Hey all!

I know it’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a chance to write and I apologize for the delay. Internet access and availability is pretty rough and unfortunately cell service can be pretty frustrating. I’ve been asking my brother to post on my behalf through text messages posted to facebook, so I’m sure you can all imagine how frustrating and difficult that must be for him, and I hope you can understand the delay as well.

I’ve been writing a bit about my diet, keeping journals and notes, and taking pictures when appropriate – I’m still feeling out how and when it’s appropriate to break out my camera and take photo’s without creating a negative impression about my material status in the village.

So, let’s catch up a little.

Last we talked we’d learned about PACA – Participatory analysis for community action. We continued on with training, exploring different drying techniques, nutrition, HIV/AIDs, health thrusts toward opportunistic infections, malaria, and sanitation. Then we did our midterms in language and our tech evaluations. We pushed on from there and got ready for second site visit. I met my host who will be my guide for my first three months in community entry. He’s also the one who took care of me during the last four days at site in Chisunka. We headed back to training and got ready for our second site visit! How exhilarating – the wave of emotions and experiences from the last few days at training was overwhelming. We were going to visit our sites, we were going to meet our hosts for community entry, we were going to see our home for the next two years and experience the culture of our site, we were going to explore our catchments and get a first glimpse of our lives for the next 24 months. It was one heck of a ride.

We boarded the cruisers Sunday morning and started off. We made it to Mansa, crashed at the provincial house and started meeting the volunteers who had house days (meaning they can come into the house and out of site). Then we headed out for second site visit near our districts within the Luapula province. We arrived in Chibondo, a village about 30-40 klicks aways from my site and visited my nearest neighbor, a Ms. Sarah Flynn. From there we spent some days exploring her catchment, doing language classes, learning about her clinic and her experience from the last year. We experienced a funeral and a tragic accident of a house burning down. Then we each got picked up and taken to our sites.

I was greeted by my housing committee and my EHT – the man who’s going to show me around the area and be my primary contact point for the next three months. He’s a good man, 27 and the EHT in my village, He’s pretty on board with the program and has a good outlook and a positive attitude toward development and education as the only key for development. We’re going to get along very well. We also have the same sense of humor and a great playful, but very serious attitude towards health and development. I can’t express how excited I am for my site and the experience. These last four days have been too short by far.

Chisunka is gorgeous to say the least.

Now I’m back at the provincial house, relaxing and preparing for our run down to Chongwe and back to training. We finish up in October and then its back to Luapula and the vill… I can’t wait!

More soon!