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


We went for a hike: some time ago, Bret and Mama Jully and I were talking, and she mentioned that there are caves around. “A hundred people hid in them, once”, she told us. So we all agreed that, one day, we would hike out and have a look.

Today was that day, the morning sunny and cool. We walked a few hours away from Makete on the road, then turned down into a valley to pass a primary school. At the school, Bret commented that he imagined this was how many Peace Corps education sites were: just a school with nothing around. We both agreed that we were happy to live at our sites and not there, beautiful though it was.

At the school we stopped to ask directions and one of the teachers, in his suit and nice shoes, gave himself the role of our guide and took us zig-zagging through fields and then up a steep, grassy slope to a large rock overhang.

“The caves are over there,” he said, “but you can’t pass.” I looked at the path: “I think I could, actually…” “People don’t pass. The chief sleeps there, and nobody else can go there.” So, after our hike and after wending our way through fields, all we got to see was the path down to the caves. If I’d been a bit braver (or less culturally sensitive, depending on how you want to think about it) I would have gone down anyway: I was quite irked. It was a nice enough walk but we were arbitrarily forbidden to reach our destination, and that rankled.

On the way back the clouds rolled in and the air became wonderfully cool. A breeze came and visibility lessened. We arrived back in Makete and saw Bret’s car pulling out: he ran to my house, grabbed his bag, and was gone.

Alone again, I did some stretches to appease my aching legs. After each short hike my legs complain but I don’t mind: I know that the complaints mean that they know they are inadequate, they’re becoming stronger. If I want to hike Mt. Meru (to do this June or during September break) I’ll have to be moderately fit, and this is the way to achieve that.

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