Thursday, December 9, 2010

Calling All Magazine Subscribers!

I'm in need of some old magazines that will be cut up and used for a project I'm planning on doing with the students in my village. I need boy and girl ones. So the celeb (people, US weekly, etc), glamors, fashion, travel, sports illustrated, soccer ones (I'm sure those exist) would all work. Let me know who wants/can send some, so you don't spend too much on shipping them to me. If you keep it to 3 or 4 in a package then it shouldn't be too expensive. I need them as soon as possible or around the beginning of Jan at the latest.

Thanks and much love from Kenya! xoxo

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Have you been tested?...

I got tested on World Aids Day to know my status....i'm negative. It's better to know your status so you can live heathly then not know at all and put others at risk. Get tested!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Scuba Diving and Thanksgiving and Kenya...Oh My!

For my birthday present to myself, I gave myself the gift of scuba diving. Kenya is known for having some amazing dive sites because the whole coast is a reef. So I found the dive company called Pilli Pipa. They picked me up from Diani Beach and drove me an hour south towards Tanzania. There we reached the a village where the boats are. They take you out on a Dow ship which is an old style sailing boat. There is an island 45 mins out that is in a marine park where they drop you off to do the diving and snorkeling. I did two amazing dives around the reef of this island. The water had great visibility and the colors of the reef and fish were beautiful. I saw huge lobsters, octopus, squid, sting rays, hundreds of different fish, huge starfish, Nemo, sea turtles and the best of all a dolphin!  It swam right by us and it was so cool to see it underwater. Then after the two dives, we headed back to the main land. Across from the main land is a large island where they have a resturant. There, they feed you this elaborate meal that was delicious. Then boated you back across to the main land and then drove us back to Diani. So it was an all day trip and I got to meet some great people and make friends with the manager of the company who invited me back for more diving. It was so much fun and was a really good deal for the price. Even cheaper than the states.

This last weekend I went to Voi to visit DaMon's site. He lives in the Taita Hills.  Picture Costa Rica type landscape with lush, green hills and jungle forest with waterfalls. It was cool, rainy, and beautiful. We made a Kenyan-style Thanksgiving and it was good just to spend time with people I haven't seen since mid September.  Next is Christmas celebrations and New Years partying. We are renting out our own personal island off the coast of Malindi for Christmas and then for New Years there is going to be a 24 hour beach party that we will be attending. It's going to be great to see everyone who will be coming out and it should be a very fun first holiday season in Kenya!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Here is the last time it was able to be down. It was extremely long considering i haven't cut it since May.


Ah! Lol...of course it's shorter than i wanted, but it will grow out soon. It makes me miss Donna, my stylist at home, because i trust her so much. I got a referral to this lady in malindi from an irish girl i met in diani. She did good work and repeatedly asked me why i would want to cut my beautiful hair. But i had to mix it up a bit! When in Africa, right?! So now, i'll be ten times cooler (temp wise...we all know my coolness status can't be measured...i'm kinda a big deal...) and a child with cancer gets some sweet locks full of love!

The aftermath...

11.5 inches off!

The back

A little wet still. Washing my hair is going to take me no time at all now! I won't have to allot a minimum of 30 mins just for hair washins' Yay!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Market Day!

Here is the pastor buying veggies at the market day. A market is called soko in swahili. It was a good start to having a sucessful soko in Jilore!

Attack of the bird 1

This bird flew into my house two days ago. He landed and stayed in the window in my kitchen. I wasn't sure if he was trying to find a place to die or take a nap since every time he stopped moving, he closed his eyes. I couldn't get him out even tho he was right next to the open door. So he hung out there for about an hour while i showered and got ready. I also looked up the meanings of birds. If it's in your dreams, it means finding home or a message or success is coming. The other is an old wives tale that if a bird flies into your house it means someone is going to die soon....i'm going to go with the first meaning regardless. Once he did finally fly out he landed on a tree outside and creepily stared at my house not moving for another 30 mins. Thank you Clare for being there with me thru texting. These pics are mostly for her... :)

Attack of the bird 2....

He is just chillin'....right next to the open door.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recreation center project!

