November 1, 2012
So much has happened since I last posted and I will try and update you all as much as possible. The week after site announcements, our tight knit group of 34 was dispersed throughout the country for the first time since we met in Atlanta. Needless to say we were all a little anxious as we left Kigali with our respective headmasters to discover our soon-to-be homes. Luckily, my good friend Alex lives close to me (well a three hour walk…) and we travelled together accompanied by my headmaster and her headmistress. About fifteen minutes after pulling out of the bus station, as Alex dozed beside me, we entered jaw-droppingly-beautiful territory. The bus zoomed over and across mountain ridges. The omnipresent volcanoes were off in the distance, their distinctively sharp peaks rising high above the mountain ridge. Needless to say, my eyes were glued to the window for the hour bus ride. Once we got to our stop the PCV I will be replacing in December, Ally, was waiting for us.
Ally is a member of Ed 2, and she came into country in Fall 2010. During my week with her, she took me all over our village, showing me all the best places to buy food, credit, pasta, and electricity (in Rwanda you purchase much like we buy phone credit. You go and buy however much you want and then insert it into a box on your house and you will get as much electricity as you pay for) and igitenge, the colorful and beautiful cloth that all women wear here. We also spent a good bit of time at the school. I met tons of teachers and forgot tons of names. I spent a lot of my time in the library with Jimmy, the school’s librarian, who is such a kind hearted individual. I have a feeling Jimmy and that room will be a nice source of comfort for me over the next two years.
Site visits were perfectly timed. Our group was beginning to get burned out from training and all the stresses that go along with it. Speaking for myself, it was wonderful to have a week to make our own decisions, whether it is what time we ate, what we ate, and what to do during the day. I forgot how liberating it could be to make your own decisions!
It was definitely hard to come back to every-minute-of-your-day-is-planned-and-you-must-follow-it, but it definitely helped that my greeting crew consisted of all the little girls from my neighborhood including my beloved sister, Glasse. So for the last few weeks we jumped back into the swing of things. Classes and language and host family interaction filled our lives up again. However, now we were building to something, the Mid-LPI. The LPI is the oral language test (LPI = Language Proficiency Interview) that we have to take at the end of training. If we don’t reach a certain level, we have to retake it at a future training and there is a chance you can get sent home in extreme cases. This past Friday (October 26) we had our Mid-LPI to see how we are doing so far. I felt pretty good during the interview, only to realize after that I forgot to use the past tense. Doh! You win some, you lose some. I ended up receiving novice high, only one level lower than what I need to swear-in in December, so I feel super confident that I will reach Intermediate low by the end of training.
This week has been a blur of sleep deprivation, Kinyarwanda lessons, and trying not to forget it was Halloween. The rainy season officially arrived with a fury, leading to me falling asleep to the sound of rain on a tin roof more often than not. Tomorrow marks the end of week 7 of training (HOLY SHIT WHERE DID THE TIME GO) which means only five more official weeks of training, with the last one being in Kigali (aka land of magic and cheese). I am so thankful for all of your support, I appreciate it more than I can say!!