1/12/2015

Peace Corps: Itinerary

Peace Corps PCV
When I received my initial Peace Corps nomination, for Vanuatu, I went on a knowledge spree. I read just about everything I could get my hands on about the country. I went down a Wikipedia rabbit hole so deep that I eventually ended up at Kevin Bacon. I subscribed to daily updates about the country on Google News. As much as I tried not to, I started to fall in love with the country.

So, in September, when this 'relationship' fell through, I was rather heart broken. Sure, I had Zambia as my rebound, and yes, it had only ever been long distance. But I adored Vanuatu. I had told so many people that I was going there. I had learned so much about it. Yet, in a single phone call, it was all over.

My Peace Corps Recruiter had warned me not to fall in love, but look at her...
Peace Corps Volunteer Vanuatu
She's so beautiful!
Yet, I had to try and move on. My new assignment was fish farming in Zambia, and I had my hesitations. Not about being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa or the aquaculture program, but about getting my heart set on another country that I wasn't going to end up serving in. Zambia looked like an amazing place, but I didn't want to get too invested, in case things didn't work out again.

So yes, I did change my Google News subscriptions from Vanuatu to Zambia, but other than that, I really didn't take much stock in learning about the country, beyond the Peace Corps Zambia Welcome Book. In some instances, I even avoided such information. Apparently, there is a sizable falconry community there, but I did not broach the subject with any of the Master Falconers I was learning from. This went on for over three months until, at long last, I received my Final Medical Clearance.

Then, I went on a data deluge. The tribal and migratory history of the country/region is fascinating. The exact record of what all occurred can only be pieced together through linguistics and other anthropological studies, but it paints an amazing picture of the rich and diverse history of the tribes that make up Zambia.
Peace Corps Volunteer Zambia
This is why I'm not currently studying a tribal language. I have to wait until my first week of training/until I get assigned my post to know which of these 13 language groups I'll need to be focusing on. As of today, though, I can say with certainty when that is going to occur.

Greetings Everett:
The Staging Unit is looking forward to your arrival in Philadelphia, PA on February 9, 2015 for the Zambia staging event. Please read this email and the attachments carefully, as the information here will answer many of the questions you have regarding your final steps prior to departing for Zambia.
Your staging event will be a brief, yet intense orientation to the Peace Corps and the general demands of being a healthy, safe, and effective Volunteer. Since our time at staging is limited, you should come prepared by reading your Welcome Book, Volunteer Handbook, and the attached Peace Corps’ Approach to Safety and Security. Your attendance at all sessions is mandatory.
Please note that as a Trainee and Volunteer overseas, you will be expected to act and dress in keeping with your status as a professional and guest. At staging, business casual attire is required.
STAGING DATES: February 9, 2015 - February 10, 2015
REGISTRATION: 12:00 PM on February 9, 2015
STAGING HOTEL: Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia
1800 Market Street 19103
(215) 561-7500
http://www.sonesta.com/philadelphia
SCHEDULE:
February 9, 2015
12:00 PM: Registration
2:00 - 4:25 PM: Who We Are, What You Expect, What's Next
4:25 - 4:45 PM: Break
4:45 - 7:00 PM: What We Expect, Closing
February 10, 2015
2:00 AM: Check out of hotel
2:30 AM: Bus arrives for loading and departure to the airport
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT ITINERARY:
10 FEB 15 - TUESDAY
AIR UNITED AIRLINES FLT:7226 UNITED ECONOMY LUNCH
NEW YORK JFK-JOHANNESBURG OPERATED BY SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS
LV NEW YORK JFK 1040A EQP: AIRBUS A340-300
DEPART: TERMINAL 4 15HR 00MIN
11 FEB 15 - WEDNESDAY
AR JOHANNESBURG 840A NON-STOP
AIR SOUTH AFRICAN FLT:62 ECONOMY LUNCH
LV JOHANNESBURG 1030A EQP: BOEING 737-800
DEPART: TERMINAL B 02HR 00MIN
AR LUSAKA 1230P NON-STOP

Find out how to join the Peace Corps!

Source: Teouma Bay Shikanda


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