Welcome to my first ever blog post with my new look and my new name–Finding Kendra!
I’m loving the new (free) look but I’m still working out some of the quirks from the move (and second and third move…) so bear with me and give me all your feedback! (Especially about the main pages.) I want to know what works and what doesn’t as well as what you’d like to see going forward, but on to the main event:
As of yesterday, I am legally cleared to join the Peace Corps! Though I’m still finishing up my checklist for my medical clearance (darn wisdom teeth…) this brings me one step closer to my departure date in August 2019!
As it so happens, today also marks the fifth anniversary of the day I arrived in Japan for the first time. Exhausted, confused, lost, and so excited I somehow kept reasonably alert through the airport navigation, bus finding, and preliminary paperwork and drug testing for Interac before meeting my roommate (who still remains an awesome friend) and passing the heck out so I could wake up much too early in the morning to eat a funny breakfast of miso soup and mini hot dogs. Basically it was a long, tiring, memorable few days!
So what will I be doing in the Peace Corps you ask? Well, I will be a part of the Education sector working with the RED project (Rural Education Development). This program has also recently started a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification program that I will be a part of and at the end of it I will have a nice fancy TEFL to go with the online-program TEFL that I used for my job in Japan. Other projects in Zambia include Agriculture, Environment, Health, President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, President’s Malaria Initiative, and Feed the Future.
Let me break my job down even more. Here is a shortened job description for my program in Zambia off of the Peace Corps website:
Education Volunteers focus on: student success, teacher capacity, and community support. Volunteers and their counterparts provide other teachers with opportunities for school-based, continuing professional development to improve English instruction and production and utilization of teaching and learning aids. Volunteers teach English using interactive, learner-centered methods and organize extra-curricular activities, such as after school clubs, related to gender equity and HIV and AIDS prevention, which provide added opportunities for practicing English. Volunteers encourage community members to increase participation in school activities and student learning, and educate on the importance of education, particularly girls’ education and literacy.
I am so incredibly excited for this new opportunity to keep learning about education around the world and to help my future community get and use the educational resources that they deserve. It’s going to be a completely different experience from moving to first-world Japan as I’m leaving both electricity and running water behind for the chance to help people and experience life in an entirely new way.
Join me on my journey to sub-Saharan, south-central Africa! I have no idea what’s gonna happen, but that’s half the fun!