Sunday, March 22, 2009

Life in the "Posh" Corps

So heres a quick update on the last crazy 6+ weeks:
*We've been in training for forever! We're staying in a wonderful rural village about one and a half hours from Pretoria in Mpumalanga Provence. We've been learning to speak Setswana--this isn't a 'click' language like I had been hoping for--but we have been learning to make sounds by smacking our cheeks, we will demonstrate upon our return. We only get two hours of language class per day, I don't think this is enough, I have to say that Peace Corps language training is highly overrated. But we have been enjoying our language instructor Magdeline, she's always teaching us about Setswanan culture and she's really pushing us to learn the language.

This training period is really exhausting, we've only had a few real days off in the past 6 weeks. It's go-go-go from sunrise to sunset! If you know me that's not my style, I like to chill out from time to time.

We love our host mother Margie. She's an incredible lady. She's taught me how to make pap and all kinds of other South African foods. I made her pizza, she said she liked it. Our house is not too different from a house in America. Except for the puppy with the bucket tied to its neck, pictures will be coming. We have hot water, indoor plumbing, and satellite tv. We've been able to keep up with some basketball. Hopefully kansas gets far this year!

*We know our assignment! This is why we're calling it the "Posh Corps"--we're staying in a city callled Potchefstroom. Potch is in the Northwest Province, not far from Jo'burg. We are living in the city in a really cute flat, pictures will come. We get to move in on the 2nd of April. There are lots of coffee shops, trash removal services, pizza shops, ...everything you could hope for! We both got really great positions at two NGOs, Glenn will be working for a local AIDS council which acts as an umbrellla organization for many smaller NGOs in the area confronting issues related to the AIDS pandemic. I really lucked out, I'm working for an organization called Childline. Childline is involved in many different projects related to children's issues. My responsiblity will be to help co-ordinate a project working with OVCs (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) in an impoverished township nearby and it's a real blessing: the project has PEPFAR funding!

Thats all we've got time for today, we miss everyone! I've forgotten my address, but I'll post it up here next time. If you want to send me anything, give my mom a call and she'll pass on my address. We love letters.

Amy (this message is approved by Glenn :)


Anonymous said...

Wow! Yes! I was so excited to see this blog post. Congrats on the great jobs and location. Are you glad to be there instead of out in the bush or a village? Or would you like some time in that environment as well?

Good work. Keep up with the language! And keep posting when you can--we are always asking about you and wondering about you back here in KC.

Iris in Iowa said...

Glad you posted your blog on FB. And glad to get the update. You're regularly in my prayers.
love to you both,
Aunt Iris

wolfist_from_WoW said...

Gosh how great! I just checked in for the first time. I am ready to go back to Africa now.

You will never forget the smell in Africa. ( this is a good thing). Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Too bad about the click language, though.

Erin McGrath