Thursday, July 12, 2012

23 things for a 23 year old

In commemoration of turning 23 recently, I present a list somewhat similar to what I did for my six month mark. However, instead of varying lists of top 6’s, here is one list of top 23 memorable moments so far in Bots.  Remember, memorable does not mean good necessarily.  A few of these are repeats, but plenty are new.

23.  Getting sick from the water at Rocklane Lodge-This was the first time that I ever really got sick in Botswana.  So it makes the list, but not at the high end.  And before anyone asks, the water in Bots is fine.  This lodge was low on water and storing it in dirty tanks, hence why I got sick.
22.  New Years-First, and up till now only, time I have gone into Khutse Game Reserve.  Sure it was cool, but not the right season to see a lot of animals, and I didn’t see a lion or leopard.
21.  Village name-So village names in Botswana usually mean something.  Mia’s village of Metsibotlhoko means “painful water.”  Becky’s village, Hatsalatladi, wins the award for best name, “Cracked by thunder.”  So when I finally found out my village name I was…disappointed.  Kaudwane means “old skin.”  Yeah, Becky gets cracked by thunder and I am stuck with old skin. 
20.  The first night I felt cold-OH MY GOD!  This was amazing.  After months of trying to just not sweat while sleeping I finally felt cold.  Thank you winter!
19.  Standing-No, not standing on a bus or hitch.  I mean the evil, painful standing PC staff made us do right after we got to Bots.  They didn’t want us to get jetlagged so when we were in Gabs for the night we had to do skits and weren’t even allowed to sit until 8pm.  GRRRRRRR!
18.  Abby’s farewell party-This is memorable to me for two different reasons.  First, it signaled the departure of Bots 9.  They were the first group we saw leave.  Secondly, it made Bots 11 Life Skills volunteers the oldest group of Life Skills people (not including John Rusiecki in his 4th year and Mary Konege’s 3 month extension).
17.  PMS workshop-Another painful one.  This exemplified the Batswana ability to take forever to do things.  A 2 day workshop lasted 2 weeks!!!!  But, it may be beneficial to my service down the line since I got what I wanted in our school’s strategic plan.  The question is will it be followed…
16.  Python sighting-Ah snakes.  I see too many of you.  I mentioned this one once before, but seeing a python that had swallowed a goat is too amazing not to list twice.
15.  The wrong way hitch-This was the biggest test of my patience so far.  And I mentioned it once before under my post about the types of hitches.  So if you want more details refer to that.
14.  Running in Kanye-Every morning with Julia, and some mornings with the dog from my home stay.  Fun, and a great way to start the days.  Especially the course we had to the top of the giant hill.
13.  Caltex bar-I am sure this bar has a real name, but I don’t know it.  And even if I did, I wouldn’t call it that.  This is the place that a lot of our intake went to in Kanye after long days of PST to unwind, chat, and get to know each other better.  We even threw a birthday party there. 
12.  The paint can-My butt still hurts thinking about this.  Hitching to Letlhakeng and everyone in the back of this truck is sitting on paint buckets.  We hit a huge bump, I get air, and come back down wrong and bruise myself for weeks.  OUCH!
11.  Swearing in-The day that training stopped and I actually reached the point of being able to call myself a Peace Corps Volunteer.  I mean, it will always be memorable for obvious reasons.
10.  Getting rent-UGH!  First big instance of having to deal with government.  It took 2 days, and several offices just to get the money to pay my landlord.  Four months late no less.  And with how often I have been doing claims lately, I can easily say I learned a lot from this experience and am wiser for it.
9.  Site announcement-This is my most memorable moment from PST, even more than the end of it at Swear in.  I mean, this was the day I learned where I would spend the next two years of my life.  And I will always remember telling Rachel who was sitting next to me when we were waiting to get our sites that I wanted the one right under the game reserve.  And about 15 minutes later, I got it!
8.  Mass exorcism-This one is probably raising a few eyebrows.  Well, I went to another Youth Forum last week, this time in Salajwe.  Well the last two days were just a bunch of exorcisms.  The first time they did it they locked over 200 people in the main hall (blocked the doors with tables) and did “deliverances” to root out the demons that some Satanists attending the event had called to corrupt the children.  4 of the participants were the Satanists (and rumor has it one facilitator too).  It was honestly a very scary experience (even though I was not in the room luckily-but I could still hear it).  I won’t put any more details about it here, but if you want to know more send me an email:
7.  First funeral-So far I have only gone to one funeral.  But because of it I can say that I have aided in burials on two continents thanks to my summer working for the City of Grand Rapids at Oak Hill Cemetery.  A weird claim to be sure.
6.  Showing kids Skype-There was one weekend where I was skyping Ryan at the computer lab at school and some of the kids were around.  They were able to meet someone else from America, who was actually in America at the time.  It was really cool to see.
5.  Killing a snake-Really, this is the 3rd time it has made an appearance in my blog.  If that does not mean I find it memorable, nothing does.
4.  Dirt eating-When having a girls’ soccer practice was the first time I saw this.  A girl was hungry so she just ate dirt to fill her stomach.  I couldn’t believe it.  It was so heartbreaking to see people be so hungry that they resort to eating dirt.
3.  The sky-During the day it is just so vast.  And during the night even more.  Almost every night I can see the Milky Way.  Simply breathtaking. 
2.  Getting the gas for the fridge-This is memorable because it taunts me every day.  I received thegas for my fridge back in November.  As of today I STILL DON’T HAVE THE FRIDGE!
1.  Driving to site-And this is my number one.  The very first time I ever got to my site.  After dropping of Corey we took a fire break line past Salajwe, then turned to Kaudwane.  I got to see ostriches on the road, and in general my breath was just taken away with the thought that I would be living here for the next two years.  Nothing so far has been able to compare with that initial moment of seeing your site.  Sure, finding out where you are going is memorable, but it can’t hold a candle to actually seeing it.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post! I'm glad that you're able to have some good memories and are continuing to do well :) Have you received my package yet?

  2. Thank you, Adam, for writing. What stands out immediately: eating dirt and the python that swallowed the goat. I might have to show one or two of these in I&E this fall to stir some imagination. What do you think?

  3. Oops. By "these," above, I mean your postings in general -not just a couple of the "Top 23." What a way to start thinking about I&E. Sigh.

  4. Ashley, glad you enjoyed the post. There will be a new page coming in the next few days! I will post when that happens. Also, no package yet. I will check the post office when I get back from Durban. And Molly, feel free to use my posts for your I&E class as you see fit. Pictures are fair game too.

  5. Happy, Happy, Birthday Adam! Life has just begun! Hope you had a great one! Lynn