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.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Finally A Game Drive!!

Dumela Everyone!

Sorry we haven't posted anything in a while. We have no excuse really, other than the fact that it is getting so hot here that we don't have much energy to do anything! I guess it is not really that hot yet, it is in the 90's during the day, but without any air conditioning of any kind and having to walk everywhere we want to go it can be pretty miserable sometimes!

Last weekend we went on a game drive in the Khama Rhino Sanctuary which is about 2 hours after from where we live in a village called Serowe. We stayed with a fellow Peace Corps volunteer, Patty, who had talked her friends into driving us around the park for free! We had a blast together and finally saw some wild animals after all of this time in Africa. The sanctuary was originally created to help protect rhino's in Botswana who were becoming endangered. We were able to see a lot of the rhino's because right now it is winter and very dry here so there are only a few watering holes and they were all gathered by them drinking. Overall, it was such a great time and we felt really lucky that we were able to do it just as a short weekend trip because we live here!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mile High Represents!

The past month has been extremely busy. I spent two weeks in the capital (Gaborone) attending training workshops involving various topics such as NGO management, grant writing, HIV prevention stratagies, and even gardening/composting. What a great two weeks! I really can say that I walked away from most of the meetings with an improved understanding of how to tackle many issues concerning my village. On top of that, it was just a big party. About 25 Americans converging on one place when we haven't seen any resemblance of the western world in months makes for a good time. By the end of the two weeks all 50 PCVs were in the same place and came together in good old American fashion for an 80's party by the pool. It was a blast to say the least. I made it back to Mmadinare almost two weeks ago and I have to say I have been slammed ever since. Last week I spent three days presenting at a workshop at a local junior high school. The workshop was an attempt to motivate 120 students aged from 14 to 16 who are under performing, although I think under performing is an under statement. Out of 120, less than half were passing (50% or higher), and out of the same 120 only one student had an A last term! I presented on goal setting, following your dreams, and how to improve student-teacher relationships. All of which I think were a success. Both the students and the administration seemed to be really impressed with what I was saying, but I will followup at the end of the month to see if any actual improvements have been made. That brings me to this week where I have been working hard to develop a financial system at my pre-school. It seems that after I forced my counterpart to come and be part of the workshop in Gaborone, she is all of a sudden really responsive to everything that I have been suggesting over the past couple of month. This is great except she is really motivated now and wants it all to happen yesterday which means on top of the finances; we need to develop a board of directors, improve curriculum, find funding for operations/training as well as all of the projects already started. These include working with 3 different small donors to get them to follow through on their promises, encourage better scheduling of school operations, and improving our support group for older orphans. What a crazy month! On top of everything Lindsey and I have only seen each other for 4 days this month! I don't know how the single volunteers do it. I give them a lot of credit because I have certainly been struggling without my better half. I wanted to share with you a few pictures of our garden which is doing very well. We already have beans and tomatoes starting to produce fruit.

Lastly, I want to give a big shout out to our Colorado crew. I finally found the time to get to the post office and found two packages waiting for us (both from CO). I am working on a cavity as we speak and as soon as it cools down there will be a batch of brownies in the oven.... This is very exciting. Thank you GEI for the kitten card! I feel right at home now and the books came at the perfect time. Jay and KP thanks to you too. The beer magazine will probably make me cry before I finish reading it... you have no idea how good you have it! cherish every pint.