Sunday, April 20, 2008

An Update From Ryan's Mom, Laura

Here is a picture of Ryan with his Peace Corps Rural Educational Development (RED) team from Eastern Province.  I encourage you to read the "Rob in Zambia" blog, the man in the middle in the red shirt, to learn more about this program.  

Ryan and the new RED team members went on a site visit to Eastern Province during training to learn about their new jobs from the current RED members. 
On April 25th, Ryan will be promoted from Peace Corps Trainee (PCT) to Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV).  This will be a busy week because prior to the ceremony, all the PCT have to pass several final exams on language, cultural and technical aspects of their assigned job.  Once tests are passed,  the host families are invited for a cultural exchange day.  A huge ceremony will take place on April 25th with Zambian government officials.  The TV station will cover the event.  Ryan is having a traditional African outfit made (note the women are pictured in traditional skirts).  It should be an exciting week and we at home in the USA are very proud of Ryan and his fellow Trainees!

Ryan will move to his village the last week in April.  His address for the next two years will be: Ryan Hill/ PCV
P.O. Box 560059
Petauke, Zambia

You can address it to Reverend Ryan Hill/ PCV and put "God Bless You" and Air Mail on any packages.  His village is two hours from the capital of the Eastern Province, Petauke. Transportation is an adventure in itself so I'm not sure what "2 hours" means.  He will be posted 30 kilometers from the nearest PCV and Kerry is 70K away.  This means Ryan will have to hitch a ride with his bike to visit.  (Send him hard candy or magazines to use for bartering.)

You can also reach Ryan on Facebook.  He can read and send messages on his cell phone.  (He lives without electricity, running water, etc. but he has a solar charged cell phone!)  Joe V, your Facebook message was worth $1million to Ryan!  Getting to a computer to update his blog and email is difficult.  Ryan will have to do this from the Peace Corps house or an Internet Cafe in Petauke.  You can call him with a calling card or by using SKYPE; he is 9 hours later.  You can also SMS him on SKYPE, but this costs and only works when his cell is on.  I put his phone number under comments on his blog with the good-bye party pictures. 

Ryan will be the first PCV in his village.   When Ryan went to meet his village a couple of weeks ago, they didn't believe he was coming until he arrived.  Thus, Ryan helped clear a field and measured for his hut!  He is very welcomed and will be working with the local herbalist/ "medicine man / Voodoo Dr." to educate the villagers.  It will be an adventure!  Ryan is keeping a journal and drawing.  

Hopefully, Ryan will be able to post at the end of April!    Thanks for keeping up with him. 
Laura, Ryan's mom

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