Because I need to have structure and am now longer now employed (here in this life in the States anyway!) and my only pursuit is playing with the jigsaw puzzle of my luggage, I post the plan for the next little while. People ask when I leave and what, exactly I am to be doing with my time in Africa... this is as far into the future as I can imagine..
Feb 24th-26th Hit up Philly to be briefed on safety, culture and basic operations for our arrival in Malawi, meet everyone in the group, in addition to being vaccinated against things my imagination makes into yaws, scurvy and chilblains (my infections disease professors would be horrified that illnesses not mentioned since Dickens are part of this)
Feb 26th 2am bus ride to JKF with health and agriculture volunteers to our nonstop flight to J-burg, South Africa then on to Lilongwe, Malawi's capitol
Pinch myself that I am in the warm heart of Africa
Feb-mid April two months of language and technical training. I will be a Peace Corps trainee at this time, living with a host family in Dedza and trying to navigate cultural, linguistic and gastronomic differences. adventure!
April 2011-April 2013 LONG period of time. living and working in Malawi at my to be determined site. I will most likely be the only volunteer in my community, with other volunteers being a neighboring sites kms away and will have a Malawian counterpart with whom I will work closely to identify needs and potential projects. Cultural immersion is a huge part of the Peace Corps grand plan, in order to create a community partnership. My primary efforts will center on working with my community, the Ministry of Health and other NGOs in the region towards a partnership that will hopefully produce sustainable development efforts and improvement of health and wellbeing. Huge focus on HIV/AIDS (prevalence = 11% urban pop). I've heard there will opportunities to develop women's and youth empowerment programs as well, which would be amazing to get involved in! So much to learn, adapt to and take in.
Exactly what I think two years well spent in a life looks like:) for me, anyway.
So I'm sure I will arrive and all of these plans will be completely different while I'm actually living it. My trainee address in on the blog to the right, if you want to send a flat rate envelope of love I hear they are about 13 bucks:) I don't need anything, but any little bits of your world would make me so happy! We have little to no communication with home for the first to months during training, so even though I will be with other lovely PC folks, I know myself and I will be missing friends, family, DC and everything in between!
Had wonderful goodbyes and not enough Indian food:) I guess that's how you begin a journey, or at least that is how I am going to begin this one.