I have now been in the country for two months, and will soon be an official volunteer! Our swearing in ceremony is this Thursday.
I have been living in my village for a couple weeks now and am really enjoying my host-family! Things were quite overwhelming at first, but after a bit of adjustment I am doing really well. My host family is quite large. My host parents have 9 children. Their oldest daughter is married and lives across the village, she has 4 children. Their next daughter lives next door, is married and has a daughter, but her family eats with my family. Their 3rd daughter lives in the family compound with her husband and will have her 1st child around Christmas. So when everything gets added up there are 11 of us that live in the family compound, and 14 of us at every meal (sometimes 20). They can't even imagine how I grew up with only one brother and are convinced it must have been boring and lonely.
My host family has taught me to make tortillas, re-taught me to do laundry in the river and now my brown socks actually come out white again :), and have been helping me to meet some of the community members. They make really great food with a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables which is really uncommon in the diet here. Every time they give me something new to eat they say, “I am not sure if you can eat this, but you can try it.” It has almost always been good, but has sometimes been a bit amusing. My 19 year old host-sister (the one that will soon have a baby) was cooking one day and brought me a plate and said: “Would you like to try these? We call them donuts.”
We have a really nice river in our village called the Deep River. We go down to the river every afternoon/evening to do our laundry and bathe. By the end of the day, the freezing cold water is definitely something to look forward to.