The end of preservice training in sight!

Today was “host family appreciation day” for our training families who have hosted us for the past 9 weeks. These families have graciously taken in 45 volunteers into 45 diffrent homesteads in two different villages. Each family received a certificate from peace corps and we also taught our family members the Cupid shuffle. They loved it! Swazi’s laugh hysterically when Americans dance. Thus, I and many of the other volunteers have been a source of entertainment the past 9 weeks with our families. Dance parties break out fairly often in a homestead :). I leave my training family in less than two days. From there I stay at “Simpa campus” which is where we stayed for the first few nights we were in Swaziland. During this time we will get “sworn in” as officially peace corps volunteers of the US government. It’s a huge event and apparently a lot of important people in Swaziland come to celebrate our accomplishment of completing training. After “swearing in” we officially start our two years of service! I’m hoping the “important people” will include the king… But it probably will not. 

Tomorrow I’m going to the reed dance. It’s the biggest cultural festival in Swaziland. All girls from the ages of 11-23 gather and travel during a weeks time to gather reeds, then deliver them to the queen mother as a gift to rebuild her fenses around her large homestead. Tomorrow we are going to watch the dance. They also dance for the queen mother and king. Although it’s only a select age group that delivers the reeds, the whole community of Swaziland also attends to watch the girls dance. If you have ever googled “Swaziland” pictures from this reed dance festival are bound to have shown up. These would have been memorable photos, as the women do not wear tops. As many of my friends have asked, I WILL BE WEARING A TOP TOMORROW. I will actually be wearing a trational cloth on top and bottom. 

What is to come: I have been here for over two months now and still feel extremely happy and confident that I am where I am suppose to be. Although we have been harshly warned that the worst is still ahead of us. I have 3 months of “integration” ahead of me that have been described as the toughest and loneliest 3 months. I will be going in with as much positivity as I can, but my life in integration will be very diffrent than my life right now. In training I am surround by other volunteers on a daily basis, this has been a great support and a constant source of still being surround by Americans. As I move to Velezizweni I will be an hour away from the closest volunteer. We are only allowed to leave our community once a month for overnight trips. During integration we are assessing the needs of our communities, introducing myself to everybody and showing the community that we are there to work with them.  As this time will be hard I will also be building the foundation and relationships I will need when I want to start my projects. It has been strongly suggested that we do not start projects within the integration period as we need community support and good standing relationships before we being our work. 

I LOVE getting letters and I apologize in advance that I have been really busy to write back.. I will be writing letters back as I get into integration! 

*Enjoy some pictures*

  Homemade condom distribution box at the local store.

  My sisi & I making popcorn for the trash day!

  I put together a community trash pick-up day. We picked up 28 bags if trash in 1 hour! 

 I’m getting crafty! Eggcarton jewelry holder.

  

 My language group making a perma-garden for one of the host families.

  

My Bhuti Melulage & sisi Emahle 

  

Hiking waterfalls!

  

Gogo, Bhuti na bosisi!

  

  Trash pick-up day 2!

  

Cake I made my training family. It says thanks so much! In SiSwati  

My family at the appreciation lunch! 

Thank you all for the love, support, letters, and prayers. They are all so greatly appreciated! Until next time everybody, hope all is well 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s