So these past few weeks of training have been pretty crazy, lots of stuff going on, then nothing going on and we had a week to do some fun stuff before swearing in and leaving for permanent sites. We went to a wildlife reserve where we got to go on a safari. I saw some giraffes, zebras, kudu (which I didn’t know was an animal until then), impalas (didn't know that one either), warthogs, and a bunch of others. It was ga-narly. There was also a pool and a bar. It was nice to be able to hang out and have a day off like this.
So training is finally over, and I am now an official Peace Corps Volunteer! The Swearing In Ceremony was on Thursday, the 16th, then half the group left for their sites in Kwa Zulu Natal immediately after. My group got to hang out for a few extra days which was nice.
My family put on a little farewell lunch on Saturday for me and my language group. They gave me a bunch of presents which I wasn’t expecting. They gave me a South African broom, a mat for sitting outside, two small pots of brewing traditional beer, a plate from the kitchen, and fake Armani sunglasses. It was pretty gnarly. As a thank you for being awesome I gave my family some pictures from the two months that I printed out in Pretoria. I also blew one up of everyone and put it in a frame. They were stoked. Apparently I didn’t print out enough though because they have requested I send them more pictures when I get a chance. I gave the kids a ball, an activity book, crayons, and two puzzles. They were super stoked. I wish I could have gotten them more, they barely have any toys. Maybe I’ll send them something for Christmas or something. I just wanted to make sure I got them a nice ball though, because they only had a flat soccer ball which they would still play with. Karabo would sometimes use lemons to play with. We would throw or kick a lemon until it burst open. It was fun, but sticky.
It was sad saying bye to my family yesterday, Tshepang was crying, but I will definitely visit them as much as possible. Some people are talking about going back to their host families for Christmas, so I might do that.
So today my group of 7 left for Limpopo. We’re staying at a ridiculously awesome game reserve outside of Polokwane. It’s pretty gnarly, and apparently pretty close to my village, could be an awesome place for people visiting me to stay, if you’re not a PA. We met our supervisors today and had dinner with them. They are the principals of our schools. It was cool to talk to them and hear a little about my village and where I’ll be staying. Tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday we are doing a supervisor’s workshop, then we go to our sites on Thursday. It’s pretty exciting, can’t wait to get there!