Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yes, I'm still alive

# of language tests passed: 1
# of kids taught in 1 school: 180
# of marriage proposals: 2
# of giant spiders killed: 4
# of spider bites: 3
# of hours spent in church service: 5.5

So it's been so long since my last post! Time has been flying by and the last half of training was so hectic that I barely had time to respond to emails or do anything besides studying kiswahili. So the good news is the I passed my language test! I made it to intermediate low, which is the level required to remain in service and swear in as a PCV. Swear in was a lovely ceremony and it had great food at the Ambassador's house in Nairobi. After swear in we were off to our sites and that pretty much brings you up to today.

I've been at site a full month now. I really love it here! There are challenges and frustrations of course, but overall I feel so lucky to be here. I don't have electricity yet, but it is coming soon. I think within the next month I'll have it and running water possibly in the next 6 months. I am very excited about the possibility of having a fan! It is HOT and HUMID here.

My job is going well, I'm working in a dispensary (clinic) and doing health education activities. I started teaching health education & lifeskills in 2 schools this week. 180 kids in 1 school and 86 in another!! It's been keeping me pretty busy and I feel pretty fulfilled in my job most days.

I've gotten 2 marriage proposals so far- 1 from a matatu (bus) driver and 1 from a guy standing outside a shop. It's quality not quantity, right? I'm holding out for at least a mechanic though. I mean c'mon... I can do way better than a loiterer.

Spider bites vs. spiders killed: BOOYAH! Who's winning now!?! Oh and the spiders here are pretty fierce. I got a bite on my leg the night before swear in and it swelled up and it is STILL swollen a month later! (Family- rest assured that medical has taken a look at it and I will be fine. My body's just not used to the creatures here.)

And finally, I spent 5.5 hours in a Pentecostal church service on Sunday. No, that wasn't a typo. It was like Hotel California... you can check in but you can never leave. A friend in my village sings in the choir and invited me to attend, and since I'm trying to integrate into my village and get to know people I thought it would be a good idea to go with her. I think I went through all 5 stages of grief during the service:

Denial- "I'm ok, it's hour 2 and I'm sure it's just about wrapping up. This is just slightly longer than church service back home."
Anger- "WTF!? It's been 3.5 hours and this service is still going on! Why is half the congregation sleeping!?"
Bargaining- "Hour 4.5...Maybe if I just give a little more in the collection plate they will just end the service"
Depression- "Hour 5...I'm never getting out of here. What's the point of even trying?"
Acceptance- "Hour 5.5 It's going to be ok. This is how faith is celebrated in this church and it's a strong part of life here in Kenya. Maybe this won't be a weekly thing for me, but at least I'm meeting people. And never again will I balk at a 2 hour church service when I get back to the States!"

Anyways, that's it for now. I'll try not to wait 3 months before my next update!!