Shadowing and Workshop

   Last week was a busy but very fun week. A volunteer in training shadowed me for the week and my primary school PACT workshop was last weekend. During the week my awesome shadow and I went to the schools a lot to remind the students about the workshop and check in with teachers about it. We also saw the JSS PACT students present to their peers in class, played soccer with primary students, met with both PACT clubs, and met with some students for a focus group discussion. Besides work, we cooked, walked around Werda, shared media, and talked a lot. Having a shadow was fun and my shadow and I got along well. Shadows were supposed to go back to their training village Friday, but I got special permission from PC staff for my shadow and the shadows of volunteers helping out with my workshop to stay here for the weekend so they could get the experience. This meant that Friday and Saturday I had 8 more guests at my house in addition to my shadow and I. It was a cool experience having visitors here because not many people tend to come out this way so normally it is the same couple of volunteers who come to Werda. My house is small, but we all fit. I slept under my kitchen table one night, but it was just fine.
   The workshop itself went very well. Those of us involved had been communicating with each other mostly by email to plan the topics to include and so forth, and we finalized everything when everyone got here on Friday. We talked to about 50 primary students from two schools who are involved or are becoming involved in PACT club about communication. leadership, puberty, healthy decisions in dating relationships, and HIV prevention. It took a while to get an answer about this while planning the workshop with the schools, but the schools even gave permission for us to do condom demonstrations at the workshop. This is rare for primary schools to allowed, but the thinking of the teachers was that they learn about condoms and about HIV and should therefore know how actually use them to prevent HIV. We did also talk about abstinence and about how just because how they know how to use condoms doesn't mean they are ready to have sex. We ended the day with a condom water balloon toss and answering questions from a question box, which students added questions to throughout the day. I was really impressed by the teachers involvement in the workshop, the students eagerness to learn and ask questions, and by the PCVs and shadows who co-facilitated. All of these people helped make the workshop a success and something that I'm proud of.


Half-Way Point

   Yesterday marked 13 months in Botswana, which means 13 months left in Botswana. It was the exact half-way point for myself and the rest of Bots10. It is kind of a cool milestone to have reached. I've been pretty busy sorting out the final details for my primary PACT workshop that will take place next weekend, but today is a holiday so nobody is working at my office, the clinic, or the schools, which means there is only so much that I can get accomplished today.   I spent some time walking around my village and chatting with some people I know and other than that  I'm just relaxing.  I'll probably cook something good for dinner later and maybe I'll paint a little. 
I wrote a blog post a while ago about some of the foods I've learned to cook here since learning to cook better has been one of my goals here.  In celebration of this half way point here are a few more foods that I've added to that list recently:

vegetable noodle soup
cold rice, chickpeas, cucumber, and plain yogurt 
baked cheesy-tomato fries
breakfast burrito with egg, tomato, and cheese

I also found out that a new PCV in training will be shadowing me next week, which is pretty exciting!