My big project, Finishing the Ward 4 AMICAALL/Nhlangano Town Council Social Center, the PCPP


Peace Corps Partnership Proposal (PCPP) with the Nhlangano Town Council (NTC)

First application draft submitted Feb, 2011
Approved & Funding Begins on PC website May 17th
Construction started on Oct 24th.
All exterior construction done by Dec 20th.
Grand Opening Jan 5th, 2012
Round 2 of the Funding arrives in early January.
Interior Only Construction Restarts Jan 16th.
Construction all done Feb 16th (minus a million tiny To Do's)
Project Officially Closed May 4th, 2012

Let the children play, learn & be safe.

As of Aug 25th, 2012, I am no longer a PCV, I am now RPCV (Return Peace Corps Volunteer). This blog is my experience in Swaziland between June of 2010 & Aug of 2012. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

My Adventure Home Day 12-15 (London)

So arriving in London late on my birthday, I dumped my bags at the airport walked out with the backpack I dragged around Swaziland.  I was sitting on the train (or tube as they call it) when a friendly British guy asked me if I had been traveling, he said I looked like I had (not sure how physically tired I looked but I was in shorts which was out of place in the beginning of fall in London, which started a conversation about what I have been doing for the last two years, in that moment I realized I have to speak about my PC experience in past tense.  And will have to figure out which of the stories most entertain and are short sense in most cases I doubt I will have long conversations.

And so in that moment I truly felt like my Peace Corps service was over.  The timing of traveling on my birthday was all by my own design (or God’s timing working through me).  So it being my birthday also helped to emphasize the point.

By the time I arrived at my hostel, by the way Clink 87 is an awesome huge hostel, checked in sorted myself out it was 11:30.  I had missed the chance to hang out with my friend PC Gena on my birthday.  But we had plans for the morning.  She just a few days before had arrived from Nigeria where she got food poisoning from a 5 star hotel.  So after much debate I decided what I think is a PC tradition when arriving back in the 1st world was to eat McDonald’s.  And it was tasty.  

So the hostel is near the King’s Cross station so it was centrally located and easy to get around and safe.  This was my first time in London, of course it is post Olympics but the Paraolympics was just starting, so the town is still covered in Olympic advertising and signage.  

The first day was non-super famous site seeing.  Gena took me around a lot of cool areas and ate lots of good food & gelato.  I have so missed being in big city where there is a night life.  

Over the next couple days, I saw Big Ben, Parliament (Hey’s kids look Parliament), Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, spent lots of hours at the Tate Modern Museum, a super excellent designed museum that was formally a power generation plant, so the interior design is extremely unique for a museum.  Went to the Damian Hirsh exhibit with the cut in half cow. 

Each night Gena, still suffering from the food poisoning left me to wander in the evening.  So since London is very safe city with extremely great lighting no street seemed dark and on most corners there was some form of business open.  I had numerous one drink stops in lots of pubs, I ate fish & chips from this little side shop at 1am, Gambled in casinos and walked a lot just marveling at how great big cities are and the benefits and opportunities that can be had.  It was nice to not be walking on dirt streets and be out at night with something to do, both of those were rare in Swaziland.  Although, the hostel had hot showers they were on timers, a smart idea to save water, so about every 30 secs, you had to hit the button, but I figured out if just held the button in between start & finish the water would just run.  My hostel had tons of people moving around in wheel chairs. So I still very much felt like I was traveling.

And my final night in London was spent doing what I like doing the most seeing movies.  It was cold & rainy just miserable outside kind of weather, so I found a theater playing a double feature.  The Terminator & Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  By the way earlier in the day I spent it at The British Museum, which has the actual Rosetta Stone and tons old stuff from Greek & Roman times.  Now I may have seen the first Terminator in the theater & definitely saw the second numerous times but back to back was just a great evening of movies. And for me one of the things, I want to claim in my obituary is how many different countries I have seen a movie in.  Not its Canada, Spain, Swaziland, South Africa & England including the US its now 6 (missed chances in Mozambique & Mexico) .  I hope in my future travels I can make this a habit.  Fantastic to see them & with super movie fans who are super knowledgeable much like the fans at the New Beverly Cinema in LA.  My kind of people.

So as I type this I am on the plane having just left Iceland which was is a stop over to final final night of my adventure home and will be the final conclusion to my 2 years & 2 months trip to Africa with the Peace Corps.   And it will be in New York City of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

 By the way just from flying over it and spending 2 hours in the airport Iceland is now my bucket list of places to visit.  From the air I saw one of the smoking vents of the volcano the island is.  It looks like super cool, amazingly beautiful place to explore and the advertisements on the plain so some insanely beautiful rugged terrain.  I want to come back & visit.

I will be in New York City for just the overnight til my am flight.  It was much by several hundred dollars less to fly from London to NYC & then stay overnight flying in the morning to LA.  So I have one more night left of my adventure to & from Africa.  Then I am back home and can tell the stories that this blog has contained to everyone in person.

  Time in airplane: 45min Swaziland to Joberg, 8 hours Joberg to Dubai, 7 Dubai to London, 2 hours London to Iceland, 5 Iceland to NYC

Time in Airport: 3 hours Swaziland, 4 ½ Joberg. 7 hours in Dubai, 6 hours in Heathrow, 2 hours in Iceland.

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