Monday, March 7, 2011

Doin' the Vill Like "Whoop"

Hey everyone, sorry it has taken me longer than John Goodman to get on a workout plan than for me to re-write in my blog. I guess you could say I am fully embracing the pace of life here and not in too big of a hurry to blog ;)

So, since my last blog lots has happened. I have rang in the New Year in a different continent, swam in the deepest lake in the world, climbed a mountain, and cliff jumped more than once. Myself and several other Peace Corps friends went to Lake Malawi for New Years. It was absolutely gorgeous. We stayed in cabins literally five meters from the water. We did lots of snorkeling, relaxing and laying on the beach. And most importantly, we ate really awesome, American style food. I put a few pictures up on Facebook if you want to check them out. I am planning on putting more up the next time that I get a chance.

Recently, I traveled from my village to Serenje, Zambia for a workshop put on by PEPFAR. It was one that focused on teaching capacity building through HIV education. It went really well. I received lots of new teaching materials and the best part was I was able to take with me a villager from Masansa to learn all of this stuff with me. This way, someone in my community besides myself will gain knowledge on the PEPFAR material and hopefully will be able to continue the work that I start after I leave. That is my hope at least :)

Right now, I am in Lusaka at the PC head office. I had to come down for a small mystery rash. I am getting that taken care of now. But, I guess I learned my lesson in giving eskimo kisses to my dog.

I am also really starting to get a good feel for my village and the village lifestyle now. I am beginning to appreciate the beauty in everyday things that I never appreciated in America. Sometimes, my best days here are ones that I simply come home from a meeting and watch the day go by. I am now comfortable sitting and simply listening to the women in my area talk about village news while they do the dishes by the water hole. Or I feel within my element now sitting in circle with the men in my village talking about American culture and watching the evening sunset turn into a starlit night. If I did not love nature before, I definitely do now. I have decided that there is beauty in everything that is part of this world. Being here, it is easy to realize the rythme of life is constant and the ebb and flow of the world is in such a beautiful harmony. -End hippy thoughts-

Anyways, basically keep me in your thoughts and prayers often. I am getting very good at being on my own here, but that does not mean I do not want to hear from you as much as possible. I love phone calls on skype and letters/packages make everyday a blessing. So thanks for that! Rock Chalk and hope everyone is great!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dude, hand me the umbrella

Hello hello everyone! Thanks for all the comments. I can feel the love all the way from here. Sorry it has been so long since the last update, i have been really busy and also i have to use my phone to update this thing so it is painstakingly slow to write! Anyways, my apologies. Lots has been going on here to keep me more occupied than the presidents cabinet. I have been trying to form neighborhood health committees, which oversea health issues within communities here. It is a way to empower people from the ground level and make them realize they have a right to decide their own health choices. Therefore it is very rewarding from a long term stand point. For thanksgiving, all of the volunteers from within my province got together for some meetings and then had a great meal that would make john madden keel over. It was great to hang out with americans again, but i was excited to get back to work at my village. I hear the jayhawks are kicking some tail on the hard wood right now. Put me in bill! I am actually in the works of building a basketball hoop behind my house. . . So watch out world i will soon perfect my sky-hook. I just hope the zambians dont instantaneously dominate me, airplane the movie style. Hope all is well back home. Dont be afraid to email or write. I respond to those much faster! Rock chalk!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Boom goes the dynamite

First of all, thanks again for all the comments everyone! If you mailed me a letter to the old address, i should still get it, it will just take a little longer. Thanks! So i have become a bigger chiefs fan since moving to africa due to their recent superb play. . . . So did they win on sunday?! Me and three other volunteers met up in the biggest town near us, called mkushi, last monday to do some shopping for our houses. We got up around five in the morning at a back packer hostel to catch the end of monday night football. It was the most american i have felt in months! Speaking of which, being in africa has made me forget about many things that americans find very important. The clock function on my phone works only occasionally and my watch broke long ago, so i have nearly forgotten the concept of time. I told a friend it reminds me of that scene from forgetting sarah marshall when the two characters are in hawaii surfing. Old roommates will know what im talking about if no one else does! Also i forgot for an entire day how old i was. A man working with me at the clinic asked me, and i could not remember if i was twenty one or twenty two. I guess it was because i am loosing grip with american ideals such as age and time. Aside from that, most everything is going well here. I am still spending my time getting acquainted with my community and greeting people. I can now cook over a charcoal brazier like it is a george foreman. I am eager to get some health groups going with in my community as well. I have joined the local football(soccer) club. We are currently playing in the champions cup. It is a bracket against other local teams with the winner receiving money i think. You should probably check out the vegas odds on our team. Hope school and work is going well there! Think of everyone often. Rock chalk.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

