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Sunday, July 24th, 2005

Time:10:24 am.
Hey kids, I can't do a full update but I at least wanted to leave my newest address and let you know that I'm doing well. I'm becoming used to life here in Zambia and really enjoy the work. I've got my full health, what seems to be a great program I'm working with, and one burly beard. Jess, have you been getting my letters? I move out to my village in about 8 days and I think it will be good. I can give much more details in a written letter. This is my address for the next 2 years:
Matt Tice
Peace Corps
P.O. Box 160104
Mwinilunga, ZAMBIA

Comments: 6 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

Time:5:05 pm.
Ok kids
I'm off like bug spray.
Comments: 1 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

Time:6:42 pm.
Do you remember the game "dead arm?" Dead arm is one of those games little boys, and I'm sure some girls, play to prove how tough they can be. The game is played where two stupid people stand opposite one another and take turns punching each other in the arm until one cries "mercy," and the winner raises one arm in victory (only one arm because the other, for all intensive purposes, is "dead"). Yesterday I willfully participated in a round on my own version of dead arm. I started round one of the many inoculations needed before I could leave for my Peace Corps service. Peace Corps obviously pays for all of the necessary shots, inoculations, immunizations and medications for residence in a Central African nation but I preferred to get several over with now rather than all of them in one shot. Nothing seems like a nicer combination than a 38 hour plane ride and immobile appendages.
My immunizations are likely to include rabies, hepatitis A and B, meningococcal meningitis, typhoid, and yellow fever. One particular form of medicine I'm excited about is the Mefloquine for Malaria. This drug offers psychological side effects that range from mild anxiety and vivid, bizzarre dreams to one instance I was told about where a Peace Corps worker refused to wear clothes and ran around his village nude until he was caught and had to be sent home. My dad says that as a small child I hated to wear clothes, so within me, I probably have a inner nudist begging to be set free of social constriants and inhibitions by the mind altering effects of a medicine I will have to take weekly for the next two years. All that aside, I honestly don't feel that anxious about going. Come this time next week I will be boarding a plane. With the exception of my dream where I partially turned to cardboard, I feel at peace about my departure and I hope everyone else does too. I have felt very loved in the last couple weeks. I deeply appreciate everyone's support, dinners, well wishes, and gifts that there seems to be no shortage of. My gratitude is inexpressable but regardless; thank you. One thing that stands out is the going away party the kids in Springfield threw for me. I had an excellent time and I thank you all with everything in me.
I will ask you to continue to help me while I am gone by writing letters. The international mail system, and even more so, the African mail system isn't always topnotch, and things may take time or occasionally get lost but letters will undoubtedly help me survive the next two years. I hope to maintain correspondence with everyone that is also able to do so with me. Given that I do not have everyone's address, you'll have to include it with your letter. Also, I have list of emails from many people that I hope to send an occasional mass email when I get the chance but if you haven't already given me your address for this list you can post it as a comment here or email me. Jess Heugel has volunteered to transcribe a letter here or there on to this median so people know what's going on with me.
Here's my address for the first 3 months of my training. I'll update when I know more.

Matthew Tice/PCT
P.O. BOX 21527

*I am likely to have email access on a very limited basis. I may not get to check this more than once every 5-6 weeks and so I would appreciate regular post mail much more.
Comments: 5 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

Time:10:17 pm.
I've left Missouri and I'm only a temporary visitor to New York. Let's go to Africa for a couple years. Ok?

List of things that must be done (part 2):

Finish and give senior research presentation (went fantastically, PhD Defense here I come)
Do group co-facilitation project
Pack (603 Apartment A is empty and unoccupied)
Graduate (Happy fiftieth annivesary Evangel)
Have yard sale (I made $153)
Throw out or give away what I can't sell (it's too bad I don't get to see everyone in their matt tice attire, but it was pretty amusing to come across 3 people in one day wearing my old shirts)
Attend surprise going away party I don't know about (thank you)
Drive back to NY
Buy Ipod, solar charger for Ipod
Buy low-top hiking boots, internal frame backpack, saddlebags for bike
Buy the last items on my list including a 2 year supply of socks and underwear
Collect all medical information
Make some final goodbye's
Fly to [Philly]
Fly to Zambia
Comments: 1 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Sunday, May 1st, 2005

