Showing posts from February, 2015

Peace Corps Thus Far

Dumelang! (<-- that means “Hello” in Sepedi, which is the language I’m learning).
I’m sitting here staring at my computer screen trying to figure out how I could possibly condense my last month into a blog post, and capture the essence of my Peace Corps experience in a way that y’all can understand.
I’m pretty sure it’s impossible, but I’ll try.
Here’s some terminology that might help you understand my last month
Refilwe: My South African name! It means “we are given” and it’s pronounced Ray-feel-way. CHOP Volunteer: Community HIV Outreach Program Volunteer… that’s me! Cohort: group of volunteers that arrive in country together and train together. There are 32 people in my cohort, ranging from 22 years old (I’m fourth youngest) to 74 years old. It’s an extremely diverse group of people. SA31: South Africa 31. My cohort is the 31st group to arrive in South Africa. A new cohort arrives in South Africa every six months. Every January, a new group of CHOP volunteers arrives, and every Jul…

To Blog or Not To Blog


Ever since arriving in South Africa, I've debated whether or not I want to continue to share my Peace Corps experience on this blog or other social media outlets. On one hand, I truly enjoy writing and I love that I could potentially raise awareness about Peace Corps South Africa, South African culture, HIV/AIDs etc. to people who may otherwise be unaware. On the other hand, I like being in a PCSA bubble. Right now, my experiences are just between me, my fellow trainees and the people in Mashipe, but sharing them with the outside world is like bursting this great little bubble we've created. 
Thus far, the decision has been made for me. Since I arrived, I haven't had access to a computer, much less internet (except occasionally on my BlackBerry - yes, I wrote this all on a BB) and phone calls home are short and sparse. 
Now that I've been here almost a month and have found my bearings a bit, I'm revisiting the topic. 
Here's what I've decided: I&#…