Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Site Placement - Huruta

When we were interviewed about permanent sites, I requested a place with water, a small town, some place not too hot, and ideally somewhat close to Addis to minimize car sickness because the driving culture here is crazy. Last Saturday, were told where we were told our sites. They did it in location groups, and it wasn't until they had gone south of Addis did I even consider the thought of being in a CBT site and I thought, oh, I don't want to go to one of those. But of course, I am. Huruta is 30 min outside of Eteya, down a dirt road.

I'm very mixed about it. I liked the idea of going some place new. This feels like growing up in GI and then moving to Trenton, but the PCTs who live in Huruta for CBT training love it. Apparently it's green, has great juice, and has a few locations for day hikes. Nothing like Wellington of course, but it's nice to know there's that option. Plus, there's a soccer stadium. That would be nice, even for me to just run around in shorts and not scandalize the town.

What I'm nervous about is my location to my host family. Now, I feel kinda overwhelmed by the girls' recent displays of affections (they grab my head and move it to plant kisses, and try to feed me food), and being placed so close to the family means that they'll probably want me over a lot. When I told them where I was going, my host mom threw here hands up in the air with a cheer and her husband grinned. He's actually from there, and can't wait to introduce me to his family. Oh dears. There goes the space and privacy I'm hoping to have for the next two years.

But there people in my area seem to be good. Laura will be in Assella, along with Joe and Kelly who are an environmental couple stationed there, and there's a PCV in Eteya, as well as Lisa now (who I'll have to get to know), and Joe will be in Bekoji. Joe and Kelly said they host 'ferengi Fridays' and that people in the area get together about once every other week. Which will be awesome, since I'll be the only PCV in Huruta. Not the first, there was an environment PCV till a bit ago. He's a PCL now in Addis.

The school also kinda worries me. I'm at a primary school, which isn't what I wanted but what I expected. Other sites though have ideas of what they want, like help with a media program or help making the school more attractive. I can do that. What Huruta wants though, aside from the government goals of me to train their teachers and help the kids' English, is to help establish communication between parents and the school. I know nothing about PTAs, and all those lessons I was mentally building for a creative writing class will now never come to be. *sniff *

But I'll just have to make the most of it, because well I will be living there for two years. I can take trips to visit people, and I'll go into Assella a lot. (I'll have to, because Huruta doesn't have Internet coverage at all, and phones can be spotty). Communication wise, I'll be pretty isolated which I'm nervous about. Especially as the only PCV in town and this will be my first time truly living one my own, no roommate.

Gah, I'm nervous and excited and worried and hopeful and optimistic and biting my nails and for some reason what to cry and for others to laugh.

Sometimes I can't help but look forward to the next two years and see this hole of unknowns and struggles, though I'll know there'll be good times too (though I think it's sad I won't be able to travel to Christine in Askum to have a joint birthday party). It's a huge dark thing, and I guess above it all it makes me want to curl up and cry because I'll be surrounded by strange things and strange places and strange people and have to push and push to get things down and do it all by myself with limited contact with other PCVs and even more so with home and I'll miss so many things back in the states and man this is tough. Really, really tough.

*breathe *

But I only feel that way when I look ahead. So I'll have to try not to, and really only focus on things one day at a time. Or as Teri advised me – one hour at a time because some times days can be daunting too.

I used to think canyoning ( jumping off a 10ft cliff and being dropped down a waterfall and jumping into the narrow spot between the wall and rapids) was the scariest, but most awesome thing I've done. But really, at the end of these two years, it might just be joining the Peace Corps and living in Africa for two years.


Annalisa Crawford said...

I definitely think living in Africa for two years will be one of the most amazing things you've ever done!

What's a CBT site? (Sorry if you've explained before, I might have forgotten.)

Liwi said...

I am SO proud of you!!! You are pushing boundaries most people wouldn't even dare touch!!! I am so excited to hear about your location and I'm glad your brain and heart are constantly working and processing, that is a good thing, albeit scary. You can do it!!!

Anonymous said...

Jenny, I am so proud of you. I can relate with the huge dark thing in a terrifying, strange, yet, magnificent place. Try living in Escanaba... (5 more weeks...) XD

You are loved, prayed for, and frequently thought of.


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