We have finished our session with lots of info about problem solving, getting to know our cohort of 36 men and women are all just as nervous and excited as I am. We are a pretty dynamic group and I can’t wait to get to k own them better.
The latter part of the session was logistics and receiving our passports specific to the Peace Corps.
We will wake up at 1:30 in the morning and board the bus at 2 AM and travel to New York where we get on the big big bird at 10:30 and take off for South Africa. Upon arrival will take another bus for couple hours and basically just chill out at the training site.
We will be fairly off the grid but John🐖 will be notified of our safe landing and has agreed to pass that around. Is soon as I can contact you back home I will. I got a whole lots to learn!
Signing out Dawn
Hi Friends and family!
I thought I’d let you know how to get in touch with me while I’m in Peace Corps. I will not know what my final destination village is until I’m in South Africa and have finished my 3 month training, which will be comprised of 10 days in a small teaching college. The remainder of the training time I will be living with an undisclosed host family and electricity could be spotty and so might access to internet. Peace Corps indicated that my permanent post will be in Limpopo Provence or Mpumalanga Provence, both of which are in the north east part of South Africa.
Letters will be so very welcome and I will be looking forward to getting some cards and letters to cheer me up on the homesick days. Care packages are expensive but so very much appreciated as well. Some of the things that people like to get is hard candy, Starbucks instant packs, girly things, art stuff, and pictures of you! I know this sounds nuts but if you write Jesus Saves, Jesus is Love, or better yet a picture or sticker of the Lord, packages won’t be as likely to get stolen. No joke, this works…but we knew that.
I leave for staging in NYC on the 25th of January and we all leave as a group (37) to SA on the 26th. I am aiming on returning to the states for a visit next Christmas time. I’m allowed to leave site and travel after my first 3 months in my village, around end of July which is winter in ZA. Please come for a visit and we can do some fun African things together in and out of country. I will have vacation days!
Here is my mailing contact at Peace Corps:
Peace Corps PO Box 9536 Pretoria 0001 South Africa
And once I start vlogging that address will be:
(It took me 3 hours to figure youtube out. Smh) Much Love,
It is 2 months until I leave for Peace Corps South Africa. The application and medical clearance was grueling to say the least. There were many, many times when I was ready to throw in the towel but in the end , after hundreds of hours of completing the required tasks, they cleared me for take off. Despite the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) I can finally breathe again. This is a life long dream and it’s finally come true. We had a distant cousin that went to Peace Corps with his wife and from that moment on I have dreamed of joining. My sister in law, Fran was a PCV in her younger years in Lesotho, and has been immeasurably helpful as you can imagine!
I have watched myriad videos posted by PCVs describing their lists of what to bring and what not to bring and I am left feeling a bit overwhelmed. How am I going to bring my life to South Africa for 27 months in 2 suitcases weighing in at 50 lbs each? My skin care weighs that much, not to mention art supplies, cooking things, camping equipment, electronics, tools, solar chargers, headlamp, teaching supplies, gifts for host families, food, and books. Oh yeah, clothes and shoes! You can imagine my dilemma. I think I’ll pack lightly and ship the rest. Thank goodness for my Florida family.
Meanwhile, my little house is coming right along and will be waiting for me when I return. Living in Florida has felt like suspended animation. It is beautiful and I have really enjoyed spending time with the family that’s here and the gorgeous weather. I have been reluctant to try to develop a social and art life because I will be leaving soon, I have one foot in the future and one in the present so I’ll be glad to get on with it and get out of limbo-land. I leave for New York January 28th for staging and then we fly to Johannesburg SA! We’ll travel to somewhere near Pretoria for a 3 month training period. After that time, we will be sworn in and go to our permanent sites. I have no idea where that will be but as soon as I know, I’ll post it.
There will be 1 out of 4 languages I will have to learn but I can’t get a jump start on that until I know my final destination. Being the researcher that I am, this part of it is killing me! I may or may not have electricity, will not have running water, and will most likely have to use the hole in the ground type toilet. Not really excited about that. My house will be a modest dwelling with 2 rooms bare minimum and everything after that is frosting.
I will be fairly off the grid and wifi will most likely be spotty at best. I would love, love, love some letters and pictures if you can still remember how to do that! Ha. I haven’t had a picture printed off for years now that we are in the digital age, but I’m looking forward to returning to the “olden days” for a while and hope you will too in terms of letter writing and picture printing. As soon as I have a mailing address I’ll let you know!
If you have any thoughts on packing for the long haul I hope you share it with me. I’ll check in with you closer to when I leave.
This is my first blog and MAN was it hard to figure out. So please overlook the inevitable bloopers while you’re being very impressed that I got it. I think I do anyway. So here goes the first blog post. I’m pushing the publish button……now.