Botswana, Africa

Botswana, Africa
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this blog are our personal views and are not representative of the Peace Corps or the U.S. government in anyway.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A new home away from home.

The past few days we have been visiting our new home in Mmadinare. It is a nice hilltop village town just north of the town of Phikwe. Phikwe is a major town with many stores and restaurants... they even have sidewalks in town! This is a huge thing for Botswana. I am working with Mmadinare Childrens Corner Trust, which is a preschool that deals with kids who have been affected by HIV, especially those orphaned and vulnerable children. It is not exactly what I wanted but it will make my days much easier to deal with since I will be playing with kids all day. Lindsey actually has a pretty good office which seems to be pretty well organized. I think all in all we will have the opportunity to make a big impact on the community. The town is completely surrounded by hills in every way so I think we will have the opportunity to get out in the wilderness quite often. There is a large reservoir in town, actually the largest in all of Botswana so this makes me happy since I have seen very little water since arriving in the country. That's it for me here's Lindsey- so my placement is with the S and CD office in Mmadinare. That stands for social and community development and it is basically a social work office similar to what we have at home. There are many differences I am sure, but overall I felt very comfortable with the position because my past experience has been similar. My supervisor seemed like a really nice person and she took me on a home visit (or should I say 'hut' visit) on the first day and told me about an interesting case she is working on right now. I think I will also do some work with Mark's NGO since I like to work with young kids and I am interested in the support groups that they run for the orphaned kids. As you can see from the picture we got to finally see our house. It is pretty small, but we will make it work. We have electricity and hot running water with an indoor bathroom. Some other volunteers don't even have that so we should be really happy about that! There are a few volunteers that have huge houses that seem like mansions to us now! It is all just luck what you get in the end. Our village is also about 1 hour away from one of the major cities in Botswana called Francistown. There is an international airport there that visitors can fly into easily so keep it in mind! That's all for now...soon we will have internet connection in our house with a portable modem so we will look forward to keeping in touch with everyone.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pictures later....

Sorry the internet messed up and I wasn't able to download the pictures I was talking about in the blog. We will do it next time we get to the internet!

Our tripsand random stuff...

Hello everyone! It's time for another update I guess. We have been pretty busy the past few weeks. We took a trip to the other side of Botswana for a chance to 'shadow' some current Peace Corps Volunteers, Shelly and Chris. We went to Hukutsi which was about a 6 hour bus ride west into the Kalahari dessert. It was pretty cool to see a different part of Botswana and the Kalahari is a pretty sweet dessert to go to so we were happy about that. Plus we had a great time with our hosts (thanks guys!) who gave us lots of interesting advice about being a PCV and living in Botswana. I almost forgot to say the funniest thing that happened while we were there! We were invited to a goat slaughtering! I couldn't watch at first but really that goat had a good life. The animals run around free here ( I have no idea how the owners keep track of their animals because they seriously wonder all around town) until the day comes when they die. Mark took a lot of pictures of this whole thing from beginning to end where they skinned it and everything. I will only post a few so I don't make anyone sick! We also tired the local beer which is called Shake Shake and is really gross! It is really cheap and most people are embarrassed to buy it because it is mostly associated with drunks and poor people. The funny thing is that it can keep making you more drunk after you think it because it continues to ferment in your belly! Hahaha, now wouldn't that be a popular drink if it was made in the US?!

We also took a field trip (I felt like I was in 5th grade again!) to see some cool ancient rock paintings and caves. They said the painting were done by bushmen about 2,000 years ago which blood and other stuff. After that we went to see some traditional dancing which was great. People here can dance!! We had a fake wedding ceremony between two of the people in our group which was really funny. I put up some pics of the dancing but we should have taken a video because it was much better to see in action than just a picture but I am sure we will see more dancing during our two years.

That's about all I can think of saying right now.....we love to hear from all of you so keep sending us messages and emails. We will find out our site placement on Saturday and then will finally have a clear idea of what our jobs will be and where we will be living for the next two years. Check back on this site sometime next week to hear what happens!

Peace! Lesego and Tobogo
(those are our Setswana names because people have a hard time pronouncing Lindsey and Mark so our families gave us all new names. Lesego (pronounced Lo-say-ho means luck and Tobogo (toe-bo-ho) means I thank you.