Dumalang borra le bomma! That’s hello ladies and gents, to those of you not yet schooled in Setswana! I cannot believe how much has happened in the last 72-ish hours of my life! As a result, this blog may be a little disjointed! Here’s a rundown of my last couple of days:
April 10/Day 1: Spent the morning driving to Philly from DC with a dear friend.
12:00-7:00pm: Staging—a brief run-down/get-to-know-you session with your Peace Corps Class and some stateside PC staff.
7:00-8:00pm: Waiting to check in for hotel room.
8:15pm: Informed that there was an error and that
I and one fellow volunteer actually don’t have a room. The beginning of my education in one of the big 3 PC values: rid yourself of expectations! Pfft, who needs a bed anyway—I’ve got my sleeping bag and all my gear, right?
8:30-ish: Situation resolved, received cot in the room of a pair of kind volunteers. Decided to forgo dinner; too much stress and…(see next event)
April 11/ Day 2: 1:20am Yes, 1:20 am. Woke up.
1:45am Checked out of hotel.
35-ish hours of transit to Botswana, which included a 3 hour bus ride to JFK from Philly, waiting for 5 hours in JFK for plane to board, 15 hour flight to Jo’berg, an 8 hour layover in Jo’berg, 45 minute flight to Gaborone, and a bus ride to our lodge.
7:30-10pm-ish: Checking in hotel/brief orientation.
Today/rest of week, lots of training, but some downtime in the evening…Friday move in with host family! AHH!
So here are a few quick observations:
Peace Corps Volunteers are pretty much the coolest people ever…LOVE everyone I’ve met, so genuine, caring, great senses of humor and perspective on life…love it!
Language training is awesome so far. I SUCK at learning languages, but I feel like I might actually be able to pick this up—they break us up into small groups of 4-ish and put us with an instructor who is FULL of patience and creative teaching skills…don’t know much so far, but it’s the first time I’ve felt optimistic about my chances of learning! Fingers crossed!
Botswana is SO beautiful. Gabs (short for Gaborone, where we are now) is so much more lush and green than I ever expected, and there are actually…I won’t say “mountains” but definitely some big hills which make the landscape even more beautiful. Arriving in fall is excellent, because the weather is just dreamy, and so far the mosquitoes haven’t been as bas as I’ve feared (although I know it’ll get worse).
The dirt is all red here! Pretty, but I can see how it will get tiring once I have to wash all of my clothes. It also smells really different here, really pretty. I don’t know if it’s the vegetation or something else, but it’s nice…
Although we haven’t had much exposure to the Batswana people, they seem really nice—lots of smiling and laughing; I LOVE that!
I got to go for a run/workout with a few volunteers…it was SO excellent…it’s kind of cool because it’s like…”hey, guess what I’m doing right now. Running. In Africa. Yeah. Africa.” Hehe.
Food hasn’t been an issue yet, but only time will tell on that one. Already missing chocolate a bit. ;o)
We’re definitely still in the cushy easing-us-in stage—nice hotel with running water and internet (expensive) and a TV, so I think it still hasn’t quite hit me. I sort of just have vague feelings of excitement and being totally overwhelmed lurking in the background. I can’t tell whether the whole shock hasn’t set in, or whether it just doesn’t feel as strange as I expected it to. I actually do feel a lot of sadness and homesickness—I really didn’t expect to feel so much so soon…darn you guys for being so awesome and making me miss you!! Anyway, I apologize for the long disjointed mess that this blog has been, but I’m alive and you all love me soooo much that I’m sure you don’t mind, right?! Hehe ;o) I have NO idea how often I’ll have access to the web, or how much I’ll be able to do when I’m online (here you pay based on time, and it’s not cheap; plus our training schedule is INtense), but I’ll do my best to stay in touch!