Thursday, July 15, 2010

Papa Johns

Today was the big day.

Registering with immigration.

And it all went very well. We accomplished everything and were back at Sangam in less than 2 hours. Which in India, is fast. Now Hayley and I have to venture back in 8 days to check and see if our paperwork is finished. Done and done. Well, almost. The hard part is done, now we just have to wait.

On the way home, my mind was blown. India is very developed yet is still considered a developing country. Well I'm officially putting it in the developed category. Yes, that is right. You heard it here first. India is developed. They have Papa Johns.

Yes. Papa Johns. As in Papa Johns Pizza.

Don't feel sorry for me because I live in India. We may not have water in a week but at least we can eat Papa Johns!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Life Back at Sangam

It's great being back at Sangam. A lot is the same but a lot has changed as well. I've been busy getting used to living here again. Meal times are 8.30 am, 1 pm, and 6.30 pm. And, of course, tea time is at 11.30 am and 4.30 pm. My body already gets hungry 5 minutes before the scheduled time. The food is absolutely amazing and the chai is even better!

Unfortunately, I'm still sweating. The humidity is a killer here. And it hasn't really rained since I arrived. My plane flew around the airport for a while before we could land in Mumbai because it was pouring rain, but since then, I haven't seen proper rain. Sprinkles here and there, but no monsoon. Fortunately, there haven't been major water cuts. Yet.

Last night Hayley and I were invited for drinks at Eszter and Einar's home. Eszter (from Hungary) is the Programme Manager here at Sangam and Einar (from Iceland) is her husband. Hayley arrived a few days after me and is the new Guest Services Coordinator. She will be here for one year, just like me. It was really great to get to know everyone 'off campus.' (Eszter and Einar live in an apartment just down the road from Sangam.) It was a nice relaxing night out.

Tonight we had an international dinner with the staff and volunteers. Instead of the ladies cooking dinner for us, everyone cooked a dish that is from their home country. And what a dinner we had! The staff and volunteers are way more diverse than when I volunteered here before. Japan, Malaysia, Slovenia, Mexico, England, India, and United States! Since Hayley and I arrived just last week, we were given a reprieve on cooking. But another international dinner is coming up after the next event and I will be ready to cook a traditional American dish. (I'm thinking soft pretzels. Cause who doesn't love those! And if they aren't 'American,' don't tell me!)

Tomorrow I'm off to register with Immigration. I'm sure I will have an entire blog about that experience.

Until then! Peace!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Oh Zambia!

I left Zambia over 2 months ago and I still think about it all the time. I feel like I should still be going back there. Like I'm just on vacation and I'll be going back to resume my village life again. But alas, I am done with Peace Corps and on to the next adventure! Which I'll get to in a minute. I've uploaded more Zambia pictures which you can find by going to the link below. It is a public link so you don't need to belong to Facebook to view them. I'm also in the process of uploading a few more videos to YouTube so you can check those out soon. The internet is a bit slow here so be patient, they should be up sometime today. You can find them by clicking on the video clips on the left hand side of the page.

Now, on to my next adventure! I'm in India!!!!! (Yes, I know what you are thinking, "Don't you like being in the States?" And the answer is yes I do, very much, it's just that it gets boring after a few weeks. Taco Bell isn't as good if you can have it any time you want.) What am I doing here? Good question. It all started while I was still in Zambia...

I had left the village and was living at the Peace Corps office in Choma finishing paperwork and packing up all of my stuff that I had accumulated over the last 2 years when I got an email from my Mom. It was a link to a job at Sangam World Centre (it is the same place that I was volunteering at before) so I checked it out. Unfortunately, the job application deadline had already passed so I was just cruising around their website and found an internship working with the Community Volunteer Programme. It looked really interesting but then I found out when the deadline was. In 2 days.

Now, 2 days in America is no problem. But 2 days in Zambia? A whole other story.

I had to finish the application, questions, and 3 recommendations. It was the 3 recommendations that had me worried. All of my references were in different time zones. I immediately emailed everyone I could think of who would be willing to complete a reference for me. Long story short, I finished my application and questions and all of my references finished the recommendations!

I traveled home and after being in America for one week, I found out that I got the internship! But then I wasn't sure if I wanted to take it or not. I mean, I was having a really great time in America-land, and I didn't really want to leave. My Dad finally said something to me that made my decision very easy.

"If you don't take this internship, I'm not going to let you lay around the house all summer. You are going to have to get a job."

Alright. I'll take the internship!

After a few months of waiting for paperwork for my employment visa, I finally had my visa and was able to buy my plane ticket. A week later, I was out!

Now, I'm in India as Sangam World Centre's Community Relations Intern. I'm really excited about this opportunity. I'll be working with the Community Volunteer Programme and will also be working in building the programme to support more volunteers. So for the next year I will be living and working here in India!

I'll be keeping my blog up to date, so check back! You can also follow me on Facebook or email me if you have any questions! Internet here is more reliable than Zambia but less reliable than America, so keep that in mind.