missing, wanting to text the other PCVs.

Even talking on the phone is no longer a dreaded event. It helps that pretty much the only people who call me are my family members, once a week on Sunday evenings. I look forward to the call all week, and really enjoy talking to them. It’s funny: I think I’ve talked more to them while halfway around the world than I did while I was in college.

It remains to be seen whether this need for a cell phone will stick with me when I return home, but I’m guessing that texting will be a lifelong habit. It’s so useful!


Comment from Chris
Time February 12, 2009 at 7:46 am

I’m still terribly slow at texting, but I approve of this message!

Comment from Sam.
Time February 26, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I can relate. I hated cell phones until my junior year when I was trying to keep in touch with 20 people spread across a huge city the size of, oh, well, Berlin. I bought the CHEAPEST phone I could and subsisted on pay-as-you-go. The resignation you feel right now will pass!

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