Hey all, I’ve started this blog both to document my time as a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) in Zambia, and to keep in touch with friends/family while I’m away. I’m not sure how much access I’ll have to internet at my site, and don’t know how frequently I’ll be able to update, but I’m going to play it by ear and hope for the best! I’ve seen some truly amazing blogs from PCVs in Zambia already, and this will not be one of those, but it has given me hope for the feasibility of blogging!
Why did I choose this unique and enigmatic name for my blog, you might ask? Well, I wanted to do a pun/rhyming name, but my top choices were Escambia (A river that flows towards the Gulf of Mexico), The Gambia (an entirely different, sovereign state), Senegambia (a region of Africa nowhere near Zambia), and Cambia (plural of cambium,
Anyways, in order to give everyone some details about what I’m supposed to be doing, I’m going to be a LIFE (Linking Income, Food, and Environment) volunteer. Here is the official description of what that entails:
In 2004, the Forestry Department invited Peace Corps/Zambia to partner with it to provide extension services at the community level. The Zambian Forestry Department has no extension officers at the community level (Frontline extension officers). PC/Z is collaborating with the Departments of Forestry to address the issue of conserving the natural resources through promotion of agroforestry, soil conservation and management, improved gardening techniques, and teaching of basic business skills.
Volunteers work together with Department of Forestry staff and lead farmers to develop capacity at the household level. Volunteer activities address food insecurity and livelihood diversification of these communities, thus reducing pressure on forest habitat and natural resources.
Staging (the period before I fly out) starts on February 11th, and I’m set to fly out on February 14th. Peace Corps volunteers serve for two years, but I should actually be gone a little longer than that, because the two years is from start of service, which doesn’t actually begin until the end of April. From February until then, I’ll be doing training, so when it all adds up it’s more in the range of 2.25 years.
I think that’s enough for a first post, so I’ll actually begin posting stuff once I leave!