Saturday, November 3, 2007

My First Blog Posting Ever!

Well, as previously stated, this is my first posting on my new blog page. Soon after receiving my Peace Corps invitation to Zambia, I discovered (and my grandma discovered and told me about a few hours later) a page which had links to the blog pages of other Peace Corps volunteers in Africa. So anyways, I decided to start up my own blog page for three reasons: 1) in order to avoid falling behind and becoming a technological outcast amongst my Peace Corps peers, and 2) to provide an easy way for my family and friends to keep up with my experiences in Zambia, and 3) for any random people who happen to come across my blogs and have enough spare time to read my postings.

Since this is my first blog posting, I thought I'd give a brief overview of why I chose to join the Peace Corps and the events that have led up to this point. I first thought about the Peace Corps while attending Fresno State. I had known about it since I was young, but after taking several anthropology classes and religious studies classes, my interest in other cultures (which I've always had interest in) grew to the point that I started filling out the online application. However, with graduation looming, I felt pressure (self-imposed by the way) to get started on my career of choice: teaching. Thus, after graduating in May 2006, I moved back to Vista, my hometown. My original intent was to get my teaching credential from CSU San Marcos, and work for the Mottino YMCA's afterschool programs. However, I soon decided that I needed a break from school (c'mon, I spent 18 straight years of my life in school, and needed a break!) and decided to finally finish the application and join the Peace Corps. I continued working for the YMCA and also got a second job at a local Starbucks; I have gained some excellent work experience from the YMCA for the future, and have met some awesome people by working at Starbucks, but I feel that my departure with the Peace Corps to Zambia to work for the Rural Education Development (RED) project couldn't have come at a more perfect time in my life!

I am STOKED about moving to Zambia, and have been spending a lot of time looking at YouTube clips and pages with information on Zambian culture. I feel confident that one of my main concerns, their food, won't be as much of an issue as it would be in most other countries; nshima sounds like it'll be pretty good. As long as I don't have to eat any animal testicles, or dog meat, I should be just fine. What I really look forward to is the wildlife of Zambia. I had a membership to the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park from my infancy to about age 16, and the African animals have always been among my favorites. I look forward to pulling out a sketch pad and drawing the wildlife and the scenery. I also look forward to adapting to a new and very different culture from my own. This may seem crazy to some, and by no means do I think it will be an easy transition, but I think that learning the Zambian way of life might be the most rewarding and important aspect of my Peace Corps experience.

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