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It’s the day before Valentine’s day and we’re in Louisville, KY staying with my folks.  We leave February 15th for Philadelphia to begin orientation with the Peace Corps. At 1am EST Wednesday morning we bus to NYC to catch a 15 hour direct flight with 51 other trainees to Johannesburg, South Africa and then a connecting flight to Lusaka, Zambia.  Lusaka is the capital of Zambia, and until May 1st we will be training in Chongwe 40 minutes outside of Lusaka.  During this time we will be living with a host family and our days will be full with technical and language training.  Around May 1st we will move to the village where we will serve for the next two years, the location won’t be known until part way through training.  The next 3 months will be spent in our new village (this means no trip to South Africa for World Cup) getting to know the people and place.  After these 3 months, roughlyAugust 1st we can have visitors anytime until our final 3 months which will be February – April of 2012.

A little about what we do know:

Carly will be co-teaching with a Zambian teacher for 5th-9th grades.  I will be working as a forestry extension agent in the LIFE (Linking Income Food Environment) program.  Sounds like the basic idea is to help local farmers/villagers decrease food scarcity and increase income while protecting natural resources.  We will be living in a mud brick hut with a grass thatch roof, no running water and no electricity.  Wood is used for cooking (major pressure on forests) and water is drawn from a borehole and treated by us.  We will ride TREK mountain bikes for transport and the nearest paved road maybe over 1o miles away.  This is the basic idea we’ll let you know what it’s really like when we get there.