I’m trying my best to make it so that not EVERY SINGLE post from here on out is me focusing on the future of what life is going to be like after Peace Corps as compared to how it is now. I keep telling myself that four and a half months is a long time, and that I need to try my hardest to live in the present. So I’m going to talk a little bit about the projects I am working on!
I helped the library apply for a One Acre Grant to try and get money to construct a tree nursery on their compound. It appears that One Acre didn’t get that, or that the application was so dismal they just didn’t respond. I don’t have time to chase it out at this point, so we are setting ourselves up to apply for a “Self Help” grant from the embassy. The only thing that changes in this case is that we wouldn’t get the money until, at the earliest, May, which means I would be around for construction, but not much else. This isn’t horrible since I should be able to run a few workshops on Moringa between now and then which would set the women up to run everything once I left. We all knew I wasn’t going to be here for the whole thing anyways, and these ladies are on top of their business.
The preschool, a place from which I have derived so much joy, has closed due to the roof situation. I want to fix this before I go. At this point it is too late to apply for a Peace Corps Partnership Program grant, and I don’t think either of these ladies wants to be the one having to keep receipts for the project, so what we are going to try and do is raise the money ourselves. Mma Mashabela was getting a quote yesterday for the whole roof. The first one she got was just to fix the patch that is currently sagging, but I told her I would rather fix the damn than plug the hole, so to speak. I don’t think it is going to be that much money, and if the community can raise at least half of it I am pretty sure I can find the other half. This would be a lot less of an issue if PC didn’t have such tight rules on fundraising.
There is a woman at the primary school who has approached me about getting some hands on learning toys for the special ed class, and she is really a person I want to help out. This woman has already created a curriculum for these kids, and views it as her calling to help them in any way she can. What she wants are blocks, tactile toys and things that make noise, to help them out. I’m not sure if any sort of resources like this exist in Bots but if they don’t than I am hoping to hook her up with some companies that might be willing to donate stuff. At the very least we are hoping that if schools in the region close down, we might be able to wrangle some of their supplies. If ANYONE HAS ANY IDEA HOW TO HELP ME WITH THIS, please, please, please comment or look up the email address I posted on this blog a few months ago (I'm not going to re-post because I got a wave of spam after doing it the first time.)
The LGBT group in my shopping village is coming along wonderfully and includes some people I count as my closest friends in Botswana. We have started to plan a group retreat, as well as some community projects. One of my favorite authors, Ivan Coyote, sent me two signed copies of his book and it got the group thinking that it would be nice to have some sort of queer resource center. I plan on leaving them absolutely every scrap of material I have on the subject when I leave, but ultimately that isn’t a whole lot. We have talked about asking publishing companies that deal in LGBT literature to donate copies, but I want to make sure the letter is coming from the group and not just me, so I am waiting till the next meeting to get it all together. These people are the future of human rights movement in Botswana and are one of the things I hold the most pride in being involved in. AGAIN, IF YOU CAN HELP ME WITH THIS, PLEASE SEE ABOVE CAPS! ...THANK YOU!
Lastly, I want to try and gut out the computer system at the clinic; too many files, not enough organization and just a heap of copied, duplicated, files. At the very least I want to make sure that everyone knows how to maneuver through this endless forest of documents, which I think has already happened, but double checking never hurts.
It’s going to be a full last couple of months, but I think this is a good thing.
I’m also setting a few new personal goals, I want to start writing letters home on a regular basis. I left my address book at a friend’s for a few weeks so I was using it as an excuse to not write as much, and now that I have it back I’m aiming for two letters a week. I also want to start working out again; Janina, Aimee and I are going to Southeast Asia (we finally planned things out a couple of days ago!) I want to look awesome while hanging out on the beach, and really enjoy the new body I have crafted here. I think I will feel even better about this if I put some active work in.
I want to end my Peace Corps service on the high note that is started, and that means refocusing myself on my personal and professional goals. I would be lying to say that I am hoping that this refocusing won’t also help me to balance out my emotional state currently. I’m not an alone person guys, and the solitary state that tends to embody the peace corps life style is not for me. I’m ready to be around people on a regular basis again, but my mother made a wonderful point about this when I was home. She told me “This will not be the last time you are lonely in your life, but this is probably going to be the last time that you are this alone. Take what you can from it, and know that it won’t last forever.”
I love my Mom J
Hugs and smooches,