The internet at my clinic was just out for over a month, which is why I haven't updated for a while. I was able to use the internet now and then at the junior secondary school (JSS) a few times, but it was very slow and I couldn't even open most emails let alone write blog entries. The lack of internet access was tough because it made it more difficult to stay in touch with family and friends, and I had some hard days. There were some tears, but I made it through.I have great friends and family who wrote me letters.
Life is going very well here. I'm feeling settled in and at home in my village. I even have a couple of projects that I'm beginning to work on. I've been visiting the schools because I've been hearing over and over again these past couple of months that people would like there to be a better connection between the S&CD office, clinic, and schools. I'm going into the JSS next week now that the students are back from break to meet them and pass out some surveys to and see what they think and would like at their school. One of the JSS teachers approached me about a project to raise funds for the orphans and also awareness that HIV is still impacting people here and that there are many children here who are orphans because of HIV. There are over 100 registered orphans in Werda alone, and for a smaller village that is a lot. There are many more than that in my district, which also isn't a highly populated area. The project that we are in the process of formally proposing to Botswana Tourism, is a sponsored camel ride from Tsabong, the largest village in my district to Gaborone, the capital. We would stop at night and camp, and it would take about 10 days because of taking these breaks. There would be a vehicle in Gaborone to transport the camels and us participants back to Tsabong at the end of the event. It would hopefully bring a lot of attention because people aren't used to seeing camels in the larger villages. We are waiting to hear back about the proposal we handed into the person in charge of the local Botswana Toursim office. He will be handing it into his supervisors, and then they will get back to us about what they think. I'm really hoping it works out. The event wouldn't be until April, 2012 so we have some time to plan.
On a daily basis, I go into the S&CD office/clinic for a bit and check in with staff there. Then I've been out in the community finishing my assessment and talking with people. I've been spending most afternoons at the JSS lately and talking with the guidance counselors, a couple of teachers, and school head about ideas and meeting with the teacher I'm working on the camel project with. At the end of the day I either usually go for a run or do some Pilate's. Then I cook some dinner and read or watch some American television shows on my computer. Sometimes in the afternoons I hang out with the kids in my neighborhood coloring or playing in the sand. My family sent me bouncy balls so I've been handing those out to kids, and we've been throwing those around as well. One of my friends sent me stickers to hand out, which I plan on using at the schools when I get things going there. I'm supposed to go to one of the primary schools this week to meet with the school head there so I will be bringing some stickers with me then.
Hopefully now that the internet is working it will continue to work, and I will try and post again soon.