Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The adventure begins!

So... I'm in Philadelphia with the 64 other Peace Corps Trainees headed to Mozambique. We are a large group! We leave tomorrow at 2:30 AM for a 15 hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa and then a 1 hour connection to Maputo, Mozambique. The first three days we'll be staying in a 4 star hotel in the capital city. After that, we go to a small village about 2 hours outside of the capital where we will live with host families for ten weeks of intensive training. Training ends Dec 11th with the official swearing in ceremony, at which point I will be sent to my assignment location somewhere in the vast country of Mozambique!

That's the plan. Here's my mailing address at the Peace Corps headquarters. I'll have a different mailing address after Dec 11.

Clancy Brown, PCT
Corpo da Paz
Av. do Zimbabwe No 345
Maputo, Mozambique

Letters and packages would be much appreciated! E-mails would be nice too (clancyabrown@gmail.com).

Tips on helping packages arrive untampered with:
*Write "Jesus Saves" on the package. Christian iconography (crosses, etc...) helps too.
* Undervalue the contents by a lot (otherwise I'll have to pay a lot to receive it, plus you don't want it to seem valuable)
* Lie about the contents. Call them "education materials," "school supplies," "religious books and tapes," etc...

Thanks for the many well wishes I have already received. It means a lot to know that there are so many people back home who love and support me.

And now, the adventure begins!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I have to fit 2 years worth of stuff in that?? They don't let you bring much. I managed to fit it "all" into a few bags and made the weight limit. We'll find out what I forgot when I get there!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Getting ready, sort of...

Time to departure: 16 days... I keep saying "it's so soon; I can't believe I'm leaving at the end of this month; I need more time!" but then my friends remind me that, actually, I have been anticipating this for over a year now.

This summer has been an absolute whirlwind, and I can't say that I've spent my time "getting ready" per se, but really it has just been a different kind of preparation.

In fact, this whole year has been a headspinning adventure. I studied abroad in Ecuador and Peru my last semester of college and returned to the States just in time to graduate. Then literally two days later I left on a second, month-long study abroad to Lake Baikal in Siberia. You'd think I'd want to stick around after all that, but I was home just a few weeks before being ferried out to Matinicus Rock, 20 miles off the Maine coast, where I lived for three weeks volunteering with Project Puffin (banding baby birds and such).

Since that last adventure, I have been trying to spend quality time with my friends and family, which has led me to Boston, New York City and elsewhere. Luckily some friends also made the trip to Kennebunk.

To add some glorious complexity to the mix, I met an amazing guy on the island and we have been dating for the last two months. Whatever happens, I can say it was worth it to "get involved" despite my impending exodus. As they say, "life happens while you're busy making other plans..."

In between the craziness I have been trying to learn Portuguese (the official language of Mozambique and what I will be expected to teach in), read books about pedagogy and Africa, and budget enough money to buy all the missing items on my packing list.

Mozambique seems like just the next stage in this great oddyssey, but then it hits me... 2 YEARS! This is something entirely different. Not a vacation, not a study abroad, not school... I will be living and working there. Mozambique will become my new home.

There was a time a few weeks ago when I seriously considered calling the whole thing off. Call it butterflies, stage fright, whatever... I freaked a little, but now I'm back on track and getting super excited.

I don't know what to expect. In fact, I'm trying very hard not to have any expectations. I'm just going to show up, see what happens and enjoy the ride.