Yesterday was Site Announcement Day (aka the day we find out where we’ll be living for the next 2 YEARS!) so naturally, everyone was buzzing with excitement. I was extremely anxious to find out where I would be and couldn’t contain myself all day. There was a lot of squealing. When the time came, we all blindfolded each other at our training area, linked together in a congo line and followed a leader to a location where the PC staff had set up a giant map of Malawi. After directing everyone to their appropriate locations, the staff counted down from 10 until we could remove our blindfolds. At zero, I ripped mine off and realized I was placed in a lakeside site in central Malawi!!! I also immediately saw three other volunteers standing close to me, meaning that I’ll have friends nearby. Coincidentally, one of the girls that I’ve made great friends with (Katlyn) is only 40km away, which I am so happy about! I also really didn’t expect to be near the lake and am excited to have easy access to it. Additionally, I’m really glad to be central rather than in the deep South so that I can visit people in both the North and the South in a shorter amount of time. Lastly, I’ll be about 3 hours from the host family that I’m living with now so I can definitely visit them. I’m bummed that some of the friends that I’ve made are fairly far away but feel #blessed that Malawi is a small country. I hope everyone will want to visit me lakeside!
After finding out our sites, today we had a workshop in Kasungu where we each met our future counterparts, supervisors or mentors. These are the people that we’ll be working most closely with in our communities. My supervisor, John, is in charge of the Maganga Health Centre in Salima and attended the meeting in place of my counterpart. He seems very knowledgeable and excited to have me as a volunteer, which makes me feel lucky to have him as well. The day was full of sessions regarding our future work with little time for chitchat, but I did have time to ask him a few questions about my site. I found out that:
My house is 3km from the lake and 3km from the Health Centre that will be working with (Maganga)
I don’t have electricity but the Health Centre does
My site is remote but not too far from a popular tourist destination called Senga Bay (where a music festival called Lake of Stars is held woo!)
There is a high prevalence of Malaria
The area struggles with potable water (just what I needed… more diarrhea)
The community has never had a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) before
The area is HOT and flat
There are snakes…
That’s about all the information I have now but in two days, we all travel to our individual sites with our counterparts/supervisors and visit our communities for a week. I’m nervous, excited, curious, anxious, happy, and who knows what else, but can’t wait for what’s to come.
The nearby beach: