Bots 11 people

For this part of my blog I decided to add some details about all of the wonderful people in my intake group of Bots 11 (that means all of you).  This way you all back in the states know who I am talking about when I reference people.  And for all you Bots 11s you can see if I have done a good job depicting you or not.

Let's see.  Alex is a female, a Taurus, likes long walks on the beach...just kidding.  She was one of my closest neighbors during PST, and is still fairly close compared to most others here in Bots.  I love hearing about the reading club she does with her kids.  And I think she wins the award for most courageous by letting Brandon but her hair and draw her tattoos for Halloween (pictured above).

Ashley is one of the funniest people in the group.  Hands down.  As an Ohio native (with an awesome way of proving it), she is one of the other Midwesterners in our group.  Unfortunately she lives kinda far from me so I don't see her as much as I would like.  She is also my pick for most adventurous as seen by her trying to climb in a vehicle at IST that we have no idea who owned it.

Becky already wins the award for best village name (translates to Cracked by Thunder).  She also wins the award for youngest of our group (thank you, otherwise it would be me).  I have some of my best conversations with Becky and she is so fun to talk to.  The award I give to Becky is, person's whose blog I am most likely to read.  Seriously, check it out.  I do frequently.  Also, secondary award of most likely to big spoon me.
Ashley may be one of the funniest, but Brandon is the funniest in the whole group.  He even used to do stand-up back in the states.  Another person who is a bit far away from, but always fun to see.  We ended up having language together at PST and he made it much more enjoyable.  I am awarding him most photogenic, as I just love the above picture.

Caitlin is from Maine.  And if you didn't already know that about her, then you don't know her at all.  She loves Maine.  And she loves taking pictures of herself.  Never ever give her your camera.  But I love you Caitlin!  And her award is a tie.  Hard choice between best tan, and most likely to talk about Maine.  So you get both.

Carol M.
Carol M. is one of our two Carols.  Also married to a John (just like the other Carol).  Carol M. and I have had a lot of fun playing cards.  Her and her husband taught me bridge.  I taught her euchre.  We have had some good exchanges there.  And while she is no longer in Bots, once a Bots 11, always a Bots 11.  Her award is, most likely to be pleasant while competing with someone (so nice, but still aggressive).

Carol R.
Carol R., or Carol Chicago, is fun.  Her and her husband have a house that is like a little America with all the packages they get, and they are always willing to share with people staying with them.  That alone puts her in the rank of awesome.  Plus, she knows where Gardner is.  That's right.  I give Carol the award of most knowledgeable about the state of IL.

Cassie is one of our two RPCVs in the group.  RPCV is Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.  She was doing this in Niger till the country had to be evacuated.  Yet she decided to stick with PC despite this and is now with us in Bots.  A native of Michigan, she wins the award for most likely to have mutual friends with me.  We already got two via Claire and Sean Fahey!

Celia is one of the two editors for our volunteer newsletter.  And when she is not doing that (or work) she spends her free time dressing up like Mary Poppins (I assume-I actually have no proof of this at all. This was just for Halloween).  I give Celia the award, most likely to yell at me for embarrassing photos I have of her.  I could have put them here, but I was nice.  :)

Oh Corey.  I could tell a lot of stories about events/parties we are at.  But I will refrain.  Instead I will just say he is committed.  Very committed.  To demonstrate this point would be his award.  Most likely to ruin clothing for a Halloween costume.  And since we don't have much clothing in Botswana, that is dedication.  The image of that tiny skirt made from khakis will scar me forever.

Dana is...well Dana.  It is hard to say more than that.  She is very unique, hilarious, and just plan awesome.  She stays in Moleps, and I probably crash with her more than anyone when I go shopping.  And we share a love of watching horrible movies.  She wins the award most likely to have people laughing hysterically about family stories.  Speaking of which, can't wait to meet her parents in October.

Danielle is one of the four volunteers in Moleps.  This means that I stay at her house more often than most people since that is my shopping village.  Danielle wins the award for most ridiculous situation.  She runs out of water frequently.  While this itself is not ridiculous, when you realize that she lives RIGHT NEXT to Water Utilities, that is ridiculous.

Most content solitaire player in our group.  I can't tell you how many times I saw her play that during PST.  And when you are supposed to prepare for living by yourself for two years, that is a huge skill to hone.  So Deedee wins the award for over-preparation in my book.  Unfortunately, another person kinda far so I don't see her that often.

Dom is just one of many shortened versions of Dominique that she goes by.  While I don't see her that often she still impacts my life when I see Dana and she makes me listen to R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet since it was in her head due to Dom making her listen to it.  Dom wins the award for hardest to contact since her village has really terrible cell service.  

Best hostess ever.  I love staying at Finda's house.  She is one of my closest neighbors, and happens to work in an office that I might one day need for funding.  And sometimes her office gives me rides to different places.  So many points of awesome, many of which I did not list here.  So I give Finda the award, swiss army knife for awesomeness.

Yup.  That is her riding a camel.  I barely ever get to see Hayley.  She (and Michael too) is literally the hardest person for me to get to out of our entire group based on distance.  She is very passionate about her work, has a huge interest in traditional healing, and is really fun to hang out with.  For her award I am going with, tallest person I have ever given a piggy back ride to.

Jan is the second oldest of all the Bots 11s.  But that does not stop her from doing anything she wants to do, like petting this camel.  As she is nearly a birthday twin with me.  Hers is July 4th as opposed to July 5th like mine.  Yet because of her birthday, I give her award for most patriotic.  I mean, what is more patriotic than being born on Independence Day?

