Less than a year to go!
I’m busy these days with three distinct projects;
HIV support group grant
:I’m working with a motivated HIV support group of women to build a garden. We have written a grant together to Peace Corps Washington for E28,568, which is about $2,050 US dollars. We are asking for fencing, water collection container and pipes to harvest water off a roof from a church that is next to the garden. We would have a two-day training where a retired professor from University of Swaziland that taught agriculture will teach this group of women how to garden efficiently. We are currently waiting for the grant to get approved, if it does then we will be implementing the garden in December!
:25 playgrounds are being build by our group of volunteers in our separate communities. I have learned how to build a swing set & have built four playgrounds so far! We are building the playground in my community mid November! We are building it at the Primary school that is closest to me with over 300 kiddos! My community leadership has really taking a liking to this project and they hope to continue it over to the other 6 primary schools in my community.
Primary School Library
: Fundraising is currently underway to build shelving for the library my primary school aspires to have. We have been fundraising for almost two months now by holding talent shows, movies, no uniform days & sending out forms to the parents of the kids to donate. So far we have raised over E1,000 (about $75) for shelves. The shelves alone cost E6,800 for just the materials to build them. We have a room for the library, but it is barren with no desks, shelves or anything to make the room into a library. Step-by-step we are hoping to get there!
Others; HIV testing events committee (we are developing an easy guide on how to host one in a volunteers community), girls empowerment group is on hold currently as the high schoolers are taking exams the next two months, implementing a wellness program for Peace Corps staff members, finishing up my responsibilities as a the volunteer news paper editor as I hand it off to the new group!
—It really feels like the meat of my service right now. With the half way point behind my group and I, time has never gone faster! People said two years is too long, but for me its seeming like the perfect amount of time. I’m not ready to leave yet, my projects aren’t complete and I still love my life here. My 12-year-old sister and I have never been closer and I honestly cannot imagine leaving her in less than a year from now. It hurts to think about my life after Peace Corps, since I will be leaving these people I love here one day without a return date in mind. At the same time its exciting to think about what the next step in my life holds! I have decided to travel from close of service until christmas of next year. Just over four months of solid traveling! I made this decision because I can’t foresee another time in my life where I’ll have no debt, no distinct responsibilities (job, house, husband, baby et.), not that any of those things are in my future, but they might be. I want to take advantage of this free time in my life to explore and do what my heart obviously adores. To WANDER WANDER WANDER, meet new people, see new places, drink good coffee and live out of my backpack with my camera on my hip!