Thursday, January 18, 2007

I'm watching the Australian Open and can't come up with a witty title

Okay, so its been over a month since my last post, sorry sorry! So I will inundate all of you with a long rambling entry

In my discussions with girlfriend Briana (who serving in Namibia for the PC) on the phone, I have becoming increasingly psyched for my upcoming adventure. She has been talking about the familiar quirks that seem to be universal in Africa. From the seemingly unimportant concept of time, to the phrase "sorry sorry" that it uttered when you drop something or hit your head. I'm excited to go back to Africa.

I have since stocked up on all the suburban white man's creature comforts, nearly clearing out the local Eastern Mountain Sports and Blue Ridge Mountain sports stores. I'm gonna look like a complete goofball when I get to my village and start trotting around in zip away pants and tight, non-cotton shirts that feel like the cloth you use to clean the lenses on your glasses. Whatever, I'll be sure to invest in the local garb once I start settling in. The image of "Peace Corps Kevin in Africa" is currently not a pleasent one. I'm drawn back to the witty, word-smith Pete McCarthy who cynically observed young Amreican tourists backpacking around Ireland with "Small refrigerators on their backs". Thats gonna be me.

Lets see.... The blogs that I mentioned in my previous post have been an invaluable resource in preparing for my service. Some days I get a head ache from all of the "what if's" and the thoughts about possible situations I may find myself in. I simply turn to the blogs and my mind is eased.

I am really, really looking forward to learning. I will undoubtedly be surrounded by amazing people, from fellow volunteers to the in country directors and the locals I really can't wait to morph into a sponge and soak up all that I can. Continuing the metaphor, I will need to do my fair share of exchanging and "wringing out" all that I have learned. I suppose that is what my job as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) is.

*note on acronyms - Briana has told me that there will be about 300 acronyms for every day of the year so I'll be sure to pass them along.

*note on sarcasm - I use it quite often and when something doesn't seem right when you read it I'm probably being a sarcastic 9th grader.

On a more introspective level; As many of you know, my friend Chris Hulette (http://makeitsuntorytime.blogspot.com) is teaching English in Japan as part of the Jet Program. He recently visited another friend of ours, Ryan Tracy who is teaching English in Thailand. Though Chris has traveled quite a bit, this was his first taste of the developing world. He had some interesting observations comparing Thailand to Japan and the differences in economy, order, and daily functions. It got me thinking again about how I dealt with my time in rural South Africa and how my mind, heart and patience were tested to the max. I remember how unsettled I was with my first experience with third-world poverty. I wonder how much of that I will relive upon entry to Malawi and it will be interesting to see how my fellow volunteers react and adjust.... (see there I go again with these complicated worries).

Someone the other day asked me what, aside from family, would I miss most. I really had to think about this and I really couldn't come up with something. I thought for a moment that I would miss electricity, but I really don't think I will. I said running water, but again, I really don't think I will. I certainly wont miss TV. After careful consideration, I think I will mostly miss things like sports. Will the Tigers finally win the World Series? Will my Indiana Hoosiers carry their early-season momentum into the NCAA Tourney? Will Michigan Football finally be the best? (chances are no). I will miss playing or simply being a spectator to FIFA on X box with a random sample of friends from Lawrence. Of course I will miss my family and I will miss Briana (I miss her dearly already). But I truly have no idea what I will significantly miss.

Oh well, I'm done rambling.

the next post should have more information about my job/life in Malawi. I will be receiving staging information in the mail sometime in the next two weeks.

I would love to hear from all of you before I leave. Some of you I will see at the "Birthday Spectacular" e-mail me or facebook me for directions.

For now, I bid you all adieu.

Peace

Kevin

1 comment:

Ken Boe said...

Good luck over there. Let me know about any artists over there doing modern art. I think that as the world comes together it will be new art stars from places like Malawi that make the difference. Here are 2 links to share of what I have been doing:
Check here for why this is important: http://web.mac.com/satyagraha911/Site/Satya_Art.html

Check here to see my latest exhibition: http://www.copperminepicturecafe.com/cmpc_gallery3_Boe_08-09.html

Best,
Ken Boe