Saturday, May 5, 2012

23 and counting

I officially turned 23 in Botswana this week! One birthday down, two to go in Botswana! I was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful my birthday turned out to be. Before I explain birthday festivities, I wanted to update everyone on a few more things. 

I found out that I will be shadowing a volunteer named Amelia in Shoshong. Shoshong is a small village outside of Mahalape (a little north of the capital, Gaborone). She is also a community capacity builder so I will have the chance to tag along with her in the clinics. I am conducting a youth focus group while I am there to practice techniques to gather information about needs of the local community for when I go out to my own site. I met Amelia when I first arrived in Botswana (almost a month ago!) and she seems really great. She is fluent in setswana and I am hoping to learn a lot from her while I am there! 

map of where I will be going for shadowing
look where shoshong is :-D 
I had my language proficiency interview was on my birthday, so that means I will be switching teachers/language groups next week. I wanted to show everyone a picture of my last teacher and language group; I will really miss working with them! Hopefully, I did alright on my interview and I can continue progressing in my Setswana studies. It has been quite a challenge... :o) 

Jim, Dominique, Zeeman (my language teacher), Me & Mary
My Birthday! It was really great having love and support from my new Peace Corps family. I received lots of chocolate, cake and cookies (yum!). I tried to explain this to my mom when she called, but a bar of chocolate is like receiving a new iPad. It's incredibly exciting. Everyone made me a big card and I can't even count how many times volunteers and staff sang me happy birthday. All of us were strangers five weeks ago, and somehow, I felt very loved and supported by my new support network here. Very comforting! School got out early on my birthday as well, so a big group of us went to a bar nearby to have a few drinks, play pool, and celebrate. I couldn't have been happier with how my birthday turned out! I miss everyone back home. Thanks for sending me all the birthday love from back home too!!!!Happy happy birthday to my grandpa (may 3), kate (may 4) and lizzy (may 11)!!! Tyler, yours is coming up too! 

look at the cute card dominque made! 
Dom & the card she made (see above)
birthday cake! 

TJ & the chocolate/cake that I already ate before the picture
Birthday drinks with some friends !:-D 
Janina & the card she made :D 
the card everyone signed. 
Jvani and the chocolate she supplied me with!
Mary & the cookies she got me!

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