Thursday, October 3, 2013

Listen with Your Ears, Hear with Your Heart

Hey all! I am well aware that I am way overdue for a blog post. Life is moving along quickly here in Serowe as we prepare to wrap up training and move to our new sites. Hard to believe that we have been here nearly two months and our intensive training is almost over. 

First things first, I'd like to share with you more about the village I will be living in. Two weeks ago, we had a large site announcement ceremony where we found out where we will be moving to. We were called up one-by-one, read a proverb that announced where we would be going and then placed our name on a map of Botswana so we coulld see where everyone was going. My proverb read, "Listen with your ears, hear with your heart in.... Kumakwane!". I was second to be called up and shaking so badly that I dropped my envelope. It was a weird sensation holding in my hands where I will be living for two years but having had no say in that decision. Talk about placing your fate in someone else's hands.

Kumakwane is only 20k outside of the capital, Gaborone, which means access to everything I need! As if I didn't already hit the jackpot, my house has electricity and running water which are amenities I really was not expecting to have. It's crazy how grateful I have already become for what are basic utilities back home.  I got placed in a junior secondary school there.  I got placed in a junior secondary school there. I really wanted to be in a JSS to work with kids that are at a vulnerable and impressionable age. My students will be ages 13-16 and I will be working with the guidance and counseling chair as my counterpart. Last week, we had a supervisor workshop where our counterparts and supervisors came for a two day workshop. The man that came from my school was eloquent, ambitious, laid-back and kind. He shared with me that I will not only be working closely with the students in the guidance department but I will also be working closely with the social worker in the village. In addition, they are currently working to open up a rehabilitation center and he wants me to have a strong hand in heading that up. I really believe that I got the absolute perfect placement possible for my experience and skill set. That being said, my spirits are HIGH and I cannot wait to get to site in just 11 short days! 

Leaving Serowe will be tough as it has really started to feel like home. Not only do I have a nice and comfortable home with a loving host mom but I get to see my friends who feel like family everyday. A few days ago, my mom (who speaks little English) and I were having breakfast and she randomly said "I don't like 15th of October. I don't like it." October 15th is the day we move to site. I will miss her and hope to visit her throughout my service but am ready to have my own space and regain my independence. 

On an unrelated note, I got a care package from home yesterday along with a handful of letters throughout the past weeks. I can't even begin to describe to you the charge and excitement in the room when we get mail. It makes us feel connected to our lives back home and reassures us that we aren't forgotten about. That being said, I hope to get my new mailing address within the next few days and will post it immediately. 

I'm hoping that moving to site will also grant me with some stability and routine and I can better maintain this blog. Thanks for your patience with me as I figure out how to navigate my new Botswana life.

Go siame (goodbye) for now! 

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