So much has happened in the past couple days, so here is the lowdown on my life right now. Time seems to be moving both slowly and quickly at the same time. Days have begun to bleed together with long hours of training and very little time outside of it. I get a good amount of sleep every night, yet I’m still always tired. I had my first meal that I ate in the traditional way, with my hands! I also had to get my first (and hopefully only) shot. The weather here in winter/spring is pretty similar to southern California, which means summer is probably also going to be like southern California.
Tuesday, we learned how to greet in all seven local languages that our group would be learning. The languages are: Rumanyo, Oshidonga, Oshiherero, Afrikaans, Oshikwanyama, Silozi, and Khoekohegowag (KKG). To get back into our training center we had to be able to greet in at least three fluently. Let me tell you, as cool as KKG is, I am not capable of doing the clicks necessary for emphasis. Yes, I said click… it is a click language! I was however able to get back into training using some of the slightly less difficult languages. That afternoon after sessions were over, we were given our actual languages we would be learning to speak for the next two years. Slips of paper with our name and an animal were on it. We had to use mimic the animal to find our language group and LCF (Language and Cross Cultural Facilitator). Cue the drum roll…. I will be learning Oshikwanyama and it is said just as it is spelled. At the end of training, I will be headed to the north north (not just one north, but two) in Oshiwambo land, close to Angola. I am in the largest language group, as they added an additional five people to the group at the last minute, making us ten. Our LCF Rachel is amazing; speaking so many languages I lost count, having lived in several countries, and is also a great singer!
The excitement didn’t end at languages though. Nope, less than an hour later, I got to meet my homestay family that I would be moving in with the following day. We gathered together for some announcements as families filtered in after work. This time we were given half of a picture of an animal. We had to find our family by finding the other half of the picture. Can we all say chaos… say it with me everyone, CHAOS! Picture it, 54 trainees trying to sift through 51 families (with multiple members), to find our one special one. Bet you are saying chaos now. Luckily, my family has some kiddos who could move around a little more freely than myself and found me. My family is pretty awesome. They have hosted 10-11 PCTs before me, one of which was my PC volunteer trainer that week who had told us all about her host family. I’ve now added 4 people to my quickly expanding family. I now have my host dad, mom and their two kids who are 8 and 4 (almost 5). We got to chat for a little while before we had to head back for dinner. I am now living with them in town. I have my lovely room, complete with bed, armoire, desk and small shelf. They have two puppies, 2 birds and a three fish. It’s almost like being at home, but I have way less clothes and only 8 pairs of shoes.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with everything and looking forward to these next couple months and years!