Time:9:35 pm.
The time is 3:50am and I am dreaming about my orientation (staging) in philadelphia. I'm sitting in a room with the 19 other members of my team. We each have an identical bag, an Osprey Waypoint 60, the bag I bought last week. Everyone is emptying the contents of his or her bag and checking to see if everyone has the same things. I have significantly less gear than everyone else and they all assume I can't be taking this seriously because I'm not prepared. I begin to reach into my bag and the contents darken to the point where I can no longer see. My hands begin to change as I fish around in the bag, sure I will pull something out that will impress my team members. The skin turns a light brown, my fingers elongate and eventually my hands resemble corrugated cardboard more than appendages. My cardboard extremities are entirely inadequate for picking up anything from my bag.
At this point I wake up and spend the rest of the day occupying myself with anything but sleep. 18 hours later i'm losing steam.
Comments: 3 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

Time:6:47 pm.
Bats, black mambas, foot long milipedes, spitting cobras, scorpians, giant cockroaches, monitor lizards, spiders of various size and consequence. And thats just in my hut.
Man, this is going to be great.

I'm almost done with the bulk of this school stuff. My departure date has been moved up a day. I leave the 22nd now.
Comments: 6 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Monday, April 11th, 2005

Time:9:51 am.
That panicked feeling that resides in the back of throats, the base of spines, and the pit of stomachs has set up camp in my body. It is as though my body is aware of the impending doom that is poised to pounce on my exhausted frame if for one minute I allow myself to become waylaid by the future prospect of finishing school. It is at this point where I desperately want to forget about the mountains of responsibility currently at hand through final presentations, projects and papers.
I'm only mildly anxious about going to Zambia. Essentially, its all I think about and it takes up the majority of my conversation. It's much more a matter of me wanting to be done with school and just take off. I've maintained fairly good grades and worked hard thus far, so as terrible as it sounds, I really only feel like doing whats adequate to finish and nothing more. At this point, I don't have anyone i feel like i need to impress.
Everything I'm reading says that there's nothing I can really do to prepare myself for living in Zambia because it is such a different experience. I keep reading anyway because I think its stupid if walk in blind even if a book can't given me any practical application.

List of things that must be done (part 1):
Finish and give senior research presentation
Do group co-facilitation project
Have yard sale
Throw out or give away what I can't sell
Throw a party
Drive back to NY
Buy Ipod, solar charger for Ipod
Buy low-top hiking boots, internal frame backpack, saddlebags for bike
Collect all medical information
Not Flip Out
Fly to DC
Fly to Zambia

throw in a couple goodbyes here and there and thats my next month and a half.
Comments: 3 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Thursday, March 31st, 2005

Subject:for those who don't know- maize is corn
Time:8:24 pm.
"Using HIV/AIDS emergency plan funding, Peace Corps/Zambia is developing and implementing a new project focusing on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Twenty trainees will be invited to join the LIFE training program in May 2005, becoming the first full-cycle Volunteers to participate in this project. The program, delivered at the district and community levels, focuses on awareness, education, prevention, and nutrition as a means of reversing the tide in the HIV/AIDS epidemic."

I am one of these twenty people.

In less than two months time I'll be living in Zambia. It's funny, I've been walking around telling everyone I see today that I got my assignment and a fair deal are unsure what to say about Zambia.
People, there are lions in Zambia! Victoria Falls is the worlds tallest waterfall! The principle crop is maize! There will be a brand new HIV/AIDS program that I will be helping start! Its the size of Texas! It has a generally pleasant climate! It's named after the Zambezi river! There are 73 ethno-linguistic groups! I'm going to have my own mud and brick hut with a thatched roof! I probably will be living up to a day's drive away from a city! I'll eat nshima and kapenta!

