Monday, January 08, 2007

new year

A lot has happened in the past couple months. In early December, I attended an in-service training for my intake of volunteers and those that came a year later, also under the HIV/AIDS program here in Zambia. It was good to see people and share stories and ideas and to see the changes people are undergoing as a result of being here as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

I then returned to my Zambian home and proceeded to assist in starting the new cycle for the project I work with. This involves choosing local facilitators and validating the vulnerability of new participants. I am also trying to help the general community in any way that I can with regard to HIV/AIDS activities. This involves keeping informed and chatting with everyone.

I left to Mozambique for 17 days the 17th of December, however the 16th, I found myself at a funeral for the junior wife of the headman at my old home in Keemba. She was a friend and family member here and it was very sad. I actually chatted with here 2 days before she entered the hospital to die 2 weeks later. She was suffering from malaria, high blood pressure, and diabetes. They think the two chronic illnesses contributed to complications while having malaria.

Basically my whole old village was there and I greeted tons of people. I was escorted and informed about the tradition and significance of each part of the funeral by my good friend and colleague Dominic Phiri (pictured before).

The 17th of December, I boarded a plane to Mozambique with my friend Frank Wong from Emory who mow works here north of where I stay by about 600 km.

We stayed near the ocean about half the time and swam, snorkeled, and ate copious ocean critters. We met tons of great folks (mostly travelers from other countries) and stayed in Maputo, Tofo, and Vilankulos (in southern Mozambique). It was way awesome. The ocean was warm and beautiful.

I returned January 2nd to Zambia and home the 3rd. I have since been looking after my maize and garden and getting the project I work with up and running.

Other than that, I am planning on extending my service here through July 2008. I will come back to states for about 6 weeks around the holidays this year and try to visit as many family and friends as possible. I also plan on applying to graduate school for a degree in food science/nutrition for August/September 2008 entry.

That is it for now. I hope the New Year has greeted everyone well and all are surrounded by love.



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