My first major project, and first attempt at writing a proposal, is
for the construction of a recreation center in Jilore. It will be on the high school grounds, and it's going to benefit the whole
community. The idea is to construct a meeting hall that offers
activities to the youth, students, and community. The meeting hall
will be able to hold barazas, events, and performances. There will be
sports equipment, a stage for creativity, and a library. Since there
is now electricity, there is the opportunity to have TVs to watch
movies and the news about current events. There will also be
computers, so computer and typing classes can be given. This will be
the first center of it's kind in about 40 km. The activities offered
will reduce youth idleness and improve education and job skills. We
are very excited about this project and it's being supported by the
secondary school, the church, and the community leaders. Stay tuned
for ways that you can help and donate

Sunday, November 7, 2010

All work and a lot of play makes Lee Ann a happy girl!

I've been super busy lately and took a weekend off and went down to
Diani beach. It was halloween weekend, so several PCV's came together.
We relaxed on the beach, swam in the ocean, I rode a camel, we went to
a halloween costume party, gambled at a casino (i lost like usual),
met several other travelers from canada, USA, australia, and sweden,
and to top it all off...Clare and I went skydiving! It was the most
terrifying 5 secs of my life right as you leave the plane and then the
most awesome feeling of flying like a bird during a 30 sec freefall.
It was over the ocean, so from 11,000 ft up you could see the whole
reef under the clear, blue water. My tandum instructor took me thru a
cloud and we saw a prefect, circular rainbow. Then we landed on the
beach barefoot. It was a very spur-of-the-moment decision by me and
Clare, and it was so worth it! Now it's back to the grind of meetings,
proposal writing, and market day preparations. I'm loving every minute
of all my work and play here in Kenya!

Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kakuyuni Puppeteers Strike Again!

They did back to back performances at kakoneni primary and secondary schools. These are the primary students seeing their talent for the first time. I got a Puppeteers t-shirt too! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Peace Corps Story: It would only happen in the Peace Corps....part's a long one, so keep reading the posts below.

So being in the peace corps brings very different situations in one's
life that may never have occured if they weren't in PC. Thus, last
night: so i went into Malindi to work at a cyber cafe. My two friends
kingston and pastor patrick came with me to set up facebook accounts.
We arrived in the afternoon and would leave on the last matatu home
around 6pm. Plenty of time to get home before dark. So i do my stuff
and the boys get facebook accounts. We run into another PCV and chat
for a bit. Then time to head home. We arrive at the stage and find no
matatu. Hmmm...maybe we're early. The stage is clearing out and people
are packing up to go home. Another two people show up looking for the
matatu. We ask around and no one knows and there isn't another one
coming. Crap...ok so, some taxis pull up and start offering rides.
Since i'm a muzungu (a white person) they expect me to be loaded with
cash. So the first price is 2,000 Shillings. Here's the comparison: a
matatu to Jilore is 80 shillings and a mini bus is 50!

Sent from my mobile device

A Peace Corps Story: part 2....! Luckily i'm with kingston and patrick who speak Giriama so
the negociating began. Next price: 1,500...NOPE! It always seems that
other kenyans randomly appear when negociations happen. So two piki
piki drivers, a guy kingston knew from school, and a random joined in
on the fun to rip off an muzungu. The old schoolmate kept trying to
convince me that 1st: 1,500 was a good price, 2nd: the boys have to
get home, but i could stay in malindi (one place offered was his
house), and 3rd: he felt that calling me baby as many times as he
could in each sentence would convice me to pay that ridiculous price.
I had to walk away several times to stop laughing directly in his face
b/c baby in a "wannabe player" kenyan accent is hilarious. I offered
600 for the 3 of us and refused to pay more. A good 45 mins later, and
many more "baby's", they finally agreed to 700. Sold! By that time i
just wanted to go home and hiding my American behaviors like sarcasim,
smart ass remarks, and cursing where getting difficult.

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A Peace Corps Story: part 3....

