Hi friends! I hope you all had a nice Christmas. Mine was unique and enjoyable (but that’s a subject for another blog).
I received a prompt from Leah to write a blog answering a few basic questions:
1. What’s been the funniest thing that’s happened to me in Africa?
2. What has been my biggest challenge?
3. What has been my biggest achievement?
4. What do I miss most from the states/what would I like to have sent to me?
So here we go:
1. The funniest thing…
Funny/odd things happen to me everyday so not one single incident comes to mind. This morning the neighborhood kids came over to sell me a turtle. I don’t know where they got it or what kind of turtle it is. It must be some kind of desert turtle because there’s absolutely no water around here. We’re having a major drought, and 115+ degree heat. I considered keeping it for a pet, but I’m leaving for Cape Town tonight. Most of the things that make me laugh are things I just witness and may not be so funny to describe. The children in my neighborhood are always saying and doing silly things. I’ll get back to you on this one!
2. The biggest challenge…
The biggest challenge has been living in a post-apartheid society. Racism and tribalism is one of the major issues hindering the growth of this country. I can’t begin to describe how frustrating it is to try and convince people to make things better for themselves when all they can do is blame everything on another tribe or another race. Not to mention, it’s very difficult to work in groups that are divided into 6 different language groups.
3. The biggest achievement…
I’ve worked on a lot of project in this community, but probably the employment/entrepreneurship workshops have been the most successful. The unemployed, out-of-school youth, who are normally very elusive, showed up in droves for this workshop. They were noticeably more hopeful and motivated to improve their situation after the two-day workshop. I’ve run into a few of them around town and of the 15 that attended, I have hear of two that got jobs, one that has gone for an interview and five that have begun volunteering.
4. What I miss most….
Other than you guys (which is obviously my number 1), I miss the mountains and forests. I’m not really a desert person and Mariental is flat and dusty! As far as care packages go, I’ve got a few requests:
• Venus razor heads
• Lysol disinfectant spray
• Coffee beans (Peet’s if you live near one!)
• Iced Tea/Sun Tea (Peet’s Mango Iced Tea is my favorite)
• Reeses Pieces/plain M&M’s
• Luna Bars
• Small things to give as gifts (lip gloss, earrings,
• Clothing (cotton t-shirts, skirts, underwear)
• Things that smell like the forest
Thanks! I know I say this every time, but now that I have internet access at my office, I WILL be updating my blog more often.