To Molepolole

Friday, April 16th

Early this morning our group wrangled our luggage and piled in a bus to drive from Gaborone to Molepolole. I watched as we drove past miles of grassland on either side. I loved how there was just nothing around for miles and miles, and slowly we began to see a house here, a train of cattle there, and more and more until it was clear we were in a place people call Molepolole. We arrived shortly before 10 a.m. to meet in a large room to be presented our new host families. Members of Parliament, along with several prominent Chiefs were in attendance. As we filed in, many of the host mothers were already there, yelping in excitement for our arrival (loud, high pitched “lololololo!!”s).

This is apparently a big honor in Botswana – the Peace Corps has helped bring Botswana to the middle-income status it has today, and two of the event’s speakers mentioned that they were taught by Peace Corps Volunteers back in the 60’s.

After about an hour or so of speeches, we were finally paired with our families, gathered to eat, and set off on our own to settle in our new homes. My host mother’s name is Agness, but she has asked that I call her “Mma Lady”. I am her third Trainee to host. She is a lovely, unmarried woman who seems very at ease with allowing me to keep my cultural tendencies (i.e. not eating heaps of sorghum and letting me jumprope in the morning) while also interested in showing me more Botswana culture and teaching me Setswana as I learn. The house is really wonderful. A large kitchen, a living room, several bedrooms, and I get my very own right next to the kitchen. We have electricity, an indoor toilet and occasional running water, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this. I will live here with her and her family members (daughters, sons, nephews, etc.) throughout the rest of the 8 week long training, and I am really looking forward to feeling comfortable in her home. On a side note – I’m pretty sure this Malaria medication is getting to me.

More pictures of the house later – just as soon as the internet connection will allow.

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