I am finally back and site and back at work, and it’s feeling good. There were some changes while I was gone, so now I’m catching up and am pretty excited to really start my third year. Most volunteers get three months of “community integration” (aka lockdown) after getting to their sites. This is time for the volunteer to adjust, learn more language, understand how the organization works, and simply figure their new life out. As a third year volunteer, I don’t officially have this time period. However, I used the 6-ish weeks between getting to site and leaving for the States as a mini-lockdown. It allowed me to figure out where I can be most productive and to develop a rough schedule, and since I couldn’t really start any projects right before leaving site for a month at home, having my own version of lockdown worked out perfectly. Now I’m back and ready to get started!
I landed back in South Africa on Thursday night, and Friday left to co-facilitate a Permagarden workshop for Peace Corps at my site. Considering I was fairly jetlagged, it wasn’t my best training. However, the 10 PCVs and 12 counterparts thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, and I believe they learned a lot. I’m excited to keep monitoring their progress and potentially visit some of their sites in the future.
I got home from the workshop on midday Monday, and spent the day unpacked and cleaning my room. After a month away, things can get a little messy, but at least I didn’t find any creepy-crawlies. I had to go to town on Tuesday, as my grocery supply was woefully low. I can only handle rice and beans so many times in a week! So today I am back at work, figuring some things out and sorting through many emails I ignored during my month of home leave. I’m a little sad my holiday is over, and I miss my family, but I’m excited for the coming year. It should be an interesting ride!