Well so it is now my second and last birthday that I will be celebrating during Peace Corps. This past year has definitely been more jam-packed than the one before it. By the time I turned 23 I had yet to leave Botswana, taken no vacations, and had no major work projects successfully get off the ground. In this past year I have travelled around quite a bit of Southern Africa. I have been to different parts of Botswana (especially considering my moving villages), travelled to: Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and back to the US, have written a novel, ran a marathon and finally had some great work successes.
So for a blog post to commemorate the past year I am going to focus on the positive things that I have accomplished in this past year, both personally and professionally.
Work successes: I have had two big ones in this category (one at each of my sites). In my current village of Gamodubu you might remember that at the end of the first Term our school finished putting a library together. Well, Term 2 just ended and I am proud to say that so far the library has been very successful. We have had more than 60 kids check out well more than 100 books in just about a month’s time. With this term being the shortest one (and I being missing for a good portion) I expect this number to rise higher next term.
The other success I just learned about the other day from a project I left at my old site in Kaudwane. I was working on a school garden with a teacher there and right before I moved sites we had sent off some requests for donations to get it running better. Well, that teacher called me the other day to tell me that a few months back the school received 15000 pula to help make the garden work! With that money shade netting has been bought and put up, new tools were also purchased to work the soil and with the remaining balance they are bringing in a specialist to examine the soil and provide assistance in making the soil yield more. It is always a huge goal of Peace Corps to see if a project will be sustainable when you leave (and one most people do not get to see first-hand) so this was really exciting to see happen!
Personal successes: Huh. I realize I already used a bunch of my personal successes up in my intro for this blog. Whoops. Well there is still one other thing I have not mentioned. I have finally figured out a firm direction for my graduate studies and the list of schools I am applying to. I am applying for Gender based programs where I plan to focus on sexual orientation and gender roles and how both societal attitudes and laws regarding these distinctions hinder equal opportunities for people. The schools I am looking at are Loyola (Chicago), University of Washington (Seattle), the United Nations University for Peace (Costa Rica) and University of San Francisco (guess where?).
Yet to go: This part is more a reminder to myself about things I still need to do to accomplish my personal goals from my post entitled Goal 4 back in February. I still need to edit the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I also need to finish my 300 books. I can say that I have less than 50 to go, so I think I can still do it.
And well, I think that is it for today. I am planning to put up another post on Sunday to mark a different milestone that happens to fall very close to my birthday.