We finally leave the stage just to pull into the gas station around
the corner. This is when i let the sarcastic remarks out, but i said
them more to myself and quickly so they didn't understand what i was
saying. 1st one: "i'm glad i could pay for your fuel that costs a
faction of what you are forcing me to pay you." We finish there and
slowly make our way out of town. The one road to Jilore is dirt, has
many bumps, hills and uneven spots. We're in a low to the ground car
with 5 people. When i say slow, it was crazy slow. I'm pretty sure we
never went above 10 MPH. We stop after crawling for 10 mins and the
driver and his sidekick stop and pick up food. 2nd one: "i'm so glad i
could buy you dinner it up." It took about 1.5 hrs to make
a 30 mins drive. At some points there was good music. I showed the
boys my rap skills, so i couldn't complain there. Upon arrival
(finally!), kingston pays him and has a short chat and then the
sidekick gets out and goes into the social club where we were dropped.

Sent from my mobile device

A Peace Corps Story: part 4...

I asked kingston if there was a problem and he starts laughing. Then
tells me the sidekick asked if he had any condoms. Kingston said no,
but they maybe were sold inside the social club. 3rd one: "i'm so glad
i could pay for your booty call too!" lol They drive off towards
Kakoneni...the next village over...away from Malindi...going the same
direction we were just following....hmmm, so i'm pretty sure they were
headed there regardless if you are asking for condoms! All and all it
was a fun experience and i laughed thru the whole thing, but
thought....this would never had happened back at home. And thus, a
peace corps story was born. Enjoy!

Sent from my mobile device

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Two new worlds opened...

This is Patrick (i call him pastor patrick) and Kingston. They are two of my closest friends in Jilore. Today i had them set up their first email accounts and showed them the basics of email. It's also their first time to ever use a computer. I've never seen them so giddy before! They did a great job. It's the little things that count. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kakuyuni Puppeteers

This was the HIV/AIDS program from the puppeteers. They did a great job acting out two skits. They really appealed to the students and kept them laughing. Then they discussed ways to protect yourself and where to get tested. I'm so happy I found this group and will be working with them a lot! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance"

I'm finally starting to plan and organize some of the project ideas
i've had in my head since arriving at site. I met with my village
chief to fill him in and got his support and approval. This week, i
meet with the village elders to do the same and send them out to start
spreading the word and moblizing the people. I'm using them like my
little minions (in a good way)! So, my first goal it to start a market
day. This is like a farmer's market where fruits and veggies are sold.
That will hopefully start moving some pesa around in the community.
Then getting some goat and chicken raising groups started for income
generating activities. Then getting the youth more active with
community service type work, a salon club for girls in the secondary
school, and having open forums for youth to ask any and all questions.
I'm hoping to also start an offical HIV/AIDS Support group here along
with a list of other things! I'm happy to say i have amazing support
in my village, so one of these ideas is bound to work!

Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Witchcraft? It's possible....

Witchcraft has been the topic of convos this week! When i first
arrived in Jilore, i was told that there is a lot of witchcraft here.
The high school was going to be one of the best in the country until
it was cursed. The programs were taken to Nairobi and florished,
leaving Jilore high abandoned. Students have been known to have
nightmares, scream for no reason, and unknown scratches appear.
Diagonosis: witchcraft. Persistant medical problems like pains in the
chest or head are said to be demons living inside of you and
evanglists are called in to "save" you. They legit do it like on TV
where the people roll around, cry, and collapse. Sometimes the witch
drs come at night and move you. You wake up under the bed or naked out
in the shamba (fields). If something goes wrong or you never succeed
then you may have a curse. Supposidly, it doesn't affect outsiders,
but i've been told i should have a protection charm put on. It could
be true, but i haven't seen proof yet. But it's entertaining to hear
the stories!

Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's a boy!

This is a baby boy born at my dispensary today. He is less than an hour old. He looks like a little monkey!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nairobi or Bust!

