I’m Back!

I’m still alive! After a brief stint without technology, I am back in the modern world! In case you had not heard I had my phone and laptop stolen. If you have heard, you probably know the story and might want to skip the next couple paragraphs.

It was a warm Halloween weekend in Mbeya Town. I had gone there with other volunteers for a focus group about gender equality in our villages. So there were about 20 wazungu (the name they call anyone who looks foreign). Also there were about 30 volunteers from the UK in town so there was a bigger target on us. And to and to that there were 2 big soccer games and the field is right by the guesti I was staying at.  I normally wouldn’t bring my computer but I had a couple things I needed to do in town where internet is available. So Sunday morning I woke up to go get breakfast from the lobby of the hotel I was staying in. I decided to leave my phone in my room to charge. I obviously locked my room but I will still clarify that the room was locked since everyone asks me if I locked the door. So I went to eat and was gone for not even an hour and when I came back my phone and laptop were gone. Hotels in Tanzania have a policy where if you leave the key with them at the desk then they are responsible for the things in your room. But since I was in the hotel I kept the key.

I went to the police station to file a report. I needed to get and official copy for my insurance so they gave me ripped off corner of paper and wrote a case number on it. They told me they couldn’t give me a copy of the official report. So I had to come back the next day to talk to a different inspector. So after about 5 hours talking to police I got a paper saying a report was filed. But I got to climb up a ladder on the second floor and see out a whole in the ceiling onto the roof.

So yeah…. I didn’t have a computer for a month. Luckily my site mate has an amazing family who was coming to visit so I was able to get a computer shipped to them in American and then when they came to visit they brought me my new computer. I am glad to be back in the mac family!!

While I was MIA from my blog I finished the school year, I went to a Thanksgiving party with a bunch of PCVs and expats living in Mbeya, I started to tell people I am from Canada, I had to go convince immigration I am here legally, my house flooded kidogo during the first big rain, and now I am in Morogoro for my Early Service Training (EST). I am back with the almost 50 volunteers that I swore in with two months ago.

It almost feels like a big family reunion. These are the people I came to this new country with and went through all the struggles that involves with, so they really are like family. Catching up and talking about our different experiences at our sites has been amazing. We are all in Tanzania so have similar experiences but also differ in so many ways. There are people (like me) with no electricity and no running water and there is also a volunteer with not just water but filtered water, electricity, and even wifi! There are schools with a lot of corporal punishment and schools with very little if not none. Some volunteers are at A level schools, so kind of like community college, but most are at secondary schools. These are just some examples, there are so many more differences.

We have been here one week and it had just been volunteers but now we just started our second week and our counterparts arrived today. Our counterparts (CPs) are host country nationals (HCNs) that we work with in our communities. I had to interview village leaders and talk to people in the clinic and do various things that would be impossible to get done by myself. So without my CP I would not have been able to get the information I needed to do my report about my village. So this week we will be in sessions at this training about how to do projects, start clubs, and write grants.

There was a kind of weird situation with choosing my CP so I didn’t get a chance to ask if this is something he would even want to do. My mkuu just told him when I wasn’t around (there is more to that story but we’ll save that for another time) and I don’t know if he feels like he was forced into this. But he is here and doesn’t look too miserable yet so I’m optimistic about the rest of the week.

I could probably go on forever about my life but I don’t want to overwhelm you in one post! Especially since I don’t have any pictures in this post so it’s extra boring. Pole sana!! Until next time. Which will hopefully be soon since I have a computer now!

Kwa Heri!

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