Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hey Everyone!

I finally have more than 10 minutes on the internet to update! So South Africa is amazing so far! I'm having a great time. Right now I'm living with my first host family in the village of Maganagobushwa in Mpumalanga province, it's right by Siyabushwa which you can apparently find on google maps. My family is awesome. There are 3 little kids (4, 6, and 10), 2 older boys (18 and 22), and 3 older women who live at the house all the time, and the grandma and other daughter are there on the weekends. So it's a lot of people, always something going on. I play with the 3 little kids the most, their names are Paballo, Karabo, and Tshepang (Te-pang). My family gave me an African name, which is Kamogelo (Ka-mo-hey-lo). It means "Welcome" in Sepedi, and it's all they call me.

I just found out that my permanent site will be the village of Ga-Maja (Ha Ma-ja) in Limpopo Province. I was originally supposed to be there this week for a visit, then back to the training site for 2 more weeks, then back to my permanent site for good. But there is a big nationwide strike in South Africa right now of all service positions, which includes teachers. It has something to do with the big teacher's union, the ANC, as well. It's confusing. So the Peace Corps decided that it is not safe for us to be in schools until it is over because violence often breaks out in a strike like this, and we don't want to appear to be on the government's side by being in the schools, which would make us targets. So our training schedule has to be completely changed. We're hoping the strike will end soon, but we barely get any news, so who knows.

As for my site, apparently I will be in a furnished 3 room house of my own next to my host family's house. It is on top of a hill and the village is very hilly, so that should be fun. I'm pretty sure I will have electricity but no running water, which is how my house is now. I have to take bucket baths and my hands are barely clean, but I'm over it. Also over germs, it's not possible to be a germ freak here, oh well. I use a lot of hand sanitizer though. So I will be working in two primary schools, one is a higher primary and the other is a lower primary school. It sounds very rural, and apparently not much English is spoken there, so that should be fun, woo, Sepedi! My village is near Polokwane, which will be my main shopping town and the biggest city near me. Three other Peace Corps volunteers from my group will be near me as well, so that's gnarly.

Gotta go, but hopefully I'll get on the internet again soon!