I Am From Hawaii?

When I talk to people, they obviously know that I’m not from around here. And after asking how I am, they ask where I am from. I’m not sure where they think I am from, but they never expect to here “America” come out of my mouth. It’s still entertaining to see the stunned expression, usually followed by an expression about how far away America is.

At my school, the fellow educators want to know where in America I am from. I have told my principal numerous times that I am from Iowa, and have even spelled it out for him because he really wanted to know what state I am from. My first day at that school the administrative assistant called me into his office, where he had Encarta open on the computer. He was ready to open the Hawaii page to find out more about my state, until I told him I was from Iowa-shock! Later my principal asked me (more than once) if my state was “coastal.” Surprised, I said no, and reiterated that I was from I-Oh-Wa. Needless to say, it took a few more times before I think I got the point across. And today I managed to get ahold of a map of the US states and showed him where I’m from.

I guess Iowa and Hawaii sound familiar to Setswana speakers. I’m not quite sure how, but I can almost see it. I suppose if people think I’m from Hawaii, that’s not a bad thing.

-Jen

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Weather

I am tired of rain.  Here’s why:

Iowa is not supposed to have a monsoon season, but I think the weather patterns are a bit confused.  This has been the case for the past few weeks, and has caused moderate flooding here in my hometown, and MAJOR flooding in western Iowa, along the Missouri River.  I swear, the rain is never-ending this year, and mostly coming in hard rains and thunderstorms, as you can see by the 10 day forecast.  But hey, at least it isn’t too hot. 😉

Another nice picture for you:

Notice, that the temp in SA is currently warmer than the temps in my hometown and college town in Iowa.  And it’s sunny.  Now, it is late fall-early winter in SA right now, so that’s probably the high of the day.  However, if you’ve ever been to winter in Iowa (20 below zero, anyone?) you can see why I’m not dreading winter in SA so much. However, lack of central heating will change my mind a bit when I get there.  Anyways, I thought I’d share a bit more about weather, while I’m at home lamenting the rain.

I will be living in one of the three northern provinces in SA: Limpopo, Northwest, or Northern Cape.  Here’s a map, with arrows pointing at those provinces:

It’s a relatively dry country as a whole, receiving about half the world average for rain.  However, some areas are deserts and some are wet coastal areas.  With the exception of Western Cape, SA receives most of its rain in the summer.  SA has a higher elevation, and is therefore a bit cooler than other countries with similar latitudes.  So for those who think Africa is always warm and has no winter at all-well SA challenges that a bit (but it is still not like winter in Iowa-yay!).  However, summer is HOT, easily in the high 80s-90s.  I like warm weather though, so I am happy.  However, I need to figure out celsius.  All I know is that anything about 35 is dreadful, from my semester in Mexico.  But it was also humid there.  I’m not sure about humidity in SA though.

It has snowed in SA, but that’s not common.  I would not mind missing a snowfall in SA-Brr!

-Jen

Yellow Fever, Part 2

I got my yellow fever shot today. OUCH!  Not a fan of that vaccination.  But at least it’s done.  I’ve even faxed in the proof of vaccination (and my final college transcripts…I had to send them in before I depart but after graduation).  Hopefully my faxing is done for awhile.

Since I had to drive to Des Moines to get my shot, I was able to meet up with two of my amazing cousins!  We had some coffee at Starbucks, then Theresa and I stopped by the Raygun shop while Sarah went to work. 🙂  Raygun is an awesome shop, and I bought a pretty sweet shirt, which I will be taking to South Africa.  Here’s a picture of it:

See, Iowa is not in the middle of nowhere!  Here’s the site: http://raygunsite.com/shop/women/t-shirts/nowhere  And here’s the shirt that I almost bought instead: http://raygunsite.com/shop/women/t-shirts/ohio  Raygun is a local shop in Des Moines, and therefore most of the items reference local jokes.  Go Iowa!

So, all in all, getting the shot was an ok deal because I got to see my cousins.  I’m also excited because they are going to be there to see me off on July 5th, and my friend Jen is picking me up from the airport in DC!  Good deal!

-Jen