I'm back from IST training in Nairobi. It was more of a 2 wk party
with a little training mixed in. My whole training group was together
again after 6 wks apart. We made the most of our time eating delicious
American style foods like pizza, burgers, salads, and sandwiches. We
went to see and pet exotic animals in the animal orphanages and
gathered around laptops to watch movies with our unlimited electricity
supply. We had two historic peace corps parties: the first ever peace
corps toga party and formal prom. Both were a success! And we learned
a bit about how to help our communities. I think we are each other's
best resources. I'm not a fan of Nairobi cuz it's just like America
and i didn't move to kenya to live like an american! Everyone speaks
english so i lose my swahili skills, it's super fast paced with a ton
of people, and the pollution is horrible. Now, back at my peaceful,
clean, small site i can relax. Sadly, i miss my kenyan family, but our
next vacation is being planned to see each other again!

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baby Elephants!

We visited a elephant orphanage in Nairobi. We got to see them play and pet them! They were very cute!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My view

From my comfy corner of my dispensary watching the rain come down. :)

Rain Delay

Called on account of rain...Jilore rests today. Last night it rained
all night. Several times i awoke to the wonderful music of drops on my
tin roof. This morning the sky is still grey and cloud covered. Steady
rains have continued in light and heavy spurts. It's unsure of when it
will stop. The dispensary is slow as kenyans don't go out much if it's
raining. I'm seated at the corner of the dispensary enjoying this
lovely weather and wishing i had a tv and electricity so i could watch
the US Open right now. Just cuz it's one of those perfect days to do
so. The internet updates just aren't enough. But nonetheless, it's a
lazy day and i'm enjoying it kenyan style.... :)

Sent from my mobile device

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Camels on the beach

Diani camels avaliable for rides.

Chillin' at Diani beach

Dino and Nick around the pool bar at Diani Reef Club.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The World of Kenya-part duex

It goes far beyond language communication here in kenya. I've found
that kenyans can have an entire conversation with one person asking
questions and the other one making the sound of a long "A". The other
is they can have whole conversations with just whistling. Different
whistles mean different things like "lunch is ready", "where are
you?", and "come here" etc. I gotta learn how to whistle now too!
Kenyan mamas giving birth is much different. If they come to the
dispensary then it takes about 1.5 hrs and you'll hear no sounds from
the mama in labor and then a crying baby. Then she goes home!
(personal experience one night, it was a girl and she was named
charity) Then it's back to work in the shambas, cooking, or cleaning.
A lot of mamas give birth at home with midwife help and i heard of one
mama that delievers by herself! Youth play offical soccer matches
barefoot. And kenyans love being tour guides and explaining everything
they know about the area. It's great and it's free!

Sent from my mobile device

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rat bastard 2

I found him this morning. The rat is on the left. My shoe is on the right....just to give the size. I wear a size he was huge! I'm so happy to be able to sleep in peace now!

Rat Bastard

I have an unwanted roommate in my house. A rat! When i first got to
site i heard something running around in the ceiling. Then one night i
woke up to something running across the top of my bed (mattress on the
floor) outside of my mosquito net, but i figured it was my malaria
meds messing with me. The next night i awoke to the same thing so
either there was something there or i'm crazy. All of these times i
tried not to freak out. Then i was gone from site for a week for the
referendum. Monday night, i was awake reading and heard rustling on my
desk. I flashed my headlamp (from the safety of my net) over there and
saw the large rat bastard run away! Confirmation that it was a rat and
that i'm not crazy! So now it had to die. My cp, john, brought in
enough chemicals that i'm sure would harm me and poison bait pieces
the next day. For the next 4 nights i still heard him. He was taking
the bait and storing them in the drawers of the desk. Why hasn't he
died yet? Then i woke up this morning...victory was mine...

Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Diani beach!

Our view from the beach bar 40 thieves.

Oh the world of Kenya...

Kenya has a simple way of life but nonetheless it's similar to the
basic life in the states...except for a few things. I've noticed
somethings that make me giggle: ever wonder where the shirts that you
donate or ones that don't sell at savers or goodwill go to? Yep! They
come to kenya! (along with other developing countries) i've seen so
many little league shirts with written names on the back, school pride
(go vikings!), and expensive brand name shirts it's funny. Even an old
phoenix coyotes jersey. And they have no clue what it means. Public
transportation have suggested passenger limits that are never followed
like 11 means 25 people can be crammed in...if not more. Goats and
chickens are included. There is no need for strip clubs here because
every mama breastfeeds in public without a concern (which i fully
support). Everything that tastes good is "sweet" (tamu) and if you
look nice or attractive you are called "smart". Kenyans love saying
hello and are truly the most welcoming people. Karibu Kenya!

