I hope everything is going great for you all back stateside. I miss everyone and everything about home every single day! Please know that even though it is difficult at times for me to stay in touch, I think of you everyday and I love you all so much.
Life here continues to get better as we adjust and feel more at home in this foreign place. I spent the last week shadowing a current volunteer who is 17 months into her service and living in Jwaneng, a large mining village. Christina just so happened to graduate from Mentor High (the school my parents, aunts and uncles went to) and went to Miami University making my PC family that much more connected. That is my third PC connection to someone back home. One other volunteer is family friends with a neighbor of ours and another went to high school with my brother-in-law's sister went to high school with another fellow volunteer. Hence the title of this blog, it truly is a small world after all. Even though all 58 of us (down from 61 as 3 volunteers have already left us early) come from all over the US and every different background imaginable, we still find our connections. This group truly has already become a family.
Back to shadowing, Christina works at one of the only orphanages in Botswana and I got to see her day-to-day life and get a grasp of what my life will be like come October when I arrive at site. We ate the most delicious food I have ever had (probably a result of eating traditional Botswana food for the past month) and were able to regain some of the independence that we lose while living with a host family. It was also great to meet different volunteers and chat with them about what Peace Corps Service has meant to them. The overwhelming feeling I have after talking with them is that my service will be what I make it. I heard time and time again that low lows will come and you will question why you are here, but high highs will follow. After my week away, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the last half of Pre-Service Training. I feel more prepared than ever (not saying much) to take on the challenge of spending two years away from home, living remotely and doing my best to tackle my work.
Site announcement is this week. It is an extremely exciting time for us. I can't wait to know where I will be living, what amenities I will have (fingers crossed for electricity) and which friends I will be living by. Come Thursday, I will finally have some clarity. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to it! Keep all 58 of us in your thoughts, if you can, as it will be both an exciting and challenging time.
For now, I will leave you. Enjoy that fall weather creeping in. It is only the start of summer here and today the high was 97.
Hugs and kisses from 8,000+ miles away!