Sorry for the delay in posting…
Day 27: I am thankful to be living in a country that is so welcoming. Being given a Setswana name by my first host family was an important moment for me, made even more so by the meaning of my name. My name is Keamogetswe, which literally translates into “I am welcomed”. I have been welcomed into my PST host family, my village, my permanent host family, my school, and into the Tswana culture. Yes, I have battled against the lingering legacy of Apartheid, but generally I have been received with open arms. We might not be able to communicate well, or understand each others’ cultures, but I feel welcome and at home in my community, and I am very thankful for that.
Day 28: This is definitely a little Posh Corps, but I’m thankful my host family has a washing machine. I did a fair amount of laundry by hand, for almost an entire year, before I learned how to use the host family’s washing machine. But once I started using it, I couldn’t go back. Do you know how much work scrubbing your entire wardrobe by hand is? And do you know how much more efficient a spinner cycle is than wringing things out by hand. Not a lot about my site is Posh Corps standard, but the washing machine is, and I enjoy it!
Day 29: I am thankful for the people who care enough to be kind. Random acts of kindness have happened many times during my service, and sometimes it’s exactly what I needed. Whether it’s a free ride across town, someone buying me a colddrink on a hot day, someone helping me carry a heavy bag, or strangers-turned-friends inviting me to their home anytime I need the creature comforts of the modern world, the kindness I’ve seen in SA has been overwhelming at times. A lot of people here don’t have much to spare, but Ubuntu is strong, and they show how much they care through their kindness. Ubuntu is the cultural phenomenon found in Africa that states that “a person is a person through other people.” In Tswana it’s “motho ke motho ba batho ba bangwe”. It means that I am the person I am because of the acts and influences of other people. I couldn’t be ME if you weren’t YOU. Ubuntu makes this country better, and creates acts of kindness that stun me, amongst both the black and white populations.
Day 30: I’m grateful for you, all the people who read my blog. I enjoy writing about my experiences in SA and as a PCV, and I am glad I can share what it’s like to live here, doing what I do. Knowing that people care enough to read my blog gives me motivation to keep writing. There are so many incredible, mind-boggling, and crazy things I experience here, and being able to share them with you, my readers, allows me to do my part to help complete Peace Corps’ Third Goal: Sharing my host country’s culture with people back home.