Khotso!!! I finally got some of the pictures from the November HIV/AIDs outreach event in Ha Mohatlane posted. But maybe only half of them. I'll keep working on it. (downloading stuff is really, really, hard here!!!) Thank you so much for all of your support. Oak Hills, thanks for all of the art supplies. They proved to be a great learning tool for the kids. (unfortunately I haven't got the art pics posted yet... I'll keep at it)
What's going on.... so much. Last week, I volunteered in the local secondary school and vocational school to teach life skills for the entire quarter. 2 form A classes,(8th grade) 1 form B (9th grade), 1 form C(10th grade), and a vocational class(16-30).Im having one of my youth teach with me, so that maybe when we are finished with the quarter, she'll be able to do it herself. Something sustainable I hope!!! With my NGO, Im not doing much... In a couple of weeks I will bring in an AG PCV to come in and advise my NGO about agriculture and income generation. For those of you who know me, I know nothing about ag. I had a cactus once and killed it:) My NGO feels like they are unable to continue with the funding that had been supporting my project, so I spent some time in december with my youth and a great trainer from the NGO going to villages telling them we werent coming back. This was very, very hard. My NGO has had a difficult time over the last 9 months out in my village(beginning with my supervisor dying)so for them I guess they are doing what they feel is in everyones best interests. Things have also been difficult for Peace Corps Lesotho as there have been many leadership changes. But, in the last few months my group has gotten a new APCD. (who seems like a great guy) We are getting a new country director in a few weeks, (she has already come out for a couple of week visit and seems like she will be a good, strong leader)So, hopefully very soon I will be able to receive some desparately needed PC support to help me sort out this situation. I can keep busy doing stuff, but I want to feel like Im making a contribution to my NGO (cause I know they care and I like them very much!!!) As a Peace Corps volunteer, you usually try to tough out problems and solve them yourselves. Or, as we were correctly told during our training "we are our own best resources." I agree with this, so Im feeling like Im somehow failing by honestly admitting that I really need PC support with this sooner rather than later.
Other news... Im just finishing my Peace Corps report for the last quarter and realized a lot has gone on. We finally had this big event out in my village... and it went well. Kids learned alot about HIV/AIDs and had a great time. I was able to go to several schools and teach life skills to kids, ages 8-25. They learned a lot and I had a blast. I got mugged for the second time in maseru which makes me now pretty nervous when Im in Maseru. The Police were...less than responsive. But Peace Corps was wonderful.
A great thing happened and I was able to conduct a teachers workshop re: life skills during the school break. It was great to work with some teachers who were really interested. I was very busy through the end of nov with my NGO educating the older residents in the villages about HIV/AIDs and saw some great discussions going on. My group had its halfway reconnect and we had our all volunteer conference... both of which were necessary, but somewhat stressful (mostly because of all the changes in Peace corps that began last June)
One of my favorite kids in the entire world was beaten within an inch of his life (if you saw him, you wouldnt think someone could have been beaten that badly and live) and spent 13 days in a coma and remains seriously brain damaged. But a couple of really incredibally wonderful peace corps staff have shown their support.One person...getting him some medical help he wasnt getting, and now getting him into seeing a neurologist in South Africa who can properly assess his brain injury and give us an idea of what we can do to help. Another PC staff offering to take him to S. Africa if needed and help raise the money for the appointment... kindness and love coming out in such wonderful ways.
Im working with the diversity committee on our upcoming, all lowlands diversity camp in early march to be held at my NGO. There will be some great panels and discussions for 60 youth. Im excited about that. And, teaching lifeskills this quarter to 5 classes and training basotho to do it. That's a good thing (and needed), but Im sad it's not with my NGO (one form A class Im teaching has 74 students and 20 desks built for 2... and a leaky tin roof. 4 kids to many desks...crazy)
Will I stay an extra year or go home? I haven't quite made up my mind yet. While some great stuff has happened this last quarter, there's also been a lot of discouraging stuff and my heart is a bit heavy right now. But, Ive learned so much and think there's more I can do to help. We'll see. I'll decide very soon and let you know.
Thanks again for all of your support. Have a great 2010!!!!
Salang hantle. (stay well)