On Monday, I flew from Charleston, SC to Philadelphia, PA, for staging. There, 27 RAP (Rural Aquaculture Promotion) volunteers met for an afternoon of meetings. Before all of that got underway, one of my best friends, Mirco, made his way from Bethlehem, where I'd hitchhiked to see him, in the fall, to meet me for lunch. It was great to see him, before I left (I love you, man!). In the morning, we all took a bus to JFK, loitered for quite a while, and then boarded a plane to Johannesburg, South Africa. 8,000 miles and 13 hours later, we were in Africa!
The final leg was a short, one and a half hour flight to Lusaka. The newly elected president of Zambia was arriving at the same time as we were. There were no gates and private airplanes were parked on the same tarmac we taxied down. This is the capital city.
Since then, we've been at a hotel compound, learning the ABC's of Zambia. On Sunday, I will be visiting an aquaculture site, with four other trainees, in the Central Province. Soon thereafter, I will be getting my language assignment. There is a volunteer in the Eastern Province, Brad, who has been researching aquaponics, the integration of aquaponics and hydroponics. His service ends in April, and I've expressed my interested in taking over his position. If that ends up being the case, I'll be assigned to Chipata.
For the proceeding 11 weeks, I'll be in pre-service training, learning my language (whichever it may be) and all about fish farming. I won't be on the internet, during that time, but you're welcome to write me!
Apparently there has been a 400% increase in applications to the Peace Corps, since the new application system. How far will you go?
Find out how to join the Peace Corps!