13 September 2009

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I've never been to Philadelphia, and my knowledge of Philadelphia is fairly limited; thinking of Philadelphia mostly brings to mind the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and cream cheese. So while I will be in Philadelphia for less than 24 hours for my pre-departure orientation on September 29, I won't need to see much to greatly increase my knowledge of the city. And since my group of volunteers will be checking out of our hotel at 2:30 AM the following morning for a bus ride to NYC and 15-hour trans-Atlantic flight to Johannesburg, I don't think I'll need to worry about losing beauty sleep in Philadelphia. There should be ample opportunity to catch up. (If anyone is wondering, we have no layover, so evidently planes can fly for 15 hours without refueling. Evidently.)
After flying from Johannesburg to Maputo, we will have a three-day orientation where we'll learn basic survival Portuguese, get our immunizations, and receive safety advice. On day three, we will travel to Namaacha and meet the host families we'll stay with throughout the 10 weeks of training. Hopefully we'll learn valuable bits of conversational Portuguese during orientation, because my Portuguese vocabulary currently spans greetings, numbers, colors, major cities, and days of the week. At least I can tell my host family that my favorite day of the week is Thursday, and that I've never been to Moscow. It's a start.