I’m guilty. I’m one of those people you hate. The people who live off of reading other people’s blogs but never updates her own. Yeah, those suckers. And considering it’s been a month and a half since I last wrote, I have no business making checking the IDS 2012 site for new blog entries part of my daily routine. But today, I saw lovely updates by both Becky AND Conor (both of whom I love and miss very much) and became inspired to put fingers to keyboard. The truth is, my days and weeks are becoming a big blur, and I don’t even know what’s been happening when anymore. And like Becky, I’m just immersing myself in everyday life. The way I see it, I wouldn’t be keeping a blog back in Canada about seemingly mundane things. However, I realize that I’m not actually in Canada right now, so pretty much anything I write here will seem cool to someone. So enough with the excuses—with “MMMBop” as my current soundtrack (we’re having a 90s themed shindig on Friday and I’m in charge of getting awesome songs), here we go:
Work is going really well. The Teen Mothers Support Group I wrote about a few posts ago is full steam ahead for the New Year (I should note that the song has now switched to “Getting Jiggy With It”). So far there’s been creating a curriculum; getting approval from our Executive Director; holding a focus group with some of the teen mothers to get input on our curriculum; and just Saturday, the focus group for the caregivers of the teens to obtain consent and get final input before we start in January. Now this doesn’t sound like too much, but its taken 3 months so far (“All I Wanna Do”—Sheryl Crow now). Lots of meetings with the Psychologist and Social worker, plus planning each activity as a separate event (including food and supplies budget). But we’re set to go now! This is one project I’m super excited about, because it’s one that I’ve been involved in start to finish, and my hope is it continues long after I leave.
We’re also in the midst of planning the Annual Christmas Party for 200 of the clinic’s 6-12 year patients and their caregivers. You’d think “planning a party” would be easy, but you would be dead wrong. Especially in Bots, where things get promised and cancelled on you all the time, it’s proven to be quite a challenge. It’s required lots of interacting (and schmoozing) with potential donors, and it’ll probably one of those things that come together the day before (“All For You”—Janet Jackson. Not technically 90s, but whatever. Close enough). We were super short on funds but we just got a big (promised) donation the other day, so we’ll see. This party is one of the big yearly events Baylor does and involves jumping castles, entertainment, face-painting, football playing, food, and of course, present-giving. It’s like planning a freaking wedding in 2 months. Next week will no doubt be insane, but fingers crossed that all goes well. It usually does.
Teen Club-wise, it’s been awesome. In September (which was my first one as a lead facilitator, eek!), I planned activities around the theme of Communication. It involved a lot of teamwork activities, including a blindfolded obstacle course which was hilarious! That was definitely a fun moment for me. October’s Teen Club was about Environmental Awareness, so I recruited a speaker from Somarelang Tikologo, one of the only environmental NGOs in Botswana (and where we take our recycling). He gave a speech to the kids about waste reduction and where food comes from, which they were very receptive to. Then it was off to refurbish our dying garden (“Good Vibrations—Marky Mark). Now it’s looking good, with healthy crops and even a proper garden cover. For November, we’re getting Gabs involved in an essay-writing competition that we’ve been rolling out at many of the satellite sites for one of our other projects. I also took a weekend a couple of weeks ago to attend Francistown’s Teen Club, where Jonathan and I were reunited! Yippee! I can’t wait till you guys see him in September, he is already turned into a white African and his Setswana puts mine to shame. In 2 months. Darn you Jonathan.
On the non-work related front, things have been going well. I’m really settled into a pretty good routine of work and home life (“All That She Wants”—Ace of Base). I’m also cooking a lot more variety than I used to. I used to be the queen of pasta, but my thighs didn’t appreciate it as much as my stomach did. So now it’s a lot more veggies and chicken. We also made a delicious Shepherd’s Pie the other night. It probably lost points on presentation, but it tasted pretty damn good. I’ve also acquired a taste for a) spicy food, especially Indian; and b) spinach. Turns out it’s pretty damn good (“Blue”—Eiffel 65). Though the sucky thing is that my beautiful and awesome roommates are finished their work terms at the end of next week. Not only are those bastards traveling around South Africa without me, but I’ll be left alone for an entire week to mope. All joking aside, I consider my 4 roommates more like family at this point, and I’ll be really really sad when they go. They’re the first group that I got to spend the entire 3 months with (which reminds me how fast time is really flying), but I guess that’s the nature of being here so long. A new group comes in January, so here’s to hoping that they’ll be just as awesome (“You Can’t Touch This”—MC Hammer). I’ll only be moping for a little while after they leave because I’ll be spending the Christmas holidays in Australia! Yup, that’s right. I know it seems like a kind of random place to be going, but I have tons of family in Melbourne (including my stupid cousins Sara and Sally... holla!). Apparently we’ll also be going to Sydney! That should be fun, I’ve never been there before. I know it makes sense to travel in Africa while in Africa, but Aussie will be a nice vacay I think. I’ll be there from mid-end of December, and I can always travel Southern Africa the rest of my stay here. Plus, I need to stock up on much-needed items I can’t find in Bots. First item on the list is mascara.
So that’s pretty much it from me. This one was actually fun to write (“Baby Got Back”—Sir Mix-A-Lot)! In Bots news, I went to the national football game between the Botswana Zebras and Tunisia, to determine their place in the African Cup of Nations in 2012. It was awesome, everyone was there. I even got to see the president (albeit from very far away)! I posted pics on facebook, but there were over 15,000 people cheering them on. And they won! Their victory celebrations were beyond awesome! They all started singing and dancing in the streets, and there was even a “RIP Tunisia” Coffin that someone made (apparently it’s part of Botswana tradition). Anyways, I have awesome video of it that I’ll try to post eventually. Also, Ms. Botswana Emma Wareus was runner-up in the Miss World Pageant, which makes her the pride of Botswana now. And because Bots is so small, I saw her in the grocery store like, the week later. TIA
This is Big Daddy Yazzy/Mama Africa (my new pet names) signing off to the tune of “I’m Every Woman” by Whitney Houston.
I’m every woman, it’s all in meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...