Sunday, January 29, 2012


Howdy again ya’ll! 

Thought that since I have access to internet this week I might as well just update this one more time for the end of IST.  And I realized that I forgot a little bit to include in my last post.  So let’s do the Time Warp (insert Rocky Horror joke here) and head back a couple weeks.

So the week before IST we had a bit of a shortage at sight.  A teacher shortage.  We are still waiting as far as I know for two temporary teachers to be assigned by the government.  And two weeks ago the school head, Senior Teacher Guidance/Standard 1 Teacher/My counterpart, and one of the two Standard 7 teachers went to a week-long training.  So back in Kaudwane we had 6 teachers and me.  We are supposed to have ten teachers since three of the Standards (1, 2, and 7) are big classes.  So with only 7 of us total we each took one of the Standards for the week.  So I taught Standard 5 all week.  In nearly every subject (barring CAPA and Setswana).  I even taught have a lesson of Religious and Moral education.  But I focused with them mostly on Math, Science, Social Studies, English, and Agriculture. 

And I must say, you learn a lot about classroom management when you are thrust into a situation when you are teaching students who have English as a 4th language.  Eish!  But all in all I did survive the week, despite it being the most hectic of my life.  Because in addition to teaching Standard 5 I also started my first Life Skills lessons with every class.  So I also had to run around to 6 other classes during the week doing half-hour lessons.  And I still don’t know if we have a Standard 5 teacher yet.  I hope we do. 

But anyway, for IST.  It has been a bit of a hassle overall.  I did get to see everyone, and had a great time, but I am frustrated that I had to miss a week of work when it was just starting to pick up.  But at least I am getting my rent money on Tuesday, along with my Youth Forum reimbursement.  And they just announced that the Ministry of Education is now asking us to go to a 2 week long training for just the Life Skills volunteers starting the last week of Feb.  And we have Peace Corps regional in between.  So now I feel like I am hardly spending any time a site, which is agitating.  But you have to be flexible I suppose. 

Anyway, short one, but I wanted to abuse the internet while I had it.

P.S. Sorry to Tracy for breaking your foot the first day of IST.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hello 2012!

Well this may be a little late, but compliments on the New Year!  That is the phrase used in my village at least instead of Happy New Year.  Also, belated Merry Christmas and an early happy birthday to Uncle Tom! 

It has been a long and mostly slow month since my last post.  December does not have much going for it in terms of work.  Everyone takes leave.  And they do not come back to work till after the New Year.  But on the plus side with all of that free time I have done a ton of reading.  Speaking of which, did you know there are 40 books written about the Land of Oz? 

Anyway, Christmas was quite unexciting so I am actually just going to skip right over it, but I hope you all stateside had a nice Christmas.  It was weird being in the middle of summer for a season I am used to having snow during.  The real fun this side came for New Years.  I actually managed to struggle to stay awake till midnight thanks to some help for the Leopard Ecology people at Khutse.  And yes, it is a struggle to stay up till midnight when you usually get up at 5 and are in bed by 9 each day.  We had a cookout, enough alcohol to enjoy ourselves, a little archery contest, and the like.  The next day we went on an afternoon game drive in Khutse (which was my first time in the reserve too!).  That was hot, but we got to see some pretty cool animals (no lions or leopards though). 

As far as work goes the school year just started last week so we are still working on getting things going.  But for the positives I think we found a place to donate shade netting for the school garden, and the teachers and I are putting together a Life Skills time slot in the curriculum.  While the end goal the government wants for the program is infusion throughout all classes, you have to walk before you can run, so just having some time each week with each class is a great start.  We launched it this past week, but this was just the introductory lesson and now I am away at IST for two weeks so it will be a little while before the program is up and running fully. 

And now we come to the present.  IST.  Positive: I will have more access to internet than the past month.  Negative: Leaving right when things are getting going.  Positive: A shower and cold drinks.  You have absolutely no idea how good these are unless you have gone for about a month without either.  So yes, I still have no fridge.  But one day.  And bathing in a bucket just is not the same as a shower, so the one I had today was just phenomenal.  But for PCVs our IST marks the end of the Community Assessment phase which most people consider to be the hardest part of service.  And since all of us are still around from my group (unless I am completely out of the loop that is) we are doing pretty good. 

The fact that I don’t have anything else to add to this after a month of no posts just goes to show how boring December is in Botswana.  But I will end with a few thank yous.  Thanks for all the packages and letters I have gotten so far: dad, grandma and Aunt Shirley, Aunt Rose and Uncle Tom, Brandon, Aunt Jackie, Kaylynn, Leah, LB, Beam, and I am probably forgetting a few (sorry).  And thank you Ben and Annie for the New Years video you made.  It was fantastic.

Look for pictures soon!  And if I have time maybe another video, although I don’t know what about yet.