The day after tomorrow, I will be on my way to Africa. The emotions that statement evokes are difficult to describe. Most accurately; anxiety, fear, excitement, sadness, and elation all mixed together. I feel a bit in a daze, the reality of it all hitting me hard this morning. I know, it’s only three months, many students have done study abroad for the same amount of time (if not longer), and I’m not going into the peace corps (27 months!), but it’s still Africa, and it still scares me. Part of me just wants to be on that plane already! the anticipation is almost too much to handle, and at the same time I don’t want to leave the comfort of the US.
After careful consideration, we’ve decided to just pay, though this is irritating apparently it is quite typical of the government! I suppose whats $500 in terms of a once in a life time opportunity? And if this is all that goes wrong, then it will have been quite a smooth trip. I fully anticipate other “difficulties” to be encountered, hopefully my electronics will not decide to die.
In two weeks from now I’ll be on a flight from Seattle to Amsterdam (a 9.75 hour flight) on my way to Moshi. I am unbelievably excited! I’ve been talking with a girl who is starting on the same date as I, and it is such a relief to feel like I’ll “know” someone there already! I am particularly excited to go on Safari! I think I (finally) have all of my supplies I’ll need, though I’m sure I’ll forget something! I feel like I’m bringing an absurd amount of stuff…but for three months that’s probably a good thing! Learning Swahili is going polepole (slowly), I sort of expected to be able to learn more, I’ve been studying a few hours everyday and making some progress but many of the grammar rules are quite confusing, for example nouns can belong to 16 different classes! Hopefully I’ll come back conversationally fluent! For now I know mostly “useful” phrases, such as greetings (Hujambo, Habari gani?) where are things (choh iko wapi-where is the bathroom), and emergency type phrases (Saidia!! Help, Hapana, No,Hospitali iko wapi-where’s the hospital), and several other random, and probably less useful phrases (sigundua kofia yangu!-I can’t find my hat.)