I know I’ve been silent the past few weeks…and for a good reason. Life has been pretty insane here. I have packed up and moved halfway across the country. From the flat Kalahari sand to the mountainous forested area of Limpopo. From deep-freeze winter to t-shirts-and-skirts-summer (til this week that is…finally had to wear a jacket again).
I’ve switched gears in so many ways!
Saying good-bye to my host family and village was incredibly hard. The only thing that held me together was the knowledge that I’ll be going back for a short visit next year. I was an emotional mess for a week or so, but I managed to make it though the last, very sad, day in my village without breaking down in public. My village was my home, and I had been dreading my departure for the better part of two years. But several things in my last week there reminded me that the time was right for me to go, and my work won’t fall apart soon. I saw dedication among some of the learners and teachers, and excitement to continue the permaculture practices I had been teaching. I know some things will fall to the wayside, but I have hope that my efforts for the past two years won’t be for nothing.
Moving to my new site was harder than expected. I had allowed myself to do something very dangerous-have expectations-and those expectations came crashing down around my head as soon as the PC driver pulled away, leaving me alone in a very strange place. I didn’t realize how hard the culture shock was going to be….but then again, everything was different: the language, dress, climate, village, food…you name it, it’s different. I went from teaching in a school located in a very isolated desert school to a highly functioning organization in the “fruit basket” of South Africa. Instead of being surround by Kalahari sand and acacia trees, I see banana and mango trees everywhere I look. Literally. They grow like weeds, apparently!
So I’ve been figuring out how to settle into a very different PC life. Parts of it are much more Posh Corps, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I do deserve some perks for extending for a third year, right? 🙂 But other things are so blatantly African that it makes me wonder where I’ve been living the past few years. I’ll be sharing more about my new community and organization over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.