Written on Friday, September 3, 2010
Well, I have been in my village for exactly two weeks today! Time is both flying and standing still. I often check the clock after long time only to see that 10-15 minutes have passed. Or I wake from a deep sleep, fully awake and realize it is only midnight!
The first three months at site are primarily suppose to be spent learning about the village and people. This means popping a squat next to a woman selling produce or men hanging around the shops. Does not sound to hard, eh? Even fun?
I enjoy meeting people and talking, but this is a whole new level when no one speaks English and my Swahili is not far past greetings and buying toilet paper. In my last life back in the US, I loved being busy and juggling several things at once. So now I am adjusting to slowing down and my "work" being to shoot the bull in a language I cannot speak. It is not as easy as I expected. Particularly when I try to explain that I do not understand so the person tries to make me understand by standing closer to my ear and shouting the same words over and over!
As time progresses, I am sure my language will come and things will flow easier. I am very lucky to have such a friendly and welcoming village. I am the first Peace Corps volunteer to be in this village so I do not think they really know what to think of me being here! On the good side, I can pave my own path and not be held to a mold of what they saw past volunteers do.
Last week I finished painting the living room which makes everything more clean and comfortable. This Sunday I will get to meet the carpenter who made furniture for some other volunteers. I still just have the bed and folding chair so I am really ready to get a couch, table and some cabinets. Right now everything is all sitting on the floors and driving me crazy!
This week I have gotten to do more exploring in the areas around my village. There are two coffee estates nearby. One is a beautiful 45-minute walk into the mountains. The other is an hour and 45-minute hike over steep hills but it is well-worth it because it is also a resort! They offer a day pass that gives access to a swimming pool, tennis court, squash court, pool table and table tennis. They also have a fabulous menu featuring ice cream and pizza on Sundays! A truly great place for anyone wanting to visit me!!