Friday, September 24, 2010
After the meeting the Out-of-School Youth Officer and I were able to talk to the District Commissioner about the building we wanted to use. Unfortunately he said the Wildlife Department had already asked to use the abandoned building so we wouldn't be able to use it. On the brighter side Kgosi Sarona and a VDC member said they would look into letting us use the old preschool building. The Out-of-School Youth Group had sent the VDC a letter a few weeks ago about being able to use the old preschool but the VDC didn't really understand why they wanted the building. After talking to the VDC member, she said we could come to the next VDC meeting and explain what our project plans are. Things are looking good, especially since Kgosi Sarona thinks the project is a good idea. I just hope we will be able to convince the other VDC members as well.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I am starting to get some projects started in my village. Yesterday I met with the Out of School Youth group to hear about their ideas for some projects they want to do. The one I decided to help them with for now is opening up a pre-school for the orphans and needy children in the village. There already is a preschool/day care center in Machaneng, but you have to pay to enroll your child in it, which can be pretty expensive so many parents don't have their children go there. The Youth Group wants to open up a new preschool/daycare that is free of charge so the orphans and needy children have a place to get the love, support, and education they need to be ready for primary school when they turn 6. I think it is going to be a really great thing, but it is going to take a lot of work. Right now we are in the process of trying to find a building. There are a few options as to which building we could use but first we have to get permission and now I am finding out just how much red tape you have to go through to get something done. The Out of School Youth Officer and I will be meeting with the District Commissioner tomorrow to see if we can use this old building that is not being used. If he says yes then we can move forward with our plans. If not then we have to go back to the drawing board and come up with ways we can get funding to build a building and convice the VDC (village development commitee) to use one of thier buildings. I hope we will be able to make this idea a reality.
Another thing I am trying to get started with one of the nurses is a support group for any government worker in Machaneng. Any job can cause stress and then if you add the HIV/AIDS pandemic and how that affects job performance you can end up with a huge heaping amount of stress in the workplace. There are many healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with stress and I thought it would be good to form a support group so people in the community can deal with their stress in healthy ways. I hope to teach them stress reducing techniques and also talk about other health issues. I am excited about this project because I can incorporate my background in Exercise Science into the group. We had our first meeting last week but only one girl from the police office came. I was a little disappointed but after talking to my Dad, he reminded me that you have to start somewhere, and that one is better than none. Hopefully the next meeting more people will come.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
One evening I went to Riverwalk with a couple other volunteers to get some coffee at the café there. As we were sipping our mochas and people watching I noticed this group of guys coming towards us. From their body language I could tell they were not from Botswana. They came up to us all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed with this glow of excitement on their faces. Immediately they asked if we were Americans and what state all of us were from. One of the guys was from Pennsylvania so he was pretty excited when he found out I was from Ohio. They had only been in country for a week and we were the first Americans they had come across. After talking to them for a minute we found out they were missionaries working at the University of Botswana and were going to be here for a year. I also found out that they were working through Campus Crusade for Christ. It was cool to find that out because I was involved with CCC and Athletes in Action at Miami University. After a few minutes they left us and we went back to enjoying our mochas, but I just chuckled to myself. They had soo much excitement for being here and it made me think back to when I first got here. It's hard to believe I have been here for almost 5 months, but at the same time it seems like I have been here forever. The new excitement has worn off but there are still things I come across here in BOTS that makes me remember I am halfway around the world in a completely different country and culture.