Well, we’re in our hotel room contemplating the next 24 hours of our life which involve leaving America (and all of our friends and family) behind, flying 16 hours across the world to be dropped off in Nairobi. There are 38 Peace Corps Volunteers here that are all nervous about our introduction into Kenya: did I bring enough clothes, did I bring too many clothes, do I have enough passport photos, am I going to be able to call home, when do I get a cell phone, I wonder what my host family is like, etc.
We’ve spent the last day and half getting an overview of our Peace Corps experience. A lot of it has been focused on coping with the major changes we are about to face. Our largest support system will be the other volunteers that we are with. They include 1 other married couple, 4 people who are over the age of 50, one man is on his second tour with the peace corps, and the majority are 23-30 year olds. Half of them are going to be teaching and the rest of us are in the SED/IT (small enterprise development/information technology) program.
For the next 2 months we will be living with a family in a village outside of the training center. We will be immersed in the language, trained in the various activities we will need for our jobs, and will learn about the culture. We will be working 9 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week. Unfortunately email access will be very limited, at best, during this period, so don’t be concerned if there is little or no contact from us. However, we will be thinking of and missing all of you.
Love, Mark and Bebeth