I’ve decided to illustrate what my life is like by chronicling each day this week in detail, so you can see what a week in the life of a PCV is like. I got the idea from a fellow PCV (Kelsey) who did this a few months ago. I assume this will be a normal week (besides Friday, you’ll see), but normal in Africa never means normal. We’ll see how it unfolds!
I woke up at 6am, stuck my arm out of my blanket to reset the alarm and snuggled deep into my warm blankets. I got up at 6:20 and made coffee, the returned to my blankets to check the overnight news and ready my Bible. I was running behind today (eish Monday) and didn’t end up dressing until 7:15, so I had to hurry while packing my school bag, and downed some breakfast as I headed out the door just after 7:30am.
I arrived at school at 7:45, just as the first bell was ringing. Because it was windy, the staffroom was thoroughly covered in a layer of dust, so right after assembly, a group of learners cleaned out the staffroom while I checked the garden. The wind had done some damage to our new recycling/compost area, and scattered mulch and debris around the garden. It was still quite cold at this time, so I headed back to the staffroom as the learners were cleaning up and settling down into my spot in the sunshine to warm up and read the news on my blackberry.
By 9am I was into my real work, editing some computer curriculum for my educator computer lessons. I was happily doing this when my lunch arrived, at 9:10am. I chowed down on my pap, cabbage, and soya then got back to work. I noticed how badly the goats were attempting to break into the school gates to eat the garden, to no avail. As I was working, a man and two kids (man taking care of kids…what?!) came in, presumably to register one or both girls for Grade R for next year. As the conversation was in Setswana, I’m not entirely sure. They left as I printed out my computer lessons, wondering where the main printer had gone over the weekend and settling for the cheap printer.
At 10:30 I looked around for my first “learner” for the computer lessons-my principal. She wasn’t there, no surprise. African time. She came twenty minutes later and switched her time permanently to the new hour. So awhile later she sat down for her hour-long lesson. I went through some of the basics of Microsoft Word, then had her work on a Type Faster lesson. As she slowly pecked away at the keys, I surfed the net for some Peace Corps blogs, one of my favorite pasttimes. I read while she typed, and half an hour later we finished up and I prepped for Grade 6 Spelling.
I headed to Grade 6 to give them their spelling homework and was very discouraged that they couldn’t even respond to “Good afternoon, class”. A few minutes later I was out of the class and headed to the garden to clean up a bit. I was trying to recover my compost heap when I smashed two fingers with a cement brick. So I decided I was done in the garden as I tried to figure out if I broke anything (thank goodness I didn’t, though typing now STILL hurts). I then decided I needed to go to the toilet, so I grabbed my toilet paper and headed out to the latrine….JUST as Grade 3 was heading out to recess. Now, the latrine has no door, and you can see into it from the yard pretty well, so I decided I did NOT need to go then.
I headed back to the staffroom and started to research Darien Book Aid, which provides a small grant of books, and has a special relationship with PCVs. I wrote up a request letter and bbm’d another PCV who had received books from them to ask a few questions. I also worked on editing an article for the PCSA newsletter.
After her English class, my principal and I sat down to talk about my plans for the rest of the year. We had a good discussion and it looks like I’ll be pretty darn busy for the next few months! Then I basked in the sun for a few minutes, shut my computer down, packed up my bag, and headed home at 3pm.
Once home, I rejoiced because the water was back on, and quickly filled my bucket. Then I grabbed some beef jerky and my chocolate bar (I had been saving it from town) for a snack. Odd but good combo. I started up my computer and played Sims 2 for a bit-yes, I am a dork. But I also get REALLY bored on nights and weekends. After awhile, my host mom came in a greeted me, then checked out some photos I had recently hung up. Then I made some pickles (can’t wait til they are ready to eat) and warmed up leftovers for dinner.
Then I wrote this blog while cuddling into my blankets, and will go to bed around 8:30pm.