After a 15-hour flight and an eight-hour layover, I am officially an American in Botswana.
I’ve been in Botswana for three full days. So far I have…
- Visited a local mall.
- Opened a bank account.
- Ate polenta.
- Learned Setswana survival phrases while preparing to live with a host family. (Dumela means hello. Nthusa means help me.)
- Noticed how stylish and sharp Batswana dress.
- Hoped Batswana do not notice how poor my ironing skills are.
- Participated in 182345629384 team building activities with 89 other Peace Corps trainees.
- Studied the Peace Corps Mission.
- Talked with my supervisor about my role as a Life Skills Educator. I will work with a host country national to implement a government curriculum that aims to increase young people’s capacity, improve leadership abilities, engage youth as active citizens, and build community support. I will work alongside Batswana teachers and community members to achieve these goals.
The majority of my three days have been spent in training sessions on a compound in Gaborone, the country’s capital.
I am exhausted/happy/terrified/hopeful/inspired/excited/overwhelmed.
Tomorrow, I begin my homestay. Peace Corps trainees live with host families in a nearby village for the duration of Pre-Service Training — about ten weeks. We are matched in a large ceremony, complete with singing and maybe even a television crew.
I am privileged to be able to spend my next 27 months in Botswana. I have so much to learn.
You cannot find peace by avoiding life — Virginia Woolf