Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Acronym Transition Day (ATD 2k2 or 2k9)

Aka Swearing In…

10 weeks down, 2 years to go – 41 new PCVs in Ityop’ya!

It’s hard to believe that we’re done with training, and are now official PCVs…transition from the T (trainee) to the V (volunteer) – this is a serious matter  Leaving my host family was a tearful occasion, but I am ready to start the work I came here to do. We all successfully made it to our respective permanent sites and have the next 3 months to do our Community Needs Assessment (CNA) before me all meet again.

A lot has happened since my last post (yikirita – excuse me – for not posting often)…I, along with a few others from my training town, took a couple horse taxis to check out the Great Rift Valley. It really was a spectacular site…and we found some flat rocks on which to do yoga, while overlooking the valley – people would probably buy a video for the scenery! PC took us on a field trip to a town called Debra Zayt one Sunday for a little R&R…it was pretty necessary, and again, very scenic.

No funny stories as of late – just a few interesting food items. One to note: beso – it’s barley in powder form, mixed with a little butter and some spices, then hand rolled to look like feces. The flavor isn’t bad, they’re just not appetizing to look at. One morning with my breakfast of champions (not Wheaties, but pasta), I was having trouble twirling it on my fork, so my host mother gave me a tiny ½ teaspoon sized spoon (used to stir sugar in the enlarged thimble sized cups of coffee) to help me. Yeah, didn’t work so well…

For the most part, you could say I’m adapting well to life here - things that once seemed so foreign and strange to me now just seem like a part of everyday life. I was used to and had mastered the šint bet (hole in ground), but now I have a toilet to call my own (is it weird that I’m excited about buying a toilet brush while in Peace Corps?!). Being able to control my diet and cook for myself is something else I’m looking forward to – I think 10 weeks of injera will last me for the next 2 years! That’s not to say I won’t eat it while living in Tigray, but just not with every meal. So far, I have made some soup, oatmeal, and couscous…quite a change!

Towards the end of training, I was trying to teach one of my host sisters some English tongue twisters – She sells sea shells by the sea shore. The sea shells she sells are sea shells I’m sure…and Peter Piper blah blah blah… Rather entertaining. Let me know if you have any good tongue twisters for the future.

Overall, I am happy and healthy, two of my personal goals I hope to maintain throughout my service. Can’t believe Christmas is just a couple days away. Lucky for all of us farenjis in Ityop’ya – we get to celebrate 2 Christmases…our Christmas on December 25th, and then the Ethiopian Christmas on January 7th…my counterpart has a nishtay (small) tree at his house and told me today that I will be celebrating the Ethiopian holiday with his family…they are going to slaughter a goat and have a big celebration. Oh boy!

Well, Happy Holidays to everyone and stay safe 

1 comment:

  1. Laura,
    Welcome to your new home. I was in the PC in Ethiopia, in another life time and it had a great influence on my life. I ended up spending 7 years outside the US plus world wide travel and business. Lived in FL for 15 years, daughter graduated from UF. I became very good in Amharic and still speak it quite well when I go to restaurants, or through airports. In your case, Tigre will be your language and I encourage you to study hard and get as good as you can as fast as you can. Vol. success depends alot on language ability. When I was there, I motorcycled thru Tigre provence which was in heavy famine. It was the most heartbreaking thing in my life and I still see it 30 years later. I'll never forget the kindness shown to me in Makele. I think you'll enjoy the Tigres, they're more on the ball than average. I visited many of the rock churches up there, something I would encourage you to do. Remote, ancient and dangerous. Take care and mekam menget.