I don’t have much time, but I figured I should break the silence and give a quick update at least about where I am geographically.

Last Sunday, I made the long trip in to “the city” for a great big Peace Corps hootenanny called In-Service Training, or IST. It’s two weeks during which we’re supposed to fill in all the informational gaps we missed during our PST, or Pre-Service Training, in Loitokitok. Since the 35 of us requested seven million different training topics, it’s not always directly applicable to my needs, but the sessions are often interesting nonetheless and I’m learning a great deal. Even more importantly, having as all together in one place is allowing for a lot of swappage, whether it’s paperback books, toenail polish, or awesome ideas for income-generating projects and community mobilization activities. Fact: the most useful resource for any Peace Corps Volunteer is other Peace Corps Volunteers.

We’ve also been popping in and out of major destinations in the city, like the Westgate Mall (which is fancier than any mall I’ve been to in America, and represents all that’s wrong with Africa according to author/journalist Steve Bloomfield) and various restaurants. In other words, throwing caution to the wind and spending beyond our means, because who KNOWS when the next occasion will be when we have access to iced coffee and In Style magazine? By and large, Nairobi is a pretty generic cosmopolitan center – Anywhere Major, USA. Or Anywhere Major, World, I suppose. You could be in Amman, or Amsterdam, or New York City. Well … bit more dangerous and dirty and tinged with skank. So maybe it’s East Africa’s Baltimore.

We have a little more “session work” today, but I’ll be dropping out early to help some of the other volunteers cook. Free American comfort food? Sign me up. Next week: more training, CNA presentations, IGA project completion seminar, and the first inaugual IST Formal … guess I’m going to need a dress.

Over and out.

Advertisements