Wednesday, September 14, 2005

To Begin With

Many of you have heard where I am going, and what I will be up to but for those who may not have heard, or don't exactly remember, I thought I would start at the beginning.

First, some technicalities:The next 27 months I will be in Tanzania teaching Biology at a secondary school for the Peace Corps. The first three of those 27 will be spent in training; learning to keep healthy, speak, and teach in a new country. They tell us the training is in Dar es Salaam, although I have heard rumors that the actual training site is in Morogoro (a small agricultural town more inland then the coastal capital of Dar es Salaam, and at the base of the Uluguru Mountains). I'll see when I get there!
If you'd care to write letters to me, my address (I know some of you have gotten this a million times! I'm sorry, but I like letters!):

Clarissa Sabella (Trainee)
Peace Corps Training Site
PO Box 9123
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

As far as my actual job goes, I also don't know that much either. What I do know sums up to: Biology, secondary school (our high school), A (advanced) or O (ordinary) level. Most likely in a rural area (assignment happens in country). Most likely I will be the only Peace Corps volunteer in that area (the nearest volunteer may be British or Japanese). Most likely some electricity and running water (not to be counted on, but I have a better chance of having electricity than most of the environmental volunteers). So I shall wait and see what unfolds.

Also, an obvious point - I have no idea how scarce or abundant internet access will be. I am hoping it will be at least possible to find (even if it may be expensive) during training, but once that is over I have no idea. So count on updates more on a monthly measure than daily or weekly.

As far as how I feel about the situation, right now during predepature I am as scared and as thrilled as you can care to imagine. Not knowing what I will be up to or need is causing me the most anxiety, but I know I won't be able to prepare myself for every situation, and that my careful attention to detail in packing right now is more for my peace of mind at the moment (and my parent's peace of mind) than actually necessary. While preparing, I keep reminding myself that I am not so much trying to duplicate the life that I know here as preparing myself to experience a new one. The two are very different and recognizing this difference I hope will aid in my adjustment abroad. All I am certain of now, is that I as begin to say goodbye to friends and family and feel their absence in my life, I am also filled with the sense that I am heading exactly where I need to be.