Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ni Maisha

It’s life.
Long time, no blog, sorry about that.
So I reached my site in Sega safely and quite tired after the long trip. I’ve been here now for almost 3 weeks and think I have a better perspective on my home and my village so although you may disagree I think it was a good idea to hold off on a blog update until now.  Since this has worked for me in the past I’m going to break this blog up again in categories and hopefully I’ll touch on anything but as always if you have questions feel free to post them and I’ll get an answer to you!
The people
The people here are great. I live on a Catholic church compound so mostly I see the Priest and the guy training to be the next Priest and they are both super fun and really down to earth and they always speak English around me which I appreciate beyond belief.
I also live with 2 Germans. They are also volunteers and they live in the house right next to mine which cuts down my privacy but beefs up my security.  They also have a dog named Viper (it’s a girl… I know, go figure) but because of their accent it sounds like they call her Wiper which is now what all the Africans call her also. I’m the only one that pronounces her name properly. It just so happens this week the Germans are on vacation to I’ve started training this creature to not maul me when I walk in the garden gate… I’m doing surprisingly well for someone that’s never had a dog before.
There are 2 other teachers in my unit and they are both really nice and seem to want to teach me things and at the same time learn from me so I think it will be a good partnership… no complaints there. Because the primary school I’m in has 1,000 students there are also several other teac hers for the hearing students and they all also seem to be pretty nice and welcoming.
Lastly, I’ll throw this in here. Surprisingly … and awesomely a very good friend of mine was not able to go to her site because of an insect bite and she needs to be flown to her site since it’s practically in Ethiopia. She’s pretty much been chilling in Nairobi and then at other Volunteers houses and after my New Year’s celebration in Kisumu she was able to come to my site with me and visit! It was awesome to have her here and it definitely cut down on stress for the first few days of school.
Ok, not lastly. Since my students are people too I guess I’ll touch on that in this section. They are pretty great. I have one with a bit of a behavior problem  but I think I can get him in check. I also have another student who is about 15 ( all my other students are about 6) she was in a hearing school until Class 3 and then quit since no one could communicate with her but when the Deaf Unit here opened up she came! In all I think I’m going to end up with about 5 students that as of now all seem to be on different levels so it’s gonna be interesting.
The house
So I don’t want to say the people that filled out my form lied… but I’d say it was a gross exaggeration  of what my house actually looks like.  So my house is basically a big room. It already had a bed, dresser, coffee table, and 2 chairs which helped my wallet a lot. I bought a mattress that fits the bed and am having a kitchen table to cook on and 2 bookshelves made which should be done any day now.  I’ll be excited to get a table and get my gas cylinder filled so I can start cooking for myself. At the moment I’m eating in the main house with the Priest, Priest in training and the Germans, it’s fun and I’ll miss that interaction but I like choosing what I’m going to eat. Anyway, back to the house. My bathroom is just outside my house, I have a western toilet but I don’t have running water so I have to fill up the toilet tank with practically a whole bucket of water before it will flush. It won’t flush toilet paper… ever. As far as the general set-up there is basically the Germans house and my house enclosed with a brick wall so I walk out my door and about 12 steps to the left and I’m at the Germans back door. There is also a door in the brick wall that is mine, it’s how I get in and out of the garden/yard situation, it’s not ugly to look at unless Wiper drags trash outside which she is known to do.
Oh I almost forgot! While my friend was here we went shopping for fabric and basically carpeted my ceiling with 12 different fabrics and it turned out really awesome and definitely makes this home feel more like mine. I also made curtains.
Daily living
I’m not sure what to put in this section other than it rained last week and I put all my buckets out to collect water and was able to do all of my laundry and clean my floor and flush my toilet like 5 times. It was awesome and I was really proud of my creativity and resourcefulness.
The town
Sega is a pretty nice little town. Pretty much everything I need for daily survival I can get here. There’s a little “supermarket” in town and the owners love me because they have a daughter named Cindy. Instant friendship.
It takes me about 15 minutes to walk to town, but we don’t have a bank so I have to go to another town about 20 minutes away for that but it’s ok because that town has a really awesome market.
My feelings on the subject
So now that I’ve been here 3 weeks and I’ve started the first school term (kind of. Apparently this week is opening week which means we don’t do much and can’t do much because we don’t have a syllabus yet. I do have an English one… I don’t know if teachers in America have to make schemes of work but if you do, God bless you they are a giant pain) I feel  like this is just life for me. Now that training is over and I’m not constantly surrounded by other Volunteers I get up in the morning and do what I need to do that day just like all of you are doing in America… it feels less like Peace Corps and has become the norm for me which is kind of a nice feeling. However, I always feel more Peace Corps-ish when I pump and carry my water to my house or jump up and down at the site of rain so that I don’t have to pump and carry my water.
I think that’s all for me. I finally have internet at my site to hopefully I will be updating much much more!!!
Thanks for reading, again apologies for the tardiness of this update!!! Happy 2011!


  1. Sounds great kiddo! Tell"Wiper", his american cuz Joey says "Hi"!....give my love to squeaks!

  2. bahaha, Squeeks is exhausted, he goes EVERYWHERE with me in the little netted side pocket of my backpack, it's highly ridiculous. I'm sure Wiper will know who that is, at the moment he's barking his head off... I considered training him to always poop right at the Germans door just for laughs but thought they wouldn't think it as funny as me so I abandoned that idea. hope you are well!

  3. Hey Lady! I love that I am featured in your blog! Woo! And yay to training Viper! Miss you already. I am so grateful and happy that I got to see you before I move to "practically Ethiopia". Love you and I'll call you in five minutes!

  4. Cindy,

    Hello from Uncle Michael and Aunt Trudy! You
    certainly are experiencing some challenges. I
    have sent you a letter, sorry it has taken me so
    long to write. I'll try to be more consistent.
    Enjoy your time there.

    your Floridian relatives