Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Kumakwane, here I come. Love, Dintle.

Hellooooooooo all!

So I got my site announcement on Saturday! Kumakwane it is! That is about 25K from Gaborone which is the capital of Botswana. I think I lucked out big time because it is a remote village of about 3,400 people (which is small) and I am also close to the bumpin' city if I get too crazy out there on my own. (p.s., sorry for using the term 'bumpin').
I will also be living about a 5 minute walk to another volunteer named Richard who is part of the Bots 8 group who have been here for just over a year now. I have met him and he is very nice and I think he is a couple years younger than me. I am sure we will have a lot of fun!

Ok, this Wed-Sun I actually get to go to my site and see my school and my house and meet the Kgosi (Chief) and other important people I will be working with over the next 2 years. My house is a one bedroom rectangular shaped hut with running water and electricity (Can I get a Hallelujah!??!?!?!!?) I also heard a rumor that it has a shower head that only squirts out a stream but hey, after standing in a bucket and washing myself for the last 6 weeks I will glady take a light stream of water!!!!:) There is a kitchen and a living room and I am hoping a nice yard to attempt a garden...haha I know, me gardening? Should be interesting!

I will surely have more to say about it the next time I blog because I will have actually seen it then so I won't waste space with the "could be's".

On to the highlights of the past few weeks:

~I am pretty sure I will be content if I NEVER eat peanut butter again. That is all I can say about that.

~For all my English'd be happy to know I drink tea sometimes twice a day, to my utter dismay. They LOAD it will powdered milk and about 3 TB of sugar so I have come accustom to drinking it black, gross.

~A bit of sad news. One of my greatest friends here has decided to leave. Though it was ultimately the best decision for her I miss her already! We got each other's humor and I miss shooting the shit (sorry, Mom) with her daily! Love you A.G.!

~Although I am in a fantastic new place I am so sad I missed Lost and Survivor! I know I am a dork for even caring about 2 t.v. shows but not seeing Sawyer's bare chest every Tuesday night and watching Survivor with Emma has been hard! Can't wait to watch the bootlegs here:)

~My ipod is slowly dying on me so I have had to ration songs every night. The battery lasts about an hour so there is only so much Taylor Swift or Lil' Wayne for me!

~I plan on riding a donkey all the way to Kenya and then riding a Camel all the way to Cairo at the end of my service. Ok, that's a little ridiculous but I do plan on going to Egypt with 'Team Cairo" Ashliegh and Camilo are the definite brave souls to sign on to this adventure so far!

~Another sad note. Some Motswana here tie donkey's feet together so they don't roam too far at night and it is so sad looking. My mission is to free them (ok, kidding but it is sad) The donkey's don't seem to mind too much they just sort of hop instead of walk.

~Hand-washing clothes just plain sucks. Enough said.

~I got 3 amazing packages!!!! 2 from Mama Duggs and one from Emily and the c4k team! It absolutely made my day!!!! I will be writing letters back ASAP!!!! Thanks so much everyone!

~Batswana men...not a huge fan. So much for finding a husband, right? They are beautiful but a lot of them (not all) have the belief that women are good for three things: Cooking, Silence, and Sex. Hmmmmm

~Since I have no electricity at the moment I have slowly started to become an old woman who goes to bed at is good.

~Sometimes I don't get dinner here and I find myself eating a can of peas in my room like a homeless person. I always laugh. Thanks to My family sending me tuna fish I munched on a can of that two nights ago when I didn't get dinner.

~If you do send a packeage write "religious material" on it. Just an fyi because people will be less likely to open it!

~There are no trash barrels here so I throw all my garbage in the pit latrine...hopefully my Mom doesn't start to notice...whoops.

~I am reading the TrueBlood books and sometimes I often think that dogs are shapeshifters and people are going to seduce me and bite my neck, no joke. I might be going insane...

~Here they like to put tangy mayonaise and ketchup on everything. I am beginning to actually like putting ketchup on my rice and potatoes...however the tangy mayonaise makes me want to vomit.

~If you thought me liking PBR was trashy, you should see me drinking Black Label....gross.

Ok, those are some highlights from my time here so far...I hope you enjoy laughing at the funny and ridiculous things that occur daily and constantly in my life now. I have been trying desperately today to upload pictures on facebook but I am having a little trouble...soon I hope!

Peace and Love! I miss you all!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

So, I've surpassed the one month mark, eat it any haters who thought I wouldn't last 2 weeks! Suckers!

