25 June 2008


Greetings from Tanzania! I am alive and have been in TZ for two weeks. After two days in Dar es salaam and two days in Morogoro we arrived at our homestays at our training site. (Peace Corps advises against me giving away my location in my blog, so I'll leave that a secret for now.) My family is very nice, although I think they just spend a lot of time laughing at me. My father and sister speak pretty good English, so communication is not as difficult as it could be. There are about 8 or 10 people in my family, I haven't quite figured out how everyone is related or who actually lives in the house. We have electricity and eat dinner around the TV, which struck me as so very American. We usually watch soccer, the Tanzanian version of C-SPAN, or these fantastic telenovelas dubbed in awkward English.

We are divided into groups of about five PCTs (Peace Corps Trainees) for training. Here is what an average day in training is like:
8 am: Class
10 am: Chai break
10:30/11 am: Class
12/1 pm: Lunch
2-4ish pm: Class
4-6ish: Hang around town, play frisbee or duck duck goose with neighborhood kids
6 pm: Come home and help with dinner or play with the kids
9/9:30 pm: Dinner
9:30: Bath, bed

My dreams of being a dirty hippie while in TZ have been squashed, as a lot of Tanzanians bathe twice a day; my family gives me hot water to bathe in twice a day. I have not been sick yet, knock on wood, and the squat toilets are not as bad as I had imagined. The food is not bad, mainly rice and beans and spinach and bananas.

Highlight of my week: Yesterday we met with local government officials to ask questions about Tanzanian government structure. My training group wrote a song (in Swahili) about our village, and performed it for them. Since then we have been performing the song for anyone who is willing to listen, along with a lot of people who probably don't want to listen.

I am almost out of internet time so I will write more later.


  1. i'm so glad that you made it safely! pics of us in cuba flash on my computer and i miss you already. i noticed that peanut butter was not on the list of things that you took. if you should become desperate for it (as we did once before) please let me know! it sounds like everything is off to a great start. i can't wait to hear about your hut, etc. love and miss you!

  2. I had to google "squat toilets". That was an... interesting... relevation. Hope you are having an amazing time in Tanzania!

    Sara S.

  3. Hi Laura! Good thing you haven't gotten sick yet. I got sick many times that first month in Ghana. They drink a lot of chai there, eh? How is the weather there? Take care!