This is a guide for my family and friends about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, Africa. I teach English as foreign language to high school students in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. Also as a disclaimer, the comments expressed here are solely of the author and do not represent the United States Peace Corps, the American Government, or any other governing body.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Well, as most of you know, tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 24 years old. I think that officially puts me in the "mid-twenties." Yikes. But instead of celebrating with friends and family at home, or even with friends on my own little island of Boa Vista, I am here in the capital city of Praia, awaiting doctors appointments. I won't bore anyone with the details, I don't think there is anything to worry about, but let me just say that the word "lump" tends to freak everyone out. So I am here in this city. I am not exactly sure how many people live in Praia but I do know that it's over twice the amount that live on my entire island. So when I got here, I found myself a little dissoriented. You can't really go anywhere unless you take a cab because the city is so large and there are a lot of big hills. Plus it's not that safe here. I have to say, that I don't really like it. I have been a little afraid to venture out into the city, for fear that I won't be able to find my way back to the Peace Corps office or my hotel. It's a slightly alarming feeling. In my tiny 2000 person town of Sal Rei, Boa Vista you can walk from one end to the other in 15 minutes at the most! I hadn't even stepped foot inside a car for 2 or 3 months until yesterday when one had to take me to the airport.

But when I made this comment to Neusa, the Training Manager, she looked shocked. "You were overwhelmed by this?" she said, "what are you going to do when you get back to the States?" Hm. I thought. That's a good question. But I don't think it was necessarily the size of the city that intimidated me. It was simply being in a strange place and not being able to completely flow with the language and culture. It took me a little while to get used to the people and way of life on Boa Vista and I feel comfortable there. Being here is strange and different, and it's not my town. If had to live here, I would (hopefully) have no problem adapting to the people and culture here. But I don't have to live here, so I will go back to my little beach town where all the roads are second nature, and I can recognize just about everyone. I thought that maybe getting off my island for a few days would be nice. It just goes to show, be careful what you wish for.

As far as my birthday goes, Neusa offered to cook dinner at her house tomorrow night for me and invite the Volunteers that live in Praia to go as well. But I thank you for your comments and the packages that are being sent. I really don't have any special requests, but you can pretty much send anything. There are no restrictions on imported stuff, at least not that I know of. But this country is pretty relaxed, I think I could talk my way into getting a cow sent over here if I wanted to. So don't worry about restrictions, in fact don't worry at all. Whatever you send, I am sure I will love it. And thank you again.

2 Comments:

Blogger FAZELJAMBO said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!

19 January, 2007 20:03

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Nadia ,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY .

WISH YOU ALL THE BEST.

With love,

Guli aunty, Uncle, Sabira & Roxanna

26 January, 2007 16:24

 

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