This upcoming week is going to be the hardest by far...the reason being that on Saturday the 22nd we will be getting our site announcements! I can't imagine being able to focus in Setswana class or during any of our cultural lessons.

My shadowing experience was great! I was able to visit 2 schools and get a feel for what a school here in Botswana is like. Though I am sure all schools are different! The girl I shadowed had running water and electricity....I'm assuming that with the luck I have been having I won't get any good amenities and I'll probably be placed hours from another volunteer but you know what? I'm ok with that...kind of haha

Sorry for such a short entry but I have to go do homework a.k.a. hang out with other trainees so I don't go crazy with all this Botswana/Peace Corps talk!

Love and Peace,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

3 weeks and counting


I am sitting at Lemepe Lodge in Molepolole using my friend Cailtins computer. It is Sunday and they are our only days off. It is beautiful here, we can sit poolside and have a beer if we want. It has been a great escape from our long days at training. Our group is becoming more together and we have learned to laugh at the things that could make us go crazy!

I love being here. It's not as plain and simple as that and there are some MAJOR ups and downs which occur daily but overall it is great! The Batswana are friendly and willing to help give directions or practice Setswana. The culture is incredibly different than Americas (obviously) but there are great opportunities to teach and learn from one another.

Since my last post I have fallen into more of a routine around my house. My sister, Dombo is very helpful in helping me speak with my mother. My brother, who I thought was a teenager is actually 28, so that was an interesting shock! He doesn't speak much at all so I haven't been able to gauge if hie English is strong. My batheing situation is the same but I have gotten used to it (well, as much as I can I guess.) It is hard to get used to standing in a bucket no more than 2 feet long and 1 foot wide and washing yourself. It is VERY hard to wash my hair, I go back and forth daily on if I should just shave it off or not...if it wasn't for fear of having an oddly shaped head I would have done it already!

Next week, from Wednesday to Sunday we will all be traveling to our 'shadowing sites'. That means we will be satying with a current Peace Corps Volunteer and we will live with them and go to work with them. I was lucky enough to be going with another trainee to my shadowing site. Her name is Nicole and she is great so we will no doubt have a great time! Also, we will be staying with someone who we have met before and she is really great as well. Everyone is looking forward to getting out of Molepolole for a change. My shadowing site is about 3 hours away but others have a longer route (up to 14 hours North) and others are not going too far at all. I am extremely excited!

My Malaria medication is fine now. I haven't had much trouble sleeping anymore and no nigtmares or crazy thoughts...I think everyone is about the same as well.

I experienced hand washing my clothes last Sunday and it is quite an experience. My clothes actually got clean and smell nice....that is not to say I like hanging my underwear and bras out for my whole neighborhood to see but you do what you gotta do. That has become my motto actually, "Do what you gotta do". That and " What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." Words to live by so far!

I walk to and from school everyday! It takes about 45 minutes each way so I have found that I look forward to just being able to walk around after sitting in lectures all day!

The heat is a little much, though I never know what the temperature actually is. It is technically their Autumn here, which worries me because this is their cold season...crap. But maybe I'll get used to it. I've noticed that sweating like a hog is just something I will have to get used to!

I have also been dubbed the sarcastic one here. It's no surprise if you're reading this and you know me that I am completely sarcastic all the time! I make people laugh constantly by telling them about my experiences with my host family (i.e. bucket batheing, eating Bogobe which is this thick porridge, having leprosy sized bug bites, etc) and I think it makes people just feel better.

I do miss everyone, but not as badly as I thought. That is not to say I don't think about everyone constantly and wonder what they're doing or if they miss me, it's just that I have made a close knit family here with all the other trainees and it is a good escape because we are all in the same boat. We've all left loved ones, we all get scared, we all have similar horror stories but also similar happy tales to tell. I know in some way I am in a constant state of shock and that maybe I haven't let certain emotions in yet. That is something I think about a lot. At home I would cry at a commercial or a baby crying but here I have earned a tougher skin. I hear wild dogs killing each other at night and see donkey's with their feet chained together. I see people struggle with having enough food or children who have been beaten in school. I am not immune to it, I just have to accept that here, in Botswana, sometimes life isn't a cushiony as I would like. Also, it is such a non-violent country and people are happy for the most part so you learn to live, not ignoring such things, but not focusing solely on the negative.

I know I've been rambling but I hope I have covered enough points so you all feel like you understand what my life is like here. I am happy most of the time and only sad sometimes. The saddness is normal though so I don't want anyone to worry about me. I look at all my pictures often and I hope to receice some letters from you all soon! I'd love to hear about what is going on!

Love and miss you!