Saturday, April 28, 2012

Traveling opens new windows to the world

I'm sorry it has taken so long for me to update!
I only have 11 minutes left on my internet time so I'll make this a rather quick update to my life the past few weeks.

I'm currently living in a village called Kanye.  It is "winter time" and although the nights get pretty chilly, the weather is quite tolerable!
I'm staying with a 79 year old woman and her 102 year old mother! I do most of the cooking and as such have learned to make many local meals consisting of sourghum, mealy meal, brown flour, and other yummies found throughout the village center.
I'm learning more and more in Setswana, in fact, my given Setswana name is "Kitso Nare".
-->Kitso meaning knowledge
-->Nare meaning buffalo
Haha! I've learned that keeping a good sense of humor has the ability to tackle any situation.
Next week I will be able to shadow another volunteer in the northern region of the country! Because I'm traveling to a region found "above the malaria line" I have to begin taking Mefloquin to prevent from getting the nasty disease!

I miss everyone on a daily basis, but I am staying very safe and making many new friends.

In fact, being a "likoa" here (white person) kind of makes me quite the celebrity.  I've had people ask me anything from "Do you know Obama" to "What is Arnold Schwarzenegger like?". I only went to the local supermarket twice but by the third time I was there, people kept calling me their "tsala" or friend.

Luckily for me, a smile goes a very long way in Botswana.  When I don't know what people are saying, I just smile and they laugh and pat me on the back.

As for my living conditions, I've learned to master the "bucket bath" technique in which I heat up my water in a pale on the fire in our backyard, lug it into the bathroom in a different bucket and then proceed to bathe with it.

I'm so excited for this adventure I'm living.  In fact, I think it's finally seeping in that I'm living in Africa.

Ga go na mathata (no worries)

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Changing the world" camp

Well, it's now safe to say that I'm officially considered a Peace Corps trainee!

Today marks my second day in Philadelphia, and my successful completion of staging.  Can you believe it? Tomorrow morning (at 2a.m.) We're heading to JFK on a bus and flying to Johannesburg, South Africa.  After a few hour layover, we finally head out to Gaborone, Botswana.

My roommate and newly acquired best friend Tate and I have been in almost a state of denial, to the point where, during training, we would look at each other and assure ourselves that this indeed was real life.  I can hardly believe it...I am moving to Africa on Wednesday. 

Real life.

I can't say this transition has been easy. In fact, reading through all of the comments on my facebook status have left me teary eyed more times than not.  But I can say that I've finally come to terms with the fact that this is where I need to be. 

Honestly, I'm already homesick and it's only the second day out. 

We just ate our last American meal, by the way.  Mexican food, ((you KNOW it!)) Hahaha, I had a chile relleno (delicious) and about three margaritas.  God Bless the U.S.A.  I'm gonna miss that Mexican food....on the real.  Pretty sure they don't sell that in Botswana...

Real life.

My heart hurts, and I'm only two days in!!

But, if I were to leave any words to assure you (and me) that everything is going to be okay, I'll take it straight from the lips of the Peace Corps founder, and the greatest president the US ever had, John F. Kennedy:

"Life in the Peace Corps will not be easy. There will be no salary and allowances will be at a level sufficient only to maintain health and meet basic needs. Men and women will be expected to work and live alongside the nationals of the country in which they are stationed—doing the same work, eating the same food, talking the same language.

But if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and satisfying. For every young American who participates in the Peace Corps—who works in a foreign land—will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace."

-John F. Kennedy


Time to spread peace and friendship worldwide!!
!!!!REAL LIFE!!!!

ps. please remember if you don't hear from me in a couple weeks...no news is good news!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Four Days Left

Four more days!

Four more days and it still doesn't feel like reality...I had one of the best going-away parties I could ask for last Sunday.  My friends and family who were here warmed my heart so greatly, I felt so honored to have so many amazing people in my life. 
Pictures will be up soon.

On that note, I was looking through the pictures of our cruise a couple weeks ago and had a mini-meltdown.  Where did the time go?  Often, while I'm trying to sleep at night and the blackness has enveloped my room, I'm taken aback at the fact that my dad came home more than a month ago and I still feel as if I haven't had enough time with him, or my mom, or Geoff, or anyone else for that matter.  So many things are happening right now at home that I almost feel obligated to stay.

But then I remind myself why I'm doing this, and find solace in the fact that I'll see my whole family on Sunday one last time for Easter.  If there were any better time to go, it would have been last week so I wouldn't have to go through all these goodbyes...
I'm really dreading the goodbyes....

I know these mixed feelings are a production of all of the anticipation I'm feeling, and I promise to post more positively throughout the course of this adventure, but right now my emotions are careening on a roller coaster.  One minute I can't contain my excitement, the next I want to break into tears.

My parents bought me an external hard drive for the computer, so I've downloaded a DVD ripping program and plan to take that with me to help fill the gaps of emptiness.  And I broke my "We're Back" DVD (Super sad face...)

But other than that, I'm going horseback riding today with Hannah, to kind of clear my head, and line dancing tonight for her bday.  I've finally moved all my stuff in from the garage from Tucson (finally, right?) and am saving packing for tomorrow.  At least that gives me my weekend to be worry-free. 

Four more days....here goes the best four days left in Colorado!!!

Be kind to one another =)