Saturday, April 13, 2013

6 Months Left in Mantshwabisi..

Well, clearly I'm not a "blogger". It's been 6 months since my last post, but I'm finally getting around to adding a new post, in case anyone is still interested! In the past 6 months a lot has happened. Our GLOW camp that I mentioned in the last post went really well and the girls all had a fantastic time, as did the seven of us running the camp (thanks again to everyone who donated to make that possible!). I've made good progress on the library and am currently in the final stages of raising money to purchase non-donated supplies, after which I will be ready to start building!  If you can, please Click Here to Make a Donation.

I am a little nervous about everything coming together because there are so many pieces... the hardware store, Builder's world, has to come through with the purchased and donated supplies as well as the promised free delivery, the cement and concrete have also been promised to me so those companies also have to follow through, the counsel has to make good on their promise to transport the concrete and cement as well as provide us with the sand, and finally the Village Development Committee has to make the bricks as they have also promised. Basically, it's finally time for all of these vendors to walk the walk after talking the talk for so many months, and it's time for me to do so as well! I hope that everything comes together as planned, but since this is Africa I have a sinking feeling that a lot of things are going to go wrong before they go right, but as I have been doing these many many months, there's nothing else to do but to keep on keepin' on!

In a related effort to increase reading ability and interest at school I held a reading competition last term amongst standards 4-7. Each class competed against each other to read the most books and at the end of the term prizes were given (that my wonderful mom so generously sent to us!) to the top 3 students in each class. The students had to write summaries about the books they read in order to prove to me that they had read and understood the book and they handed these summaries in to me every day. It was a slow start at first, but the kids eventually got the hang of it and many started to really enjoy reading and writing the summaries. It was a good experience for me because it gave me the chance to get to know more kids better and the really see the range of ability amongst the students. Some kids really blew me away with their reading and English comprehension while others unfortunately fell shockingly short. The school curriculum does not include nearly enough practice for reading comprehension skills and so many kids struggle with reading and understanding rather then just copying.

Anyway, as I said I have 6 months left in my village, but I am actually now in the process of applying for an extension of my service for another year in a much bigger village in the northern part of the country called Maun where my boyfriend works as a bush pilot. I am not sure yet if Peace Corps will accept me for a third year or where I will be working but I am hoping to work at one of the many NGO's here hopefully focusing on counseling as I am hoping to go to graduate school for Psychology when I am finished in Botswana. I am anxious to move up there and get started on the next chapter of my life and of my Peace Corps adventure. For now, I'm just going to put all of my efforts in to completing the library before I move in October and try to stay positive through this final stretch!