Gi chi-le! (“Hello” or “good morning” in Xitswa, an African dialect spoken in Mozambique)
While I would characterize P&P as primarily a health living/foodie/travel blog, I recognize that many people come across this blog who are searching for information about the Peace Corps, whether it be through Peace Corps Journals, a Facebook group, or another site. I thought I would make it easier for you folks by creating a page with my Peace Corps story and some posts that you may find interesting, whether you are awaiting your departure for Africa or elsewhere or simply considering filling out an application!
I began this blog as a creative outlet during my time in Mozambique when I felt a bit isolated from the rest of the world–understandably so! While my time in Africa is now over–for now–I continue to reflect and relate to those experiences on the blog, mixed with my new life (I returned home from abroad around Christmas of 2010). A lot of the stuff here has been imported from my older blog (creatively titled “Courtney in Mozambique”).
I successfully finished my service as a Health Volunteer in Mozambique (Southern Africa) in November of 2010. I applied for the Peace Corps in February 2008 because I was really interested in HIV/AIDS causes and living abroad, and thought it seemed like an ideal experience for both personal and professional growth. It would also give me the opportunity to get overseas experience and a good feel for the field of International Development, which was my major in undergrad at UCLA and what I planned to pursue as a career after Peace Corps.
I was invited to serve in Mozambique in July of 2008 by the then-Peace Corps Director himself (I was a key but unknowing party to a publicity stunt at the UCLA campus at a ceremony for returned Volunteers) and left California in September of 2008. Upon arriving, I had ten weeks of training in a rural village, living with a homestay family and learning survival Portuguese and participating in technical health and cross culture training.
On December 15, 2008, I arrived at my permanent site, a coastal district capital in the province of Inhambane. During my service, I spent two years working full-time for CARE International as an HIV/AIDS mainstreaming officer on an economic development project, as well as participating in Peace Corps trainings and events. I also got to enjoy living in a bamboo hut right on the Indian Ocean. NBD.
That is my story in a nutshell; this blog has been my outlet to share many of the more colorful moments that have come from living in Mozambique. I wanted to link to some of those posts that I felt might be of interest to future Volunteers in Mozambique or any other country, or just for people who are considering leaving their life behind for one they never knew they wanted!
Random PC Specific
T.I.A. Moments (This Is Africa)
Travels in Moz and around
Hope that some of these posts are of some interest and/or use to anyone reading!
Also, if anyone has any questions about Peace Corps or wants to talk to someone who has been there, please feel free to email me at
pancakesandpostcards at gmail dot com.
I am more than happy to talk!