The new group of environment and small enterprise volunteers arrived in country in the beginning of March. It’s crazy to think that a year ago I was still in the middle of training and getting accustomed to everything. As much as I thought training was great, it really was the worst part of my time here. I hope all of these new volunteers will realize that once they get to site life can actually get easier. I just like having more independence and learning at my own pace. However, having someone cook for you three times a day during training is pretty awesome; and we all know how much I enjoy a free meal.

I was lucky enough to go to Tana for the new stages training sessions and teach the new volunteers about SRI. But before I left I was a bit nervous because I knew my gas tank was running out and I didn’t know if I had enough gas to last before I left. I also didn’t have enough money on me and didn’t want to deal with a whole morning spent at the bank so I cooked rice in a panic state everyday, certain the gas would stop and I would have uncooked rice mush. I should probably just buy a charcoal stove in case something happens, but I don’t think I have any problem with eating bananas and bread for a few days if that were the case.

After being here for over a week I can honestly say that Tana is crazy. It’s like a real city with all kinds of things that can be bought and things that one can do. It’s pretty overwhelming. However, I did eat a bunch of vazaha food, which really took its toll on my stomach. Anything other than just rice all the time seems to be a little harder for my body to process. It makes me worried for my return to the states…I might have to get drive-thru/take out for all of my meals in order to have easy access to a bathroom.

The rainy non-rainy season has started again at site. It just rains lightly all day long. Besides being depressing, I will soon be pasty if this weather keeps up. It was pretty much how it was last year and so I can only assume that it will be the same for the next few months. It’s kind of funny that the rainy season is actually better because it is hot enough to be dry. I’m just in a world of mud for the next few months and I’ll have to get use to it. However, I was told that once I left there were a bunch of sunny days, so who knows what’s gonna happen. I just know if I wash my clothes that means it will rain for the next three days…

I was still in Tana for my birthday and so I got to go and hang out with a bunch of other Peace Corps volunteers. It was a lot of fun, but I’m getting old now. I remember my days in college when I could drink with friends and then the next day feel like nothing happened. That’s no longer the case. Turning 25 definitely brought a hangover. I remember a few years ago, my brother, who is three years older, once said to me, “At 25 the body starts slowing down. If you don’t exercise you get fat.” He probably said something about hangovers too, but regardless I’ve never forgotten his words of encouragement  Altogether, I feel pretty much the same, once I got rid of the hangover. I can rent a car now without any extra fees, but with Peace Corps rules, I can’t drive, so I’ll have to wait until 26 to take advantage of that (or maybe later).

All of the volunteers from my stage just recently passed the half way point. When one takes into account training and then the two years of service April 3rd was the half way point. However, I still haven’t decided whether I want to extend or not. I’ve been approached with a possibility and I will need to make my decision by this month. It’s hard to make the decision now, when there is still so much time left. I really don’t want to make a decision about my future, but I suppose it will have to be made at some point. However, the future comes regardless, so I don’t really know what I’m worrying about.

And so that’s pretty much all that has happened in the last few weeks. It’s amazing how boring my life becomes when I’m no longer in my little village. I don’t have anything that’s driving me crazy, no real funny stories, no epiphany; just normal life in a big city/at a Peace Corps training center. Now my parents know why I never called them when I lived in California.