July 26, 2011
We haven’t posted in a little while because we wanted to give the information about our site all at once. Oliver and I are very, very excited .
We will be working at the same primary school. Our school has about 180 students in preschool through grade 7. There are 7 teachers plus our principal who we were able to meet yesterday. The community is quite poverty stricken and has a high illiteracy rate. A group of about 25 children live in a hostel at the school during the week. These children are OVC (orphans and vulnerable children) who would have an otherwise very difficult time getting to school. There are some really great extracurriculars available to the students like soccer and traditional dance. Also, there are a number of projects in the works. One of these is a school library which I really hope I will be able to help out with. We have not yet visited the school, we will move in on the 10th of August. (We were supposed to have On the Job Training this week but it was cancelled because of strikes happening around the country).
The school we are going to is located in the Northeastern corner of the country (called the Lubombo Region which I really hope I spelt right, you guys can google it). It sounds like a great area to be in. The climate is supposed to be quite a bit warmer than where we are currently staying. I don’t know how hot it will get in the summer so check back in December (those of you trying to figure that out, our seasons are the reverse of the US because we are in the southern hemisphere. Even though I knew that coming, it is still hard to wrap my mind around). Lonely Planet says the area looks like what we usually expect “Africa” to look like so I am thinking grassy plains. There are also some cool things in the immediate area. Several game reserves are just east of us and Swaziland is working on a new airport right next to our site. Although it isn’t finished, I’m guessing they are hoping it brings a lot of tourism to the area. 7 or 8 other people from Group 9 will be placed relatively close. Probably not walking distance but it will be nice to be able to see each other nonetheless.
Oliver and I feel like we couldn’t have a better placement. Some of the initial projects that we are identifying seem right up our ally. In a few weeks we’ll be able to put up some pictures of the home we are living at and the school. By the way, most PC Volunteers live with a homestay family throughout their service like we are doing now with our family. Oliver and I will be living in a house on school grounds so we will not have a designated family but we are really looking forward to getting to know the teachers and students.
For those of you who did not see my facebook status about earwigs let me tell you that I swept 150+ off the floor of my hut today! It rained all last night and we woke up to them crawling all over! First we tried to kill them all but it was getting too overwhelming and we had to leave to go to class. So, when we got back around dinner time, we really had to wage war. We scoured, squished, swept the brown and black earwigs for almost an hour. I really dislike bugs and the number of them today was something else. Reguardless, I thought I was keeping my cool. Until we looked at our bed. Before we left this morning, we tucked in our mosquito net to keep them out. So I climbed in expecting it to be bug free. There were 4 of the earwigs in the bed! They must have came in between us waking up and when we tucked the net in 30 or 40 minutes later. It’s easiest to just say that I was upset.
It’s been such a busy last couple of days (and a dramatic one today). Pre-service training will be finished soon which is sad in some ways but we are so excited to get to our site and begin working at our school and in our community.
July 26, 2011