Sunday, June 12, 2005

in Zambia

Hi All.
I have been on a whirlwind tour of Zambia in the past three weeks (or so).

Upon arriving we stopped in Lusaka for about 36 hours, during which I visited the main office and got a lot of paperwork, lectures, etc..

We then moved to the Central Province where I had a site visit for 5 days in the Kubundi district. We split up in Lusaka into our 4 language groups (Tonga for me, southern province of Zambia).

We basically lived in a village with a language instructor and saw what some current volunteers do for this time.

After that, we headed to our training site near Kitwe town in the Kitwe district at a place called Mwekera. I moved into a Tonga-speaking homestay and have been living with them for the training which consists of at least 8-hour days, 6 days a week involving language, technical, and other skill development.

I am incredibly busy and have just now been getting adjusted to my new life (for the next 6 weeks).

After that I will head to the Southern Province where I will be put in a new site previously untouched by PC volunteers. I will then have lots of time.

I have figured out some things such as: I will not have a phone and e-mail will be every three months or so. Snail mail is the best bet and the address for the next two years is as follows:

Niko Welch
Peace Corps
P.O. Box 630569
Choma, Southern Province, Zambia

I am very well though my schedule is kicking my booty. Today is my day off and I already washed all my clothes (by hand) and helped cook nshima for lunch. My homestay father is waiting for me so we can do a bit of planting upon my return.

Love and hugs to all.

Best.

Niko.

(i'll try to update before I head into the field, but no promises as my day off is pretty hectic)

5 comments:

Brenda said...

how exciting! between you in zambia, kattrina in honduras and sarah in the DR, i am getting a thorough taste of the pc experience! it sounds like you will be pretty far out--email only every 3mos or so? also, i thought peace corps had a rule about a functional phone being available in the community for emergency purposes? oh well, i guess if anyone can handle such an assignment it would be you :)

take care, keep us posted, and i will do my best to send real mail at some point.

~b

Heather said...

Niko-

I am glad that you are enjoying yourself! You sound busy, but it also sounds exciting! What email are you using these days? I just got at job in Atlanta and will be traveling to Africa! Want to tell you more in an email....

Heather

Zachary Marquis said...

All right! Cousin Niko. Sounds good man. Zambia, that's real deal. Seems like you're gettin after it. Whatever 'it' is. Life maybe, Huh. Well, anyway, Putt has been alerting me to your blogging about your adventures and I think it sounds great. I just wanted to give you a HOLLA and say hey. I don't have an e-mail address because I'm stuck in the stone age where powder skis are the most advanced technology on my radar. But I might have figured this blog deal out. Well, anyways, once again, cheers cuz and keep on rockin on the other side of the world and I'll keep rockin over here. Word to Big Bird, Zach Marquis. PS - I skied off the top of Denali a couple weeks ago. Yee Haw.

Jenn said...

Niko!

Please let me know some things you'd like us to send you (e.g. music, snacks, pictures...)!

I'm thinking of you : )
Jenn

Alyssa said...

Hey, Niko!

What an adventure so far for you! I've got some pix to share from your last drumming gig in ATL -- quite colorful. You're also on Tessitura's website doin' your drummin' thang. Anyway, I look forward to hearing your updates and, as Jenn says, we'll see about sending you something fun and useful to your snail mail address!

Hugs,

Alyssa