In the whirlwind that has been my life these past two months, I’ve effectively gone ghost protocol on most of my social media accounts. However, I’m here today to tell you that it’s finally happened…I’m officially a Peace Corps Volunteer. Here’s a quick rundown from my time away:
On June 17th we received our site placements. This is arguably one of the most exciting and terrifying days ever as we find out where we will be living and whom we will be working with for the next two years.
The weeks of June 26th to July 16th were spent visiting our sites, living with a second host family and shadowing our work placements. I’ve been placed with both a community based organization, Kuthandizana Kuchira, and the district hospital, Centro de Saude de Chitima. It was an interesting and stressful three weeks that were mostly spent observing in the hospital for several hours every day and exploring my new home.
On August 5th I said goodbye to my Namaacha host family, loaded my final two bags into the back of a truck, and squeezed onto a chapa with my 44 fellow trainees. We made our way to the Ambassador’s home in Maputo where, after 13 weeks of training, we took our oaths and were sworn-in as official Volunteers.
The afternoon was spent at a cookout in the home of our Country Director, and after a night in Maputo we said our final goodbyes until December and parted ways for our sites.
On August 7th, I arrived at my new home for the next two years in Chitima, Tete province (more to come on this later, I swear). My little yellow house in the desert was completely empty, save for the foam mattress, small plastic table and two plastic chairs provided by Peace Corps…and when I say empty, I mean totally empty. We’re talking 3 small rooms, 12 blank blue walls.
Now that I’m here in Chitima, this week has consisted primarily of trips to the market, the carpenter and my site mate’s house to buy/find all the items I need to live here on my own. And, on a Peace Corps Volunteer’s budget, it’s been quite the adventure! (And also hilarious as I try to get by in the meantime…reference the photo of cooking dinner in my kitchen.) I’m reconciling with the fact that it will be several months until I’m settled here.