I was a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) from October 2001 until December 2003. My group was scheduled to leave Washington DC on 17 September 2001, but that was rescheduled after 11 September. We left during the anthrax scare, so we couldn't send our farewell letters --say what ever happened to the investigation surrounding the anthrax letters?
We landed in Nairobi, Kenya then drove to Arusha, Tanzania. We were shocked by the climate, then by the trash, then by the poverty. After we got over our initial reactions we got busy learn about how to take care of ourselves, Swahili culture, and Tanzanian educational system. All of us were teachers of some sort, but first we needed to be students. Peace Corps does a wonderful job giving its volunteers a Masters degree in Living.
I was assigned to Mbekenyera Secondary in rural Lindi region. You have never been there, but it is quite a place. I have many stories --farming, ants, rain, hyenas, bike rides, lions, witch doctors, chickens, and student. In the end it is the people you remember most. Below are a few pictures.
Physics lesson with Form IV students:
Fellow teachers outside the mathematics office after morning assembly:
Neighborhood children at my door:
Neighbors roasting cashews, very labor intensive and dirty work:
Id holiday at my regular coffee house, I provided the chickens for the pilau (spiced rice & meat dish). I would frequent this place in the evening and have ginger tea.
One school break I left my village and traveled the country. I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with some other PCVs. Here we are at the top, at dawn, with the the shadow of Kilimanjaro extending to infinity.
...and you can't go to Africa with out taking a safari. Many of the PCVs in my group went to Ngorongoro, here are a few. ...if you want to see animals, you have to see it for yourself --my point & shoot camera did not do the place justice.
This sunset was my last day in Tanzania. I took it on Zanzibar, and afterwards had grilled fish which was just caught by the fishermen in the picture. The next day I started my 2 days of traveling to get back to the US and see my parents for Christmas 2003.
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Last update: 23 February, 2008