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

Archive for 'Uncategorized'


“You know what word I haven’t used since I got here?” asked Bret musingly as we made our way back down the mountain. “What?” I said, paying more attention to placing my feet securely than to the conversation. Where we were walking, foliage often blocked our view of the ground, so this was a somewhat […]

Usafiri (tena)

Yesterday’s trip to Mbeya ranks among the better travel stories I’ve garnered from my time here, although (surprisingly) not among the worst trips. Jess was taking girls to a girls’ conference she had organized with a bunch of other PCVs, and Bret and I were tagging along. Because Jess would be responsible for these five […]

Nipo wapi?

I upend the cat onto my lap; he lies there contentedly, upside-down, all four legs and his tail grouped together. I watch as he starts to wash his paws, hold his tail for him so he can clean it properly. Sometimes he misses and cleans my fingers instead. Sometimes he stops and just looks up […]

Naenda; Narudi; Nakosa amani

I get on the coaster around 8 A.M.; we leave Njombe city limits around 8.45. A coaster isn’t the quickest way to travel, stopping as they do at every middle-of-nowhere bus stand to pick up and drop off passengers, but I’m in no hurry. I love this drive. To my left are the Kibena tea […]


I wake up cold. I put on three layers of clothing, cold; eat breakfast, cold. I miss my morning class because I can’t bring myself to leave the nest of blankets I’ve made, wrapped around myself, still shivering at the core of them. Hands wrapped around a cup of tea. I think I’m sick. I […]

Mvua inaendelea

It’s 3 PM, a time that would normally find the mountains illuminated with glowing afternoon sun, the brightest part of the day. It looks like twilight. A huge clap of thunder shuts off the lights. The rains are running a little late this year. Down in the valley I can see the silver wall of […]


Back from town, break is like an unbroken string of Saturdays, leisurely and pleasant and at times dauntingly empty. It’s early afternoon on Friday and I’m back in bed, sitting up and reading. A cat curls up by my feet adorably, and I obligingly adore him. I’m a fool for my cats: they wake me […]

Sijachelewa sana

My phone’s alarm woke me from a strange dream at 4.40. I dressed and left quietly, carrying a flashlight in one hand and an umbrella, doing double duty as a walking stick, in the other. Out of the house I stopped and turned off the flashlight, awed by the stars. I always manage to forget […]

Mapenzi mabaya

We hummed, sang, and whistled “Bad Romance” all weekend: a friend of Jess’s (well, a friend of all of ours, but particularly of Jess’s) came to visit, and brought with her a “Popular in America” mix. I’ve really grown to like pop, American and otherwise, while I’ve been here. Not sure why. I caught the […]

Msimu wa mvua

We’re sitting inside Mama Ismael’s booth at the market. The rain is solid but not devastating. I wouldn’t want to walk in it in my thin cotton shirt, but it wouldn’t drench me immediately. She’s telling me about how she had strange dreams, how she overslept. She dreamt that thieves stole into her house and […]