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.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A week by myself....

Well I survived my first week alone! Mark was at a Peace Corps training all week (i'll be going too next week). I wasn't afraid of being alone at night or anything. This is probably the safest place i've ever lived really. Our buddy Murphy sleeps on our doorstep all night long and I have a bunch of neighbors really close by. Anyway, my real challenge was the boredom and not knowing what to do with myself! Most of the other PCV's here are single and I don't know how they do it! I have so much more respect for them now. I kept sorta of busy working and doing all of the regular things. I also baked a few loafs of bread, some homemade tortilla's, and a delicious pizza. HA! Take that Mark with your fancy lodge food! I am beginning to really like cooking too since I have nothing else to do and I appreciate food that tastes good so much more now. I hope I get better and keep it up once we come home.

Things are going well for me at work too. Murphy came with me everyday this week, of course, since Mark is gone. The only problem (aside from the million and one dog fights he gets into on the walk) is that he scares the clients who come into the office! People here are generally afraid of dogs and don't really think of them like pets the same way we do. Dogs are for protection only here and are trained to be pretty mean. But Murphy is the most sweet, good natured dog you ever met. Of course, other people don't know that and when they come up to the office and Murphy is sprawled out across the doorstep they get pretty nervous! I feel bad, but I am just not good at being mean to that dog plus nothing keeps him away anyway.

Mark says hello too. He has been having fun in Gabs (the capital) at the training. A hot shower, three huge buffets meals a day, and a pool.....not too shabby! He says that he is learning a lot and has good ideas for projects when he gets back. I am excited to go too since I will be able to see all of our friends and hear how everyone else has been doing the past few months.

That's about it for now! We miss everyone a lot and think about home all the time! Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the end of summer (ours is just beginning!).

=+) Lindsey

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Furniture and other good stuff (and not so good stuff too...)

It seems like a lot has been happening over the past week! After waiting more than two months, and going through an unbelievable amount of red tape, we finally have some furniture. We now have a bed, stove, and fridge to add to our hammock. It is great!! Here are some pics of our place so you can get an idea of how we live day to day. We are liking our house more and more everyday.

First, the not so good things. Well, just one thing really. I saw a SNAKE!! If you know me at all then you know that I am terrified of snakes and that this was my #1 fear of coming to Botswana! But it was only a little green guarder snake that I saw when I was walking on the path to work the other day and not a black mamba or anything! Actually, it was probably a good thing because the only way for me to get over this phobia is too confront these horrible creatures head on! I am told than during the hot/raining season (Nov. - Jan.) there will be a lot more snakes.

Now some good stuff....we have been approached by several people to help with different projects in our community. One of the local middle schools asked us to help with organizing an educational camp to encourage positive attitudes and motivation for learning on the part of the students. We are really exciting to have something to work on and we think this will be a great way to build some community relationships. We also met some people working on HIV testing and community mobilization projects here in Mmadinare. They will be going door to door to encourage people to go and take HIV tests with a goal of testing 20,000 people in this district within a 4 month time frame. It is an ambitious goal and we are happy to be part of this as well. Otherwise, we are beginning to be accepted into our community more everyday. We meet people all the time that want to learn more about us and they are also opening up to us about their lives. So after a bit of a slow start things are really starting to move forward and it is pretty exciting!

=+) Lindsey

This afternoon on our walk through the hills of Mmadinare we were discussing how accustomed we have become to this place when a 100 year old lady came walking up to us. No shit 100 hundred years old! She had a bucket balanced on her head that we can only assume was full of something.... because that is how they carry heavy stuff. We slowed to greet her and she was very excited to see us and even more excited to learn that we could speak some Setswana. We talked with her for about ten minutes, she held on to my hand for most of it and at one point I thought I broke one of her brittle fingers, but I'm getting off topic. This entire time the woman, a one hundred year old woman, had a bucket balancing on her head! It's not like she was just standing there very still. Like I said she was very excited to see us her head was moving this way and that and she was carrying on like we were her best new friends. We left our little old lady friend with a new understanding of the Village and man I will never forget that toothless smile. Sorry no pictures. Here is a nice picture of a white cow instead.


Ok one more just because I haven't written in a while. So yesterday Linds and I were asked to meet with the head master and the guidance counselor of a local junior high school. We made the long hike out there with our trusty side kick Murphy in toe... rather he was leading the way. Any who, we made it to the school and made sure to close the gate behind us so that Murphy wouldn't follow us right into the meeting. We signed in and found our way into the Principles' office were we had a very formal meeting discussing an up coming workshop that we were invited to co-plan. The meeting was wrapping up nicely when we looked up and found Murphy standing right next to us... Some how he had tunneled under the wall, tracked our scent into the administration office and then zeroed in on our voice located down the hall in a closed meeting. What a hell of a dog! Truly man's best friend.