This post is a little delayed, and now I am closer to 7 months in, but 6 months is a good marking spot.
I have lived in South Africa for six entire months. This is hard for me to believe. Of course, I feel like I have been here for awhile, but half a year? No way. Someone switched my calendar.
It’s a little scary to think that my service is ¼ over, I’m down to twenty months left! I feel like I haven’t done anything, which is true and untrue. I went through training, community integration, did some teaching, had a few important discussions about corporal punishment, improved my school’s computer situation a lot, went to more training, and traveled right through the heart of this gorgeous country. However, I have not started my projects, and the school year and my teaching is just now starting.
I see a world of opportunities before me, and I have so many things I can do. I know I can’t do them all, but I will be working hard to make an impact in my community. At training in December, my counterpart and I decided to undertake a BIG project: starting a Lovelife in my village. This is a huge undertaking, but I already have support of someone at my school, and it is something my community wants. Lovelife works with high schoolers and young adults by giving them something to do. It works to educate students about HIV/AIDS and in my village, these kids need something to do. I’m not sure what else Lovelife does, but I shall be finding out soon!
I’ve learned a lot in the past six months….about myself and the world around me. Africa is a continent suffering from many problems, and I see these problems in a personal way each and every day. I truly cannot understand the lives of my learners, most of whom live in abject poverty. It breaks my heart and strengthens me. I know my efforts here may not show results for years. But I know I am already having an impact.
About myself, I have learned about how much I can handle (answer-pretty much whatever is dumped on me). I have realized that I am resilient and more self-confident than I have ever been. I have found a closer, deeper relationship with God, and my heart grows more open to His word and His will daily. My flexibility and patience has grown by leaps and bounds, and I deal with all the difficulties African time throws at me. I though prior to coming here that I was an independent person, but I have gained a new level of independence and self-reliance.
I have really only started my service as a PCV, and already I am a new person. I look forward to the next 20 months, and embrace what my future holds. Often times I feel like 2 years is just not enough time!