Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My apologies for never blogging....found this in a word document that I guess I never posted...

12 January 2011

I’ve never seen so much strength in children. Resilience is an understatement. These children deal with death at every corner of their lives, they live in poverty, they take care of sick and dying relatives, they put up with extreme abuse from not only strangers but family and through all this they strive for excellence. They strive for a better life. They desire to succeed. I am utterly amazed everyday, completely blown away and touched. They inspire me and give me hope for this nation.

~This evening I went for a walk out into the lands (a secluded area of land where Batswana have plots to plow and harvest) and it was so peaceful. I was alone with my thoughts and watched the sun setting in front of me. The best part however was not the quiet but the swarm of children as I almost reached home. There were 7 of them and they playfully fought to hold my hand and walk me back to my house. I couldn’t stop smiling as they babbled to me in Setswana. I had no idea what they were saying but neither I nor them seemed to care. What a great ending to my day.

14 January 2011

It was pouring rain outside but I wanted to go for a walk and just be alone so I ventured out. As I got further and further away I started to feel at ease. That is until I heard roaring thunder! Even while blasting Destiny’s Child on my ipod I could hear the thunder rumbling above me. Now, normally I wouldn’t be scared but let me tell you...when you live in the desert there are not many trees or buildings to distract the lightning bolts from hitting you. I nervously turned around and started a light jog. Then, BOOM! thunder rolled again, sounding like it was directly over me. My jog turned into a sprint and me being the only tall thing around at a staggering 5‘4“ my heart was pounding! I wish I could say I was cool enough to get struck by lightning and live to tell about it, but boring me made it home safely, drenched and laughing at my almost (but not really) near death encounter.

15 January 2011

GO PATRIOTS! I hope that when I post this the Patriots will have beat the Jets and moved on to another Playoff game. However, if they lose then this could be viewed as I jinxed the whole game...I will be wearing my Mike Vrabel jersey and pretending that I am watching the game as I sit in my living room and stare at the wall. Here’s hoping.

25 January 2011

The roads here in Botswana are very dangerous. There are many drunk drivers, no street lights and many large animals on the side of the roads ready to cross when they see headlights approaching. Last week I was driving home with a teacher from a meeting we attended in a near by village. We passed a car that was surrounded by people and clearly had been in an accident. There was glass everywhere and the cars front end was smashed in. We parked up the road and walked towards the wreckage. The teacher I was with began asking what had happened but since it was in Setswana I could only catch a few words here and there. I understood that they had a collision with a ‘beast’ a.k.a. a cow. The windshield was broken but completely inside the car and I wondered if anyone was sitting in the passenger seat because if they had been they must have been severely injured. I asked the teacher to ask if anyone was hurt and that led us to a women who was quietly standing near the car, at least 6 months pregnant and obviously in pain. We used our phone lights to assess the damage. She was bleeding from many small cuts caused by the shattered glass all over her back and shoulder. Also, she was covered in cow dung. I still don’t know how it happened but the poor thing was covered. There was glass stuck to her body and in her hair. She was shaking and spitting up glass. I ran back to the car and grabbed my water bottle and cardigan. We started to clean her off gently. I asked her where it hurt and I immediately grew scared when she held her belly and said “here”. The police finally came and took her to the clinic and I can only hope that she is ok today. As we walked back to the car I heard a low groan. I looked to my right and there in a ditch off the side of the road was the cow. He was still alive and in so much pain. I asked if the police were allowed to shoot the cow to put it out of it’s misery but the teacher said no. I was sick to my stomach and silent the rest of our trip home.

~Today I received my second batch of letters from the CCI kids! I loved reading their responses to my letter! I told them that I plan on reading 250 books while I am here as a personal goal and they loved it and almost all their letters were telling me I can do it (even though I think that maybe 250 books is a little much) I’m only at around 40 in 9 months but maybe their support will get me to speed up my reading! I can’t wait to hang up their letters and pictures in my house, it is things like that that keep me trucking on when the days get tough! Thanks Kelly and CCI!:)

~The next group is coming in April, Bots10. I am so excited to meet them and be at the point where a new group is coming! I remember thinking to myself, ‘Just get to the point where the newbies come, just get there, just get there!’ Now that it is just around the corner I can’t help but think how fast it has gone. Yes, I have missed so many things back home that I never thought I’d be emotionally able to miss. For example, my sister getting pregnant. It feels strange to have missed her whole pregnancy and the next time I see her she’ll be a mother and there will be a new addition to our family. Also, my brother got engaged and he will have his wedding most likely in August 2011 but thankfully I will be going home for that! Nothing could make me miss his wedding! My Godson’s first steps. My friends getting engaged...Kelly and Nate who will marry in October, I am so unbelievably sad I will have to miss it but I know it will be beautiful! Jasmin and Ben who will tie the knot in April 2012 in England, I’m still hoping to make their American celebrations whenever those might be! People moving, people getting new jobs, people kicking butt at Harvard (My home girl Jules). Though it is incredibly difficult to not be a part of their successes and happiness I am still there with them in some ways. Not a day goes by where my family and friends are not in my thoughts! As my one year mark approaches I am thrilled and proud to have made it to where I have. I hope the next 17 months are filled with great learning experiences, love, growth, happiness and above all else strength to get through the difficult times.

Peace and Love, Mary “The Dinkster” Duggan

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