Woah, thats a little too much excitement. I need to go take a shower or something.
Comments: 9 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Monday, March 28th, 2005

Time:8:47 am.
very soon i will be traversing oceans and settling in somewhere i've never been. in proper nature with the generations before me bent on humanitarian work and self discovery, i have joined the peace corps. i will be doing HIV/AIDS prevention and education in africa. i am leaving, tentatively, may 23rd. i hope to get a chance here or there to update this throughout my time as a volunteer. internet access may be rare, so my postings may be obnoxiously long and i apologize in advance, but i'll try to make them exciting. if they are not, i promise i'll make up stories of fighting boars barehanded, eating bush meat, and battling a pandemic.

if not sooner, i'll see you in a couple years.
when i get back i'll be 24.
Comments: 9 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Subject:just enough
Time:9:59 pm.
This morning I was awakened by a man in a crane seven feet outside my second story bedroom window with a chainsaw cutting down the tree in my front yard. He was supposed to be there, but it was startling nonetheless. One of the trees in my yard is dead and considering the amount of rain we have had this fall, it had begun to shed 25 pound branches like seasonal leaves into our front walkway. I was afraid that the deep gouges on the grass and dirt outside would soon be appearing in the skulls of neighborhood children or our mail carrier, so as sad as it is, it was time to have the tree removed.
Comments: 8 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Friday, February 13th, 2004

Subject:a coat of dust 1/2 an inch thick
Time:11:32 am.
i've neglected you for quite sometime, but i haven't really seemed to mind. eventually, everything just seemed to be contrived, or personal coercion. this is more of an excuse than an apology.

it's possible someday i'll write a massive summary of my current facts of life, but i really prefer never to promise.

i have a home here now.
i live with two blonds.
i work in the same place as before, just 1000 miles away. i'll probably come back to new york eventually, but in the recent future, only to visit.
i've built aspirations that lie in other countries.
i continue to like to wear brown and black (but green and red are nice too).
i'm learning that i never really figured out how to listen.
i still smell like coffee and matt.
i fairly certain i'm happy.
Comments: 4 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Sunday, April 13th, 2003

Time:1:34 am.
i lost my entire set of keys today but i don't really even care so much. i was busy flying a kite.
i'm an awkward fool, and today i turned twenty. but honestly, there are some people that make being a twenty year old awkward fool not such a bad thing.
Comments: 10 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Monday, April 7th, 2003

Subject:this is just stream of consciousness anyway
Time:1:39 am.
there was a period of the day last year where my former roommate's bed did not horde all the sunlight. from 3:30 till about 4:15 it crept through our window, underneath the musty pillow he refused to wash, through the cracks of his bed and splashed on the floor. if nathaniel was not around, i'd sit there on the carpet inside that small rectangle of light and read. next year ryan and i are moving back to that side of the building. i see my old roommate here on campus sometimes now. and i hope the occasional times when he's in the cafe for dinner are because he has a late class, and not because he's fighting with his wife. but it honestly wouldn't be too hard to imagine that to be the case though. i also see him in my race ethnicity and gender class. i really enjoy that class, not only for the content or the company, but for the professor. christa jenkins is a social worker with a cynical sense of humor and real compassion. i sort of want to be her for a little while. she is doing the sort of things i'd really like to do. working with people, stressful case by stressful case, with other similar pursuits. i have this other social work professor i'd like to introduce to my mother. lacey nunnally reminds me of my mother, but it could be the way she acts like a mother. speaking of my mother, her surgery finally has a date. this makes me relieved, for her.

occasionally we call and say goodnight. i probably sleep best on those occasions.
Comments: 2 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Tuesday, March 25th, 2003

Subject:blue and brown, and we're absolutely comfortable with that
Time:12:29 am.
there's a conversation between wisconsin and illinois that makes me more adult than i have ever been. this is an exquisite process.

you know, i never really feel like there's much to say in here anymore, even though there's probably plenty to report.
i have the worst cold sore i have ever had on my lower lip right now.
kate and i are together now.
but this is not really for new's sake, it's more just to get myself back in the swing of writing. it's an attempt.
Comments: 19 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Friday, February 28th, 2003

Subject:more states to add to my list
Time:12:50 pm.
southern road trip.
arkansas, tennessee, misssssisippi, louisiana, alabama.
details upon our return.
Comments: c'mon everybodys doing it.

Saturday, February 15th, 2003

Time:2:11 am.
she gave me six pairs of fresh new ankle socks. i told her once that there is few things that feel nicer than putting on a brand new pair of socks. so security called and said they had a package for me and when i picked it up i found that she listens to my nonsense.

cream of yellow squash soup
the '68 version of 'night of the living dead'
white face paint
one of our parties
new socks

-i had an excellent night.
Comments: c'mon everybodys doing it.