High stepping in africa

Thanks again to everyone for the comments! I miss you all so much. Ricky- i would like to wish you a happy birthday for tmrw and mr andrew reeves, happy birthday on oct sixth! Just in case i cant update this before then. I wish i could be there with yall to help celebrate. So i got a new address in care any one in uncle sam land wants to send their boy some love. Its brooks perry, pcv peace corps p o box 840038 mkushi, zambia so use this one if you wanna hear back from me! So things are going well here. I need some hg tv in my life to figure out how to decorate my hut. So far, i have some pictures up and then a lot of blank space. Im trying to figure out a way to artistically move the ants on my walls so they look decorative. So far it has been to no avail. Let me know if anyone has any expertise on the issue. I have recently built a fence in my yard. It doesnt really make sense to fence things in around here, but it makes me feel a little bit like im back in american burbs. All thats missing is wilson to peek over the fence and say hi and im home in the red white and blue baby! Besides getting my house fixed up, i am also trying to meet as many people in my community. I have spent many hours already at the clinic and school and market place simply trying to get names with faces. Its hard going into a town where everyone knows who you are and expect you to know them as well. Hopefully by the end of two years i will know at least a few names. I hope everyone is doing well. Rock chalk!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Woo, its Official!

So, I have officially become a Peace Corps volunteer! (Insert raise the roof hand motion). I can honestly say that swearing in to become officially a volunteer was one of the proudest moments of my life. The ceremony was held at the US ambassador's house. It felt kind of like a country club...with basketball courts, tennis courts and personal pools. It felt like I was at Daddy Warbuck's residence or something. There were all the important PC officials there as well as important Zambian officials. Our swearing in picture even made the front of the Zambian Paper. I have never felt so famous in my life. Fifty two of us volunteers swore-in and all of us now are heading to our prospective provinces. Out of those, only four of us are heading to central province, myself including. There are around twenty current volunteers already serving there. PC took us shopping today for items needed for our house. Tomorrow I will be moving into my hut permanently for the next two years...gulp! I am excited to set up my new residence and start my African bachelor pad. I have several PC volunteers around me. With the closest being 15 k away, 25 k away and 30 k away. My bike will be racking up the miles (or kilometers as us Africans say). The next time we will see other volunteers from different provinces will be around Christmas time. Myself and some of my friends here are already planning a trip to spend Christmas somewhere together. Anyways, I have appreciated all the comments, mailed letters and emails. All my friends here are jealous that my friends back in the States are so keep up the good work gang! Haha. Anyways, have a great day and Rock Chalk!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thanks to everyone again for all the responses. It makes it more fun to post when people respond back! Matt the soccer here is pretty good but the playing style is completely different. At the village that i will be in there is a competitive team that i will try and get on. They travel around to other villages so i am hoping to summon my inner pele and join the club! Oh and yes the zambezi is basically in my back yard. Andrew i think the spring break idea is a great one! Ha ha. I move into masansa after swear in. Swear in date is sept 2 4 so it wil be soon after that. And about fantasy im just trying to give you all a break. You are lucky i am in africa. Next near they are gonna name the trophy after me ha. Andi i have decided meat pies are my favorite thing in zambia. The meat is a mystery but it sure tastes like paula dean made it! Our pre service training is almost done! We finish training in a week and a day. I have a mock final language test tomorrow and then the real one next wed. Everything has flown by for sure. Every day i feel more and more african. I can now balance water on my head for more than five seconds and i can start a fire within ten minutes. I even enjoy climbing under my mosquito net right before bed. It almost feels like a safety net of sorts. There is something re assuring about it now. Especially considering i first thought it was a ghost every time i woke up in the middle of the night! I got letters from a few people this week and it made my day. Responses are coming! Oh and i almost forgot, rock chalk baby! Stacia texted me and told me the news of the victory! I hope they heard the celebrations all the way in columbia. I also wanted to give my email address on here. It is this is the best way to contact me for sure. I check it every day several times. Im actually suprised obama has yet to contact me through it. I hope everyone is doing well! Stay classy america. Ha ha

Monday, September 6, 2010

Masansa departure!

Thanks to everyone for the comments! Glad to hear you got my letter ryan. And amanda i can already picture our click conversation we will have when i return! So as i said in my previous post, i will be going to central province! I will be staying in a village called masansa. It is about forty kilo from the district capital, mkushi. It is also nearby luangwa national park, which is a great safari area. Notice the plug to entice people to come visit me?! I am currently on a site visit which means that for those of us im training we get to go spend some time with actual volunteers helping them do their job. Myself and four others stayed with a volunteer near my future site. We also went camping for two days and got to spend some time at a waterfall that is around eighty k from us. It was a good chance to learn about public transport in zambia. . . . Or lack there of! On friday i got dropped off at my future residence in masansa. I have been meeting clinic staff, local leaders and also playing with the football club. It has been good to get a feel for what my future town will be like. I leave tomorrow morning for training in lusaka. Oh and for all of you wondering, no i am not as sun burnt as you might think! Bull frog sun screen. . . . I owe you my first born. I hope school is going well for everyone. Rock chalk!