Day 20: I am thankful for my host family. When I had my final placement interview with Peace Corps, I was asked whether I was willing to live with a host family or not. I honestly wanted to say no, but I knew PC would be a good learning experience if I allowed myself to be pushed out of my comfort zone, so I took a leap of faith and said I was ok with it. Of course, living with a host family has been difficult at times, I am happy to have a host family. They help me to integrate into my community, provide entertainment and a social life, make sure I am safe and healthy, and help improve my language skills. I feel safer knowing that they are watching out for me. Even though I have my own exterior room and space, it is nice knowing I don’t have to come home to a lonely place. Yes, sometimes my family drives me nuts, but overall they are pretty awesome. I am very glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and said yes to having a host family!
Day 21: I don’t mean to sound cocky, but I am thankful that I am good at learning languages. You see, in SA, PCVs usually don’t need to learn the language well because so many people speak English. I am the exception because very few people in my village and my host family speak English, so I MUST speak Setswana. Sometimes this can be frustrating, as I’m sure you can imagine. But learning more Setswana has allowed me to become more integrated and more accepted in my community. The locals are very enthusiastic when they hear me speak their language and they are quick to realize that I don’t speak Afrikaans. I am by no means fluent in Setswana and will never be, but the language skills I do have are invaluable. I can learn more about this culture through learning the language, and my host mom gets soooooo happy when she hears me speaking it!