When it Rains it Pours

   The past week has been hard. Really hard.There have been moments during this week that I've wished I were at home and that I've wanted to leave. I won't leave, and things are now better, but it was definitely one of those weeks that all PCVs could understand; one of the ones where nothing felt like it was working out. Then a few days ago there was a HUGE rain storm in my village. I've been through a rainy season in Botswana already, but let me tell you, none of the storms I had seen before were anything compared to the one that hit my village a few days ago. The sky poured buckets of rain, and it even hailed! The rain was leaking in through the seams of my house, near the roof and even coming up through the floor in some places. It even made a hole in the ceiling of my bedroom and poured through, soaking my bed. I ran around my house with a mop and bucket at the low point of a low week feeling like "OMG WHAT AM I STILL DOING HERE?!!!". Then a funny thing happened. That night when the storm had finally stopped, I had cleaned up all of the water in my house and strategically placed buckets around and chased a few bugs out of my house,  I saw the humor in all of it. I laughed my head off. I also felt proud of myself for facing another tough week, and I know I handled some of the things that happened, including this crazy storm, better than I would have a year ago. So thank you Peace Corps for making me stronger.

Holiday Greetings and Island Adventures

   Happy Holidays everyone! I can't believe I'm about to celebrate a second Christmas in Botswana! In some ways it feels like it hasn't been that long since last Christmas! This year I've decided to stay in my village to celebrate. I've decided this partly because it is my last chance to celebrate Christmas here in my village, and I traveled during the holidays last year, and also because I'm trying to save money. I recently traveled up to northern Botswana to the Okavango Delta, and I am planning a trip to see Victoria Falls sometime toward the end of January, around the time of my birthday. Some of my nurse friends will be around Werda because they have to work over Christmas, as well as some of my neighbors. There are also some football tournaments that supposedly are going to be happening somewhere around my village that I may attend. At the very least, I will be making some cake to bring to the clinic and share with my nurse friends, who must stay close by in case of an emergency. I even got frosting mix to make this time! A big splurge for me! So fear not, I will not be all alone on Christmas, and I'm actually looking forward to a quieter Christmas this year.
   I said that I recently traveled up to northern Botswana to the Okavango Delta, so let me elaborate some more on that. There is a place called The Swamp Stop in Sepopa, a village on the Delta. A PCV friend is friends with the owners of this place. I traveled for several hours (about 16 total) to meet friends in that area, and then we were taken on a boat by the people who run The Swam Stop to an island right in the middle of the Okavango Delta to camp. We saw crocodiles, hippos, and eagles when we were out on the boat ( We literally spent hours a day out on the boat riding around with these awesome tour guys looking for animals..It was great!). It rained some when we were there, but it didn't even matter. We just had a sing along in the rain on the boat! On the island itself, we saw elephant dung and tracks, but they were not fresh. Elephants change their paths, and we were told they travel between the islands so unfortunately we did not see any. We did ,however, see a warthog, and we could hear the hippos in the evenings and early mornings! They sort of make a barking type sound. Since I've spent the last 21 months living in the desert part of Botswana, it was fun and interesting to see such a different part of this country that is so green and has so much water!