hey, i swore in as a volunteer on 24 September 2009. i will post photos later, but i just wanted to update everyone.
i am now at my permanent site in Pursat Province. I live in a rural area about 30-40k from the Tonle Sap. my village is very small. i live on a paved road in the middle of the village. i have electricity and running water. my new host family is very different compared to my training family. i live with 11 people now- i have a host mother and 3 older sisters. there are 6 kids in the home ranging from ages 8-20. my host mother and sisters are constantly busy and i don't anticipate growing close to them anytime soon. i have been here for about a week now and feel more or less like a border. i have also noticed that the accent here is different than in takeo, so speaking to my family is very difficult and making that connection and building a rapport is quite challenging. but i think i am making progress with the children in my family, which i am happy about. the oldest son finally talked to me yesterday and asked me in khmai to practice english with him. that was a nice moment.
school also started this week. i am not teaching english yet. instead, i am observing the different english classes. anyway, the education system is very different than from home. since it is the first week of school, more than half the student population is absent because teachers are introducing themselves and establishing classroom policies. also, students do not have their books. it's very frustrating and disappointing to see.
anyway, i should go home and eat lunch now. while i am finished observing classes today, i want to come back and work on organizing'/cleaning the library for the rest of the afternoon. i don't feel like staying home and reading a book in my room under the mosquito net. i can do that tonight after dinner and bathing. i am still debating on whether i want to wake up early and ride my bike 10-15 k into town and hang out with christian (the closest k3 volunteer to me).
it's strange, it was only yesterday that it dawned on me how difficult being a peace corps volunteer is. i hope all is well on the home front. i miss home, diana