Written Friday, July 31, 2010
Today was finally the BIG day everyone in my training group has been anticipating.....Site Announcements! When we first received our invitations to train, we only learned our country would be in Tanzania. Our exact village location for the next two years was undecided until we got to experience TZ and the PC staff got to know us better.
Imagine Christmas morning, your 16th birthday and sorority recruitment Bid Day all wrapped into one day. That is exactly what today was!
After a full morning of sessions, lunch and one more afternoon session, the suspense was bad. But the wait was totally worth it cause PC rocked the announcement process.
We walked from the classrooms over to a outside clearing where people were set-up playing drums and dancing. They got us all up and dancing, but we were still sneaking peeks at a large TZ map outlining who was going where. Each person's picture was covered with a post-it, so we could see how many were going to the individual regions but not who.
The youngest person in our training group got to remove the first post-it to announce where the first person was going. Everyone cheered as that person ran up to the board and then the exact village name was announced. They then removed another post-it from their region and so went the procedure. Once everyone in a region was announced, a description of that region was read. It was all really fun and upbeat!
Plus, we got apples, chocolate and mail. I received a letter from Grandma that included dry powder packets of lemonade and ranch dressing! You can imagine my excitement level was on overload by the end of all this!!
So where am I going? My village will be Mshewe located in the Mbeya Region!!! Located in the beautiful Southern Highlands area, the Mbeya region boasts majestic mountains with the southeastern corner bordering a lake with beaches. Since it is mountainous, the temperature gets much cooler than in the other hot, dry sections of the country.
I am not sure how close I will be to the city of Mbeya but I hear it is a big tourist city for people traveling across Africa. This is awesome for two reasons: I may be able to make use of my professional tourism experience AND Doritos will be near-by! Some American treats like chips and pizza are available for travelers! :)
I am also totally excited about Mbeya because six other fun people from my training group have been placed there. This is in addition to four volunteers already there. We may be a few hours away from each other but close enough for celebrating holidays, birthdays and such!