More Life Updates
Time seems to be flying by over here in South Africa and “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”, so here are some more life updates to keep you guys in the loop.
If you want to watch something in the meantime, my HOUSE TOUR just went up!
COS Conference [7-9 December]
As this is posted, I am at Close of Service (COS) conference with my cohort. This conference marks the home stretch of our Peace Corps service. Unlike other conferences that are focused on training and improving our PCV skills, this conference is all about leaving. Sessions include Life after PC, How to include PC on your resume, Managing the transition, RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) panels, Medical procedure for leaving SA, and lots and lots of paperwork. Who knew leaving Peace Corps would be more complicated than joining Peace Corps (just kidding, joining is still more difficult).
It’s definitely great to see my cohort and start planning for 2017 (which I will address in a separate post), but COS conference is also a bittersweet affair because it’s the last time we will be together (as a group) before we head back to the States :/
I’d also like to mention: of the 33 PCVs who arrived in South Africa on 22 January 2015, only 23 remain as of COS conference. Crazy right?! But that’s actually not uncommon in SA. This country has one of the highest ET (early termination) rates in all of Peace Corps and I’m gonna tell why in a future post.
This holiday season I am traveling quite a bit (I’m using all of my remaining leave days because we can’t travel our last couple months of service anyway). Two days after COS conference, Alex and I are heading to Zambia to spend Christmas with his family. We plan to visit his gran’s world-renowned chimp rescue sanctuary, Chimfunshi, see his mom in Lusaka, and meet the rest of his family in Mazabuka. I haven’t had a proper family Christmas in two years so I’m definitely looking forward to this trip.
The day after Christmas, Alex and I fly to Mozambique. Some Peace Corps friends and I are renting a beach house in Tofo for a week. I hear Moz is incredible and I can’t wait! After Moz, I have to head back home, but Alex is going back to Zambia to spend more time with his mom. What will I do for a month without him?!?! (Just kidding, I’m not that pathetic)
On 3 December, the oldest of my crèche learners graduated on to Grade R. I had so much fun at their graduation ceremony/party but I am going to miss them so ridiculously much next term. And yes, they wear caps and gowns to graduate preschool. Adorable.
One of the best moments of the day was when a father (pictured below) told me how happy he was that I worked with his daughter this year and how much I helped her. Cue the waterworks.
World AIDS Day
December 1st is Worlds AIDS Day. My org hosted an event in Mmametlhake to promote dialogue, testing, VMMC (voluntary medical male circumcision), safe sex, etc. Circumcision is proven to decrease a male’s risk of contracting HIV by 60% (which is huge), so SA offers free VMMC to every male in the country. A mobile clinic came to the event and offered the procedure/more information to attendees.
Hope you enjoyed this quick update!