Africa: One month to go!

The countdown is on.  It still seems far away/not quite so real yet, though.  The madness of the end of the semester is upon me and I spent most of today grading.  And it seems as though I’ll be grading until I get on that plane!  So much to get done before I go.  If this post seems disjointed, that’s because my brain is.

I really need to get started on the packing list – I just figured out who I am borrowing a backpack from for the trip – special thanks to ‘Crazy’ Michelle – she’s been to Tanzania a few times and climbed Kilimanjaro herself and hung out with the locals.  So, now I have something to put stuff in…. I just have to figure out what I am going to put in there…  and have enough room to bring back all the stuff I’ll want to buy while I’m there…

Dress code: modest.  More modest than Samoa, it seems.  Another really hot place that wants me to be all covered courtesy of organized religion.  I’ll do it, but I’ll be carrying a fan with me at all times.  Of course, if I go to Zanzibar for a weekend – they’re much more used to tourists (and skin) so that might be a nice little break…. as will be our home away from home – where we can pretty much wear what we want.

Speaking of home, this is where I’ll be staying:

This is the Karanga House.  I got the picture courtesy of someone else’s blog, Erin Bowley, who volunteered with Cross Cultural Solutions in 2009.  It was useful to find her blog and read about what she had done and see some of her amazing pictures.  She volunteered for three months (!) and appears to have enjoyed herself and Tanzania very much.

This week, I’ve also been e-introduced to the people who will be there volunteering with me.  It appears there’s quite an age range and diverse interests and backgrounds (this really is like a mini peace corps).  There is another RPCV in the group, and it looks like it is all women, no men.  Coming from all over the country, and one of whom is coming from her job in Afghanistan!

I’ll hopefully be better about updating these last few weeks before I go… and in the meantime, when I start to get too crazy, I’ll think about scenes like this:  (also courtesy of Erin’s blog).

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