Update on Jonathan. Some of you have been asking about Jonathan, somewhere in the Peace Corps in Africa. You’ve been concerned since he has not updated his blog for over a month. Don’t be concerned, but know that he might not be updating his blog any time soon. He’s now in his assigned village that is a day’s walk from a town with internet accessibility.
One of our BEST Christmas presents was talking to him on the phone right before we departed for the Galapagos. He’s in a village in the highlands of Tanzania, a four-hour walk from Lake Malawi. His Peace Corps training had been in Dar es Salam, in a very hot and humid area of the country. So he was so pleased to learn that after his two and half months of training that his assignment would be in the highlands, where he could see his breath in the early morning! He’s the only Peace Corps member there and has a little house in the center of the village.
His Swahili is coming along. The people are very friendly In fact, always knocking on his door and then coming in, sitting down, wanting to visit. But Jonathan is only still able to talk the basics, so the visitors just sit. He’s learning much about the different customs, particularly about “social property.” The concept of personal property is nonexistent, so, for example, his guitar has become a play-thing of visitors.
He sounded happy. While we were talking, a villager came in and Jonathan spoke Swahili about his “mama” and “papa.” As far as using English, he was pleased that there was one teacher in the village who spoke English. We didn’t learn much yet about his Peace Corps job specifics, so more later on that.
He said there were pigs, cow, dogs, cats, rats, and goats in the village. In fact, he might soon have a pet cat to help with the rodents.
Malaria and AIDS are the significant health problems in Tanzania and he’s working on AIDS education. That’s all for now. “Uhuru na Umaja”–Freedom and unity! Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Kaiti and Jonathan in September just before he left for Africa.