November in Nata

It’s been awhile hasn’t it?

I’m an aunt!  My sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  His name is Lewis and I will be his aunt that lives in Africa.  I won’t get to meet him until he’s about one and a half, but seriously, what am I missing out on anyways?  They aren’t fun until they start walking and talking, right?  Except for I just video skyped with them this past weekend and just watching him stretch and move his eyes was enough fun for a twenty minutes skype conversation.  I expect my siblings to tell him lots of stories about his Aunt Syd in Botswana.

I got a kitten!  Her name is Zaza.  (what is it with my family and pet names that start with ‘Z’ …Zoloft, ziggy, now Zaza, too much).  I like to call her Mma Zaza which is just the equivalent of Mrs in setswana.  She is super playful and lots of fun.  She keeps me company and I give her milk.  A pretty symbiotic relationship if you ask me.

she likes to wiggle

I jumped to my death over Victoria falls two weekends ago, but I didn’t die because I had this rope tied around my ankles.  Bungee jumping was INSANE, but this needs to spared for a separate blog post with pictures and details.  It’s still a little too close to home, I’m recovering, but it’s coming next week.

A few months ago I started working with a youth club at the junior secondary school.  It’s called Peer Approach to Teen Counseling, PACT.  It’s a peer education club. A way to teach teen about HIV and other social health problems and then for them to act as a examples and teach their peers about these issues.  As far as behavior change models go, working with teens is the best and most rewarding.  In about two weeks I am taking these 13-16 year old kids to a GLOW Camp in the neighboring camp.  GLOW stand for Girls (and Guys) Leading Our World.  Other PCVs from around my region will be bringning kids from their schools to the camp. This camp with be focused on increasing knowledge about gender-empowerment, reproductive health and HIV prevention.  In addition, we hope the camp will help with the kid’s self-esteem.  From reading other blogs of PCVs around the world, I get the feeling that GLOW is definitely as Peace Corps initiative.  It’s neat to read about GLOW camps in Tonga and then in Ghana.  I’m really excited about getting to know these kids on a more intimate level.  I think they still see me as an authoritative figure, even though I try to tell them that I’m actually super cool and hip.  Like I know all the words to ‘waka waka’ by shakira and will even dance if you’re looking.

After the camp, it’s December.  Practically everybody who works goes on leave, schools take their summer break and most villagers head to the fields to do the plowing.  I think its going to be a lonely, hot month here in Nata.

I also made a new friend.  There is this shop run my one Indian man from Hydrabad.  In the beginning I was trying to get myself invited over for dinner, explaining my love for all things south Indian, including dosa, chutney, sambal, chapatti, idly… the list goes on.  But never an invite.  And then, just last week I was waiting out the rain in his shop when I meet his wife. A young girl like me, living alone in Nata.  I tell her some of my loves of India, and she invites me over instantly. That night she gives me dosa, idly and tomato chutney.  And then she took me out to her jasmine bush and pick some jasmine that she later weaved on a string.  She invited me over anytime I was free and in the past week, I have probably gone six times.  The food is great, of course, but it is also nice to feel so welcome someplace. And she’s teaching me how to cook Indian food, which is something I tried to do when I was in India, but later failed at. So this has been a nice change and may make December a bit brighter.

One thought on “November in Nata

  1. Zaza is cute! I am so glad you updated..I love hearing about your life in Africa. I like that you get to work with the youth and education. You have much to offer. Stay cool.

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