I now have less than a month to go of pre-service training (PST) before I’m sworn in as an official Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) on August, 17, 2012. I’ve had my ups and downs over the last month and a half but there is always something new to brighten my day. After site visit which I talked about in my last post I returned to Gonde to begin a new part of PST that Peace Corps Ethiopia incorporated this year – practicum. This past week we had a full week of co-teaching where we were paired up with another Peace Corps Trainee (PST). We had to prepare our lesson plans together and teach 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades at one of the local primary schools in Gonde. I was paired with someone but I only got to co-teach with him for two days because I had to take a surprise trip back to Addis to see the dentist. That situation is improving so I won’t explain it in full detail but it was an interesting experience. Now we’ve completed co-teaching and starting this next week we have to teach by ourselves, do our own lesson plans, etc. It will be a challenge but it should be fun I think. Practicum so far has given my fellow PSTs and I a chance to see what the reality is in the Ethiopian classrooms, the challenges that are present and what it is really like to be an English teacher here. This will be very helpful once we get to our sites and begin planning trainings for the teaching staff at the schools we’ve been assigned to work at.
There are a couple of other new things here in Gonde. I don’t have a picture but yesterday I got my first haircut in Ethiopia. I was worried what my hair would like after going to the local barber but surprisingly for the equivalent of about .35 cents (6 ETB) I got a pretty decent haircut. My host father who recently returned home from one of his long business trips went with me to make me feel more comfortable and to translate what I wanted. I had the bright idea of taking an old picture to show the barber what I wanted. I think that was a smart idea because I had no clue how to explain in Afan Oromo or Amharic what kind of cut I usually got.
Then with Meaza, my host father back at home for a few days he decided the family needed to have a nice feast. So yesterday morning he slaughtered a sheep and last night guests were invited over and we all had a nice meal followed by a traditional buna ceremony. However, I snuck out a little early because I was tired. I had never eaten sheep before but it was actually quite tasty. Like I said, there is always something new.