Sunday, February 2nd, 2003

Subject:"I'd like to talk with you about some developments"
Time:12:57 am.
there are things much more frightening than movies, mirrors in the dark, and being understood.
this night is bound to ring dull and constant with suspense. it's hot on my chest. heavy like a specter poised to snatch my breath.

"Call me sunday, we're not going to church."

Wednesday, January 29th, 2003

Subject:yes doug, a horror movie theme
Time:7:06 pm.
i'm the first one with a date to our next party. it's a horror movie theme on valentines day. but of course we can't be entirely antagonistic to the rest of the festivites around the country on febuary 14th. therefore we decided to include a preamble in order to attend the party. all those in attendance must bring a date of the opposite sex (obviouly it's not the most absolutely PC of preambles, but its true effectiveness lies in getting kim, doug, and i dates, that quite honestly, we probably wouldn't be bold enough to get independant of the party theme). -well maybe i should just speak for myself... yeah, speaking for myself; i have a date.
Comments: 7 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003

Subject:well timed phone calls in the nick of time
Time:12:13 am.
selling blood and telling lies. it doesn't work. so i left with my wallet the same weight it was before i went in, but feeling terribly convicted. i have had little to report lately. i am still here. recently i've been afraid that my conversation skills have been rather lacking. i've done a lot of analyzing and a lot of observing, not a lot of talking.
i'm just mature for my age. sort of.
Comments: 1 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

Tuesday, December 24th, 2002

Subject:a reliance on flattery while knee deep in dissent
Time:8:43 pm.
saturday night, in the midst of the confusion, i told my mother that i had been given hours at work in the evening. she responded by saying, "good, at least you'll get to escape this place for a while."
you see, at 7am this particular morning a pipe bomb packed with the nails and shrapnel of the emotional tension exploded. around ten, maybe nine, my father began throwing pillows at me to tell me what happened. being that this was my first chance to sleep in, in the last two very long weeks, i ignored him. once i woke up an hour later he explained the urgency of his pillow throwing. before i had even sat up, i was told that myron's station wagon had been stolen earlier that morning. myron, if you don't know, is the doctor who lives with his family in the apartment above ours with whom we co-own the house. this means he has the keys to all our cars, the keys to all the doors of our apartment, as well as all of the keys to his family practice around the corner from our house. these keys were in the ignition as it was stolen from the front of Manhattan Bagel when myron stepped out for 15 seconds to get a paper out one of those newspaper dispensors. so myron calls my dad to see if he can pick myron up. as my dad goes to his car he catches sight of something strange; the stolen car driving toward him on our street. being that buffalo rarely disappoints on a late december morning, my father's windshield is covered in a thick sheet of ice. he jumps in his frozen honda, bent on pursuit of the stolen car. i don't know what he planned to do if he caught up with the car, but he's pretty inventive so i figure he'd think of something. unfortunately we'll never know what he'd do because the ice was so thick there was no way he could safely chase down the stolen car. eventually after searching much of the westside, he returned home with a new kind of panic.
we had to change all of the locks in the house. no one likes the people they live with when their domestic security is jeopardized. we were all on edge, my father had us bend to his every frantic whim, convinced that solely he had to hold down the fort. my mother, frustrated with dad, escaped to do the family shopping far away from dad's frenzy. my sister just got angry at any attempt to communicate. i just steered clear, washed the dishes, and went to work. i think it's a lot easier not to get into a fight and keep to myself. so anyway here's where the deus ex machina, as some might say, comes in. the next day while i was at work (a stupid decision to work 9am-4pm, after i had gone 8pm-1:30am the night before) joyce, myron's wife, decided to drive down one of the worse streets on the lower westside just to see if she could come across the car. she went one block down busti street, and then there it was. the most important thing in the car, even over the keys or the ID that told where we lived, was a box of medical files on almost all of the hundreds of patients that myron had through his medical office. myron could have been in heaps of legal trouble if something was done to these files. so joyce carefully crept up, and took them out of the stolen car and put them in her van. she sped home and got my father and myron to call the police and retrieve the station wagon. less than 30 seconds after the police arrived they had to leave again on an important burglary call. after a little while they got bored waiting for the police to return so they did the only logical thing they could do . . . steal the car back.
so now it's christmas eve. we have new locks, new keys, a re-stolen car, a returning sense of security, and a lagging feeling of emotional consternation. and i'm home. sort of.
Comments: 14 couldn't resist - c'mon everybodys doing it.

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