Sent from my mobile device

Friday, August 6, 2010

Address correction!

Here is my address and the format:

Lee Ann Sobczak
PO BOX 5905
Malindi, Kenya

Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beach corps is back....

Sorry! I found out that my blogs weren't posting! I got it to
work...hopefully. Things are going well here. I'm at my site and
getting to know the basics. I live in a 3 bedroom house with tap water
and a flushing toliet. (that's for the zutzs) Electricty is supposed
to be coming soon. Almost had it all! Could use some paint and
attention so that is what i'll be working on in my freetime. Observed
two health talks put on by my counterpart. The kids here know more
about health issues than most adults in the states. Nick and i went to
Diani beach around mombasa this weekend. It's the hawaii of kenya and
many british gap year kids vacation there. We are spending this week
in malindi for the referendum that happened today. Most results are
coming back with a strong yes. It rained every morning this week which
means we had to wait to go to the beach till the afternoon...what a
hassle! Got an address! PO BOX 5905 malindi, kenya. No zip...they just
know. I get taxed on packages so don't make them too heavy.

Sent from my mobile device

Test 1

This is a test to see if this posts!

Sent from my mobile device

Test 1

This is a test to see if this posts!

Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Swearing In today!

We are headed to the US ambassador's house to officially swear in as real peace corps volunteers!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th of July in Kenya? Hell yes!

Just because I'm not in the US of A, doesn't mean that we didn't celebrate like Americans! We rented out a place where we have our group trainings and spent the night up there. We all made a bunch of American type food with the supplies that we have here, got two kegs, had a bondfire, and sang at midnight for America. We all had a great time and so much fun being all together without a curfew!

On Tuesday, we had to make our own lunch with our language groups. We decided to have chicken or kuku. We don't have grocery stores here so that means we have to kill a live one and cook we did! I have it all on video and it was an experience!  It was a very delicious kuku too! The video will hopefully be up in the next couple of weeks depending on internet connections.

Training is over in two weeks! We swear in on the 21st and then we are off to our sites. My address will be changing so don't send anything until I can get my new one up. Time now is being spent as much as possible with each other because this is the last time we are all going to be together for a while.

Kenyan Kisses!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


We are going to Machakos on Sunday for a three day "vacation"! It will be nice to get a change of site. We are doing our HIV/AIDs training and should get some good down time to hang out with each other. We are planning a big 4th of July party and make some American food. I'd kill for a Taco bell or pizza right now, but the food isn't bad. We just got a cookbook with a lot of ideas in it so when I don't have anything to do I'll be practicing making different things in a makeshift oven of sorts. Less then a month till we test in our languages, leave here and swear in at Nairobi. AH!

If anyone hasn't heard there is a referendum being voted on in Kenya for a new constitution. It happens on August 4th. Read up on it to get an idea of what is going on in the politics here. We are hoping and pretty sure there won't be anything like the post election violence in 2007.  

PS...this post is for Nicole who called me out, but for the record I was talking about the last post! Love you NicNic!

Missing everyone! xoxoxo

Saturday, June 19, 2010

About one month in

It's crazy to look back and see that I've been here for about a month already! And I only have a month left in Loitokitok and then we head to Nairobi to swear in and then off to our sites.

