Sorry to have been so quiet on the blog. To tell the truth, not too much is going on. The term has started so I've transitioned from digging in the morning and teaching computer classes in the afternoons/evenings, to doing random work in the mornings and teaching computer classes in the afternoons/evenings. Good ol' same ol'. The extra time to give trainings, add resources to the computers, and lock them down as much as possible has been good and we're transitioning towards a time when I won't be here to manage it.
So, things are going well, and there's definitely a sense of my upcoming departure. The computer lab is functioning well and getting lots of use, which is all we can really ask/hope for. I have yet to organize the Thank You DVD of pictures and videos and what, but I hope to have that finished and sent out sometime early next month. Also, some more serious thoughts of the future and job and transitioning back into normal American life are beginning to grumble up into consciousness a bit too.
The only other news I have is that there's an All Volunteer Conference (AVC) coming up at the end of the month. It's really awesome that we're having one this year as this volunteer-work-sharing-get-together had been indefinitley cancelled due to budget concerns by the previous Uganda director. The new director, Dr. J. Larry Brown, however, agreed with volunteers that if it's taken seriously and we share and network, there's a lot that we can learn from each other and different ways that we can work together. As volunteers who come into country in fairly large groups we tend to network very well within our training class, but inter-class communication isn't as good as it could be, and it's always better to tell someone how to make a wheel instead of them having to reinvent it (which seems to happen all too often in "development").
Beyond that I wanted to give a heads up and say that I'm planning on travelling around a bit before heading back--I'm already on this side of the world, might as well look around a bit over here before I come back right? Actually, as far as international travelling goes, it seems like I've done a lot less than a lot of my fellow (and now returned PCVs) who have been to Kenya and Tanzania and Malawi and Ethiopia and Rwanda and Egypt and wherever. So far, I've only made it to Kenya for a week. But no longer will I have to be on the listening end of the traveler's story. The plan is for Kendra and me to:
- Travel down to Tanzania and hit up Zanzibar for a few days.
- Continue down to Mozambique1 and stay there for a week or two
- Then keep on truckin' down to South Africa from where...
- ...we plane it over to Thailand!
- After a few weeks there we'll fly back to home2, possibly stopping in Hawaii on the way (Kendra did her graduate studies there).
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I made a guestimation for how long it should take us to do our trip assuming everything goes really fast and then assuming we take our time. Our short ETA to the USA is 25th September 2009 and the longer guestimate is 25th October 2009 (ha ha, my mistake). I know that's a huge range, but I just wanted everyone to have some idea. I'll try to keep everyone updated as we're moving.
As we're planning to nail some of this down a little more clearly this weekend and the vicissitudes of travel demand that plans change, this is just a brief sketch, but the upshot of it is that it looks more like I'll be home at the beginning of October. I sincerely apologize if this throws a wrench into anyone's plans, I really should've mentioned all this a bit sooner--my bad!
That's it for now, loves and misses you all, and looking eagerly forward to the not-too-distant time when I will see you all again.
1 - I'm planning to brush up on my Spanish a little bit and then pronounce it with a Frenchish accent, but that's pretty lame replacement for real Portugues so if anyone wants to send me any resources on studying up that'd be sweet! (**ahem** Jay! Actually, is Fernanda still at times going there? Is there any chance that she would be there in late August?)
2 - That's right! Around the world! Actually, I once figured that the exact other side of the world from Seattle is somewhere in the lower Indian Ocean, so beyond being in Madagascar or some islands off the West Coast of Australia I'm pretty darn close to that right here. Why not go back the other way?