John M.
One of the 3 Johns.  He was an RPCV in South America when Peace Corps was still in the early days.  And one of the people I can speak Spanish to.  Now, he and Carol are no longer in Bots, but they are still doing awesome things.  In fact, his award is person I am most jealous of.  He is doing the Camino de Santiago in Spain, something I have wanted to do ever since I studied there.

John O.
He has already won one award in Bots 11.  And that is husband of the year.  When his with Tracy broke herself getting out of a combi during IST, he carried her on his back for days before they got a wheelchair.  Also, he is one of the few people as nerdy as I am.  As such, he is one of the people I talk to most.  His award, most enthusiastic dance moves.  Love the pictures of him fist pumping.

John R.
John R. is married to Carol R.  But they don't have the same last name.  John has a lot of passion and intensity for his work.  But the really cool stuff about John is what you would never expect.  Like that above. He is an expert potter.  Because of things like that I give John the award for most hidden talents.  Plus he lived in Salamanca for a year!

Julia wins the award for most likely to guilt me into a run.  So many mornings in Kanye that I did not want to run, yet I had to since she was my running buddy.  5:15am during the summer.  Just that alone gives Julia a lot of dedication.  And anytime we have a training we are still running.  Plus, while we run we have the best conversations.

To give you an idea about Karla let me tell a quick story.  She was the only one to get to skip the passport check in South Africa on the way to Botswana.  Yeah.  She also has one of the best houses in PC.  Microwave, tv, washing machine, hot shower.  I give Karla the award for most likely to say something inappropriate with a smile on her face, for many stories that I will not say here.

Lynn always has something positive to say.  Especially in her blog.  She likes to tell funny stories, and is working on writing a book about her PC experience.  Lynn is someone who I can best describe as willing to try anything.  I award Lynn the award for most uplifting blog.  You can check it out here:

Majorie has been called the "super" volunteer by many in our group.  And it is totally true.  She gives us a ton of information about potential projects/tools.  Whether it be SMC doctors, grassroots soccer, or pushing forward on the STEPS training, Majorie is all over it.  Also, she will drink Crackling with me.  Majorie wins the award for most perky, she just always seems happy.

Best life stories ever.  I want to be half as cool as Mia when I am in my 30s.  Whenever I see Mia I just want to say "tell me more about your life."  Also, she is one of the few people who would drink vodka with me over beer anyday.  Thank you Mia for representing class.  Mia wins the award for best dance moves.  She can put anyone to shame.

Michael and I love to read the same type of books.  Every time we talk to each other there is always at least a few minutes of recommended reading.  As a person who loves to read this is invaluable.  Unfortunately he is also out there in Tsabong, so I barely get to see him.  I award him most likely to start a book club with me in it.

How do you describe someone who dresses up like Quailman for Halloween?  I still am not entirely sure.  Nate holds the distinction of first person from Bots 11 I ever met face to face since he was my roommate in Philly. Nate wins (or loses-depending on your perspective) the award for most likely to get sick.  Seriously Nate, what ever are you doing to yourself?

Rachel is probably the only person in our group with a house smaller than mine.  It is one room.  If she has guests people need to leave the house when others bath.  At least I have two rooms with a door in between. I love talking to Rachel, it is just always enjoyable.  And while I know many stories about her, I will just allude to one of them with her award, most likely to get lost.

Rose is my closest neighbor in Botswana being stationed at Salajwe.  She was also the first volunteer to see my house.  She also has the distinction of being the only Bots 11 to have ever been to Botswana before we came here for Peace Corps.  Her award is most likely to buy stores out of Salticrax.  In her defense those crackers are delicious.

Shannon is sarcastic.  And I love sarcasm.  Therefore I love Shannon.  She is out yonder in Ghanzi so I don't see her often, but when I do I always enjoy the experience.  Some great life stories, and astounding wit make Shannon just awesome.  And shout out to Karla for the inspiration for this award.  Most likely to look like a deer in headlights in photos.

First of all, Sheb is the one in the middle in the blue dress.  She is with a bunch of LCFs  from our training in Kanye.  Her site is close to Kanye, and whenever I talk to her I know she loves her job immensely.  Sheb wins the award for most likely to steal an animal.  She loves animals.  She even tried to barter for a dog I found at the first Youth Forum.

Supriya is the object of tons of affection from the locals.  Anytime she is with other women the men always gravitate towards her.  Sounds like a blessing, but really it isn't.  It just makes life annoying and harder to work.  She is incredibly nice, unless you wake her up at 5am, then look out.  Due to the undying affection she gets, I award her most likely to have to put up with crap.

Tracy is my small house.  Rather, I am her small house.  Hayley's small house too for that matter.  A small house is the secondary lover of a person in Botswana.  Tracy is one of the people I can always count on to play cards with (and since she comes with a husband we already have 3 out of 4 for euchre!).  The award Tracy wins is most likely to mess with me, which she does o so often.

Yami will hurt you.  Make a joke about her size and she will hurt you.  And she is deceptively strong.  She is often mistaken as the youngest in our group, since in Botswana size and age are often associated together.  But alas she is older than me.  Feisty and fun would be the best way to sum up Yami.  Her award is most likely to be the last one still asleep the morning after a party.  


  1. You coulda explained why I look like that in my picture!!!

  2. Karla looks like that since she was dressing up as Corey for Halloween. Better?