So apparently some people are pretty upset that I've been neglecting my blog for a long time (people seriously still read this thing??). I guess that all started when I typed up about 4 blog entries and they all got deleted, regardless of me hitting the 'save' button periodically. It also might have to do with the fact that when I get access to a computer now, my time seems to be consumed with writing grants, updating my resume, researching masters programs and jobs, trying to figure out what comes next, and reading the latest tabloids and viewing Miley Cyrus' most recent trashy half-nude photo shoots... because lets be honest, keeping up with someone else's trainwreck of a lifestyle is much more exciting than writing about my mundane day-to-day life living in a rural African village, right??
But I guess since I did my 'one year in Africa' updates a lot has actually happened, some of which is noteworthy. So I'll give you the cliff notes here and now, and possibly will eventually get around to writing more.
My service got shortened by one month. That means instead of serving 27 months, my contract is now 26 months. Instead of 'ringing out' on Oct 5, 2014, I'll close my service on Sept. 5, 2014. This applies to our entire health intake that I flew in with, not just me specifically.
I turned 24. We had a camp-out in my village. Killed two chickens and a goat. There was also a lot of drinking. A game of soccer. A ton of fun. And a whole lot of deliciousness.
I wrote my first ever grant!! A small one, for $2, 500 , but it was submitted with the incorrect budget sheet so I now have a couple thousand more dollars sitting in my bank account than I know what to do with. This is the richest I've ever appeared. Accidentally not spending it will be a struggle... no wonder corruption is so...easy.
I attended a week long workshop in Chipata with my host father. It's called PEPFAR and is all about HIV/AIDS which I feel as though I'm pretty much an expert on by now. I then got selected to travel to Lusaka in December and co-teach the same workshop. So I'm really excited about that!
I just had my mid-service conference. Basically a few days in the capital to do dental and medical check ups, meet with our superiors and discuss successes and challenges that have occurred in the last year. We also rededicated ourselves to our second and final year of service. While I was at the office I met with the woman who manages 3rd year extension volunteers, and we discussed different job opportunities for me if I want to stick around a little longer.
I finally got my cast removed! After something like 11 or 12 weeks in it.. Idk, I can't count. But my wrist seems to be healed from the surgery, it's just stiff and really sore, and hard to move. I had 3 physical therapy sessions and will do more whenever I'm within Lusaka.
We did some construction at my hut. I now have a brand new brick bathing shelter with a cement floor instead of a dirt one. It's super nice. Other new additions include an extremely large porch, and chicken house so I can finally get my laying hens!
I took two girls from a nearby school that I teach at to Chipata for a one week overnight camp, Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World). Although I got pretty sick from all the meat we were fed, and although the week was extremely exhausting, we had a blast. The days were filled with sessions ranging from sex education, healthy relationships, women's health, communication skills, goal setting, leadership, confidence and more, and accompanied by games, sports, arts and crafts, cooking, movies, night time chats, and a talent show. The girls also learned about HIV and had the opportunity to get tested, and learned how to properly use condoms.
I started doing pre-school with my brother Jones. He absolutely loves it especially because he gets two candies at the end of the lessons (which are really gummy vitamins). Because the families in my village are too poor to send their children to elementary school, Jones is already a lot further along than his 7 year old brother. He's my prodigy. I also teach him English and sign language. Which means among the useful signs to know (the alphabet and 'I love you') I taught him the shocker. You're welcome, ladies.
Well that is all that I have time for right now (because I like to pretend I'm really busy)... so until next time!