In September of 2006, shortly after graduating from Boston College, I joined the Peace Corps. I moved first to Morogoro, where I trained in Kiswahili, the Tanzanian secondary school system, Tanzanian culture, and health and safety. After 10 short weeks I moved to a very rural village in the Usambara mountains, called Moa. There I spent 2 years teaching O level physics to Tanzanian students.
Being a Peace Corps volunteer shaped my adult life like nothing else has. I fell in love with a beautiful country, and the welcoming people that I lived with. I learned so much about international aid, challenges that developing countries face, and just plain old human nature. I returned to America in November of 2008 with a hole in my heart that can only be filled with bush life in the mountains of northeastern Tanzania, with a new sense of purpose and life direction, and with a relationship that would bud into a new family.
I captured some thoughts on my time as a Peace Corps Trainee (PCT) here, here, here, here, here, here ,and here. During this time I lived with a homestay family (and had a surprising revelation about the baby), learned Kiswahili, and started learning how to be a teacher in the Tanzanian school system. Oh, and I finally shared some pictures of my time in training.
Soon enough I graduated from training and swore in as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) and moved to my site where the rains were in full effect. In fact, just a few weeks after moving to my new home, I got a taste of what I had really gotten myself into. And I explained how we butchered our first (and thus far, my only) turkey. Most of the time life was much more mundane. I shared some photos of my village life here. (And also a pretty great shot of Kilimanjaro, if I do say so myself. And I do.)
Since I was working as a physics teacher, I had plenty to say on the subject of the Tanzanian education system. You can find that here, here
Do you have a friend or family member currently in the Peace Corps and you wonder what you could send them? Here was my wishlist after being in Tanzania for about 4 months. Interestingly, most of those things (aside from the magazines and the recipes) I found I could get in country after a little bit of searching.