Future Home!

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.

Location of my site:IMG_20150415_072312

The nearby beach:

location_salimaandsengabay1

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12 thoughts on “Future Home!

  1. Laurie Bramhall

    Wow, your by a beach…..What good news.
    When is the music festival?
    Will you walk or ride a bike the 3K from the clinic?

    I think of you often and wish you the best. What an adventure.
    I will write a proper letter sometime soon.
    LB

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    1. cbaum27

      The music festival is in September. Should be fun! I will probably be biking to the clinic so my commute doesn’t take up too much time.

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  2. Megan

    Stina! I’m so excited for you that you got placed by the lake, I know that’s where you wanted to be. Your blog is awesome, I can picture you in Malawi so well, it brings me back to our days in Nicaragua (especially the part about you beings sick) as well as the kindness and generosity of your host family, is amazing that they have so little but are willing to give you so much. I’m thinking about you over here in Cincinnati, and wishing you the best with your big move! Stay safe over there.
    P.s. My parents just got your letter to me and are sending it down to Cinci, I can’t wait to read it, be sure to post your new address so I can write you back 😀

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  3. Emily Pryor

    XTina I just read thru all of your posts (sorry I should have earlier) and THEY’RE SO GREAT! I love this! Sounds like you got placed in a primo spot. Can’t wait to hear more. Love from DC,
    Emily

    Liked by 1 person

  4. !! This is so exciting! Beach and music festival and friends – will all definitely help to make your experience even better! Will your address stay the same so i can mail you fun things?

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    1. cbaum27

      Yayay can’t wait. And yes I would love some fun things!! I have a feeling I’ll be doing some crafting in my spare time. My new address is on here under “contact me”

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  5. Christina.. wanted to let you know that we are actively following you and the adventure via your blog; thanks for the regular posts. Congrats on finding out your location and assignment, sounds like a bike would be great transportation, is that a possibility? Thanks for the good will you are doing.

    Uncle Stephen

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    1. cbaum27

      Hey Uncle Steven! Yes, we all are issued PC bikes so I’ll have that to get around. It’ll be about a 40 minute bike ride to the closest town/small city.

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  6. cbaum27

    My adventurous daughter…I LOVE reading your posts! You are keeping us so well informed of so much in your life and educating us of those less fortunate in “your corner” of Africa. You are a blessing to those you are helping. Best wishes as you finish training and head to your new “home”!

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