A normal day consits of me waking up at the horrible hour of 6am and laying in bed till the latest 6:30am. Then I get up and get ready, eat breakfast which is usually a fried egg, a kenyan pancake, and chai. Sometimes Blue band sandwiches are thrown in there which is just "butter" on bread. It's tasty though. Then I leave and have my 30 min walk to my language class which is at Paige's house....across town. It's small groups. Mine has three people, Paige, Louis and me. Our trainer is Sam. We tend to have a good time during our class. Like last week we learned how to say "If I was a rich girl" in Kiswahili like the Gwen Stefani song. We have language till noon and then lunch. We normally have a cheap lunch at a hoteli or restaurant. I'm a fan of the rice, chapati, and beef with some vegetables (cabbage) on the side. All for about 60 shillings which is less than a US dollar. We then walk around the market and maybe buy some bananas or oranges that aren't orange in color they are actually green and yellow. After lunch, we have cultural and technical training. We were matched with groups in the area to work with and do a small project. Julie and I are working with an HIV/AIDS support group in Kimana.  We are working with them to plant skumawiki which is a vegetable that is eaten a lot here. After those different sessions, we all head to a local bar to watch the World Cup. It's our time to hang out together and relax before going home at our 6:30pm curfew. Then comes dinner with my family and some wonderfully dubbed Spanish soap operas that my mama and I watch together on TV. Yep, TV, and I have electricity and water with a shower. I'm spoiled here and it's not going to help prepare me for my site which has none of these things! So, I'm going to enjoy them while I can!

Today (Saturday) is the main market day and everyone is out selling and buying things. It's a really fun thing to see and experience. Today i got a Leso which is a piece of fabric that you wrap around you. It's a huge thing here and all the ladies wear them.   Weekends are pretty relaxed here. I do my laundry in the morning which is washing my clothes in a bucket. I clean my room and hang out. I did a lot of reading today. The volunteers like to get together and play soccer, football, or frisbee on the weekends too so that gets us out of the house and we are able to see each other more.

We all talk about the food that we miss from home so please, everyone...enjoy taco bell, mexican food, and cheese for me!!!

Much love from Kenya!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm here in Loitokitok!!

So we don't really have internet access here in Loitokitok. I'm at an internet cafe right now. Training is going well. We are learning the language Ki Swahili. And yesterday we found out where we are going. I'm going to the coast! To a place called Jilore near Malindi. Check it out online! It's going to be hot and humid there! Sticking with the same language and I'll be working in a dispensary doing health education to my 5,000 people village. I'm nearby 4 other volunteers so it should be nice. It very beautiful here too! Mt. Kili is huge and it's in our backyards. My host family is very nice and very excited to have a Mzungu (white person). My Mama is very nice and wants to teach me everything!

Hope all is well over there. I miss everyone and home a lot but things are busy here. Will update when I can but it will be spaced out!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Training has begun!

Hello Everyone!
My training has started in Kenya. It's lot of rules and regulations. Language classes have started also for KiSwahili. We will be learning were our site will be next wednesday. After that we will transition to learning the tribal language. Weather is great here. It rained for the first time here today. It was similar to hawaii rain where it was light but got heavy at times. We went into Nairobi tonight for dinner and a drink. It was a bit scary because they call it Nairobbery. But we were definitely safe and had a nice time. We head to our training site tomorrow and I won't know how much internet access we will have. And I get to meet and start living with my Host family on Sunday. Things are busy here but we have time for fun too. We played ultimate Frisbee yesterday and the soccer game got rained out today.

Notice to anyone wanting to send me packages!!!!!! Please do so ASAP because for my first 90 days I don't have to pay taxes on packages to get them. After 90 days it's very very expensive!! Send to the address on the blog and they will forward it to my training site. A package is considered anything other than a letter.

Kwaheri! (goodbye)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Here in Kenya

I have arrived! Kenya is very beautiful from what I saw on the plane. Flights were long but good. Training starts tomorrow. Checked into the hotel and ate dinner. Headed for one of my last real shower for a long time. The weather is cool at night right now. Officially time is 10pm.  It's very refreshing weather. Will keep everyone updated!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 2-Orientation

i got to meet all my group today that is going with me to Kenya. Very exciting day and it feels good that everyone is having the same concerns as I am and was. We leave for JFK in the morning. Our flight to Switzerland leaves at 6pm and then from there we fly to kenya and get in around 6pm on the 26th. Shots start on the 27th...yay.

And I will be watching the season finale of Lost tomorrow so I'm very excited I don't have to wait 2 years to find out what happens!

:) lovely

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 1-Philly

Today was very stressful and rushed! Trying to get packed and to the airport was intense. Saying goodbye to Mom, Dad, Nicole, Krystina, Josh, Matt and Dylan was pretty emotional and tough to do. Crying on the plane next to strangers isn't fun and they tend to stare. Flight to Philly was fine. Got in and then had help with my luggage because I can't carry it myself (not good). Checked into the hotel and I'm still doing things...(it's 2am here now) Tomorrow is orientation and finalizing paperwork. I'll get to meet everyone that I'm going with. Will post updates when I can!

Thank you for all the love and support! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Address and Info

So here is a brief description of my first few days in Kenya and what they will be like. My address for sending things while I'm at my training site (till the end of July) is below. I'll put up some mailing instructions soon!

Loitokitok, Kenya is my training city...check it out on the map! 

Packages go to the capital:

    Volunteer’s name, Peace Corps Trainee
    P.O. Box 698-00621
    Village Market
    Nairobi, Kenya 

Arrival:  Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) look for one of our staff who will be holding a Peace Corps sign.  If you do not see him or her at the gate, please proceed through immigration, collect your luggage at the baggage carousels and proceed through customs.  Peace Corps staff and current Volunteers will meet you outside of customs and will be displaying Peace Corps signs.  You will then travel by bus to AFRALTI, which is approximately a 30 to 60 minutes drive from JKIA depending on traffic.  There, you will have a light meal and a good night’s sleep.   
Day One:  Thursday, May 27, 2010
Breakfast will be served 6:00 – 8:00 a.m.  The first session starts promptly at 8:30 a.m.  You will receive a Safety & Security briefing by Nuru Zuhudi, Safety & Security Coordinator (SSC).  You will meet with Amy Byerwalter, Administrative Officer (AO), and Isabella Maisiba, Volunteer Records Clerk.  They will provide instruction on how to complete various administrative forms.  At this time, they will also collect your Peace Corps passports and 12 passport photos.  During the morning, you will also meet the following Peace Corps Kenya senior staff as part of your orientation:  Steven Wisecarver, Country Director (CD); Enos Radeny, Associate Peace Corps Director Education (APCD); Joseph Maruti, Training Manager; other staff and current serving Volunteers. The Medical team will share with you a detailed immunization program. You can expect to get your first shots.  Peace Corps Medical Officers (PCMOs) will also hand out malaria prophylaxis, give vaccinations, and start the medical sessions. 
Day Two:  Friday, May 28, 2010
Breakfast will be served 6:00 – 8:00 a.m. The first session will start at 8:30 a.m. You will receive information on where you will be for your 2 years of service.  A detailed description of your work assignment will also be shared at this time.  During the day, you will learn more about your host families and meet the Host Family Coordinator.  
Day Three: Saturday, May 29, 2010
Breakfast will be served 6:00 – 8:00 a.m. Please have all your luggage packed and ready for loading after breakfast.  We will give you instructions where to bring your luggage for loading. You will depart for Loitokitok by bus at 8:30 a.m.  The trip to Loitokitok will take approximately 6½ hours (270 kilometers).  If you are prone to motion sickness, we recommend that you take medication before traveling.  (Please bring this medication with you from the U.S.)  We will be providing a box lunch and drinks for the trip. Petrol stations/rest stops are not frequently found on this route.  The bus will stop as needed; however, please be prepared that a pit latrine/toilet may not be available where you stop.  You may need to walk off-road to relieve yourself. 
Once in Loitokitok, you will have dinner and overnight at the Outward Bound Trust of Kenya (our training hub).  You will share a dorm style room with 9 other trainees. 
Day Four:  Sunday, May 30, 2010
Breakfast will be served 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. and the first session starts at 8:30 a.m.  The day will focus on preparing you for entry into your host family communities as well as getting to know the training staff in several one-on-one meetings. You will also be introduced to your Language and Cross-Cultural Facilitators.  Lunch will be served 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. During the afternoon, you will be introduced to your host families.  You will overnight at your home stay.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

18 More Days!

Only 18 more days till I leave. Become a follower of my blog so you can follow along! :)