I have been in the Peace Corps 511 days, yet it seems like only yesterday I was saying goodbye to friends and family. This blog is not about the past 500 days, but about the remaining 200 or so. There has been some big changes in my life recently because I no longer live my rural village of Gesha (A.K.A. Deka).
After 14 months of living in the sticks, Peace Corps wanted me to move to Bonga, the zonal capital of the Kaffa region. It was a welcome move for me, because I was tired of riding the bus 6-10 hours to Bonga just to check my mail. Also, come the rainy season the trip is rather dangerous (see the old video http://youtu.be/fVlvPjo3DGw). In Bonga I will be able to accomplish a lot, partnering with an international NGO, NABU, and the government to help develop the ecotourism for the area. With at least 160 different bird species, lions, leopards, buffalo, hippos, and other animals, the Kaffa Zone is a beautiful destination. There is also scores of waterfalls, caves, hot springs, and other geological features. Traveling here is about exploring, not touring, a fantastic location for the young at heart.
The next 200 days will be very busy, but I am excited to start. I already have a couple mapping/camping trips planned. My new house is pretty nice too! I have concrete floors and a common cold shower (when there is running water, which has only been on about 6 days the past two months). They painted the interior bright green which goes with my decorating style nicely. My latrine has a door and a concrete floor, but the hole is only 3” wide which makes aiming difficult for number 1 and 2.
I just bought a machete and already went on one small outing. We were looking for some hippos; they live only 15 minutes from my house, but sadly they were not there. A couple people told us they mostly live in that spot during the rainy season, so I will probably have to hike further down river or wait 2 months to see them.
511 days may have passed, but I’ll have 1000 days worth of experience in the next 200. I look forward to sharing them all with you.