from a snowy walk in the Rattlesnake, Missoula, Montana

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Just any old week...

Every week proves to be an adventure--some more adventurous than others....This past week was on the more exciting side! GLOW CAMP! Oh, yes. It was amazing in so many ways....

Trying to BBQ 15 pounds of sausage....

GLOW Camp! 

My lovely ladies in group yellow! 

And in other exciting news....I found out that you can mail order semen (for cows) from the 
good ol' US of A. 
From Montana to be exact.

Who knew cow-rearing was multicultural? 

You learn something new every day. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ode to Cheese

Ode to Cheese

If anyone out there knows me, just a little bit at all...Y’all know about my love for cheese. Truthfully, its more than love, its an addiction. Cheese and I are BFFs for ever and ever. So, as you can imagine, the notion of not having cheese in my life was...frankly anxiety causing. (Only a slight exaggeration) When anxiety was not occurring, I thought to myself, that this might be a good opportunity to break the addiction--cold turkey right? 

As it happens, cheese can be found in Botswana. During my recent pilgrimage to the Emerald City I might have gone a little cheese crazy in my purchases....Since winter is coming, I can keep perishables such as cheese and milk for longer (jackpot!). So of course, I had to buy cheese....but that was only just the beginning. Once I made that first purchase, it was down hill from there. I say that with all seriousness. So many of my purchases have cheese in the ingredient list: peppered gouda from food lovers, three different kinds of powdered cheese sauce, pre-made cheese sauce, a white cheese pasta sauce and pasta stuffed with cheese and two packets of faux Mac n cheese. 

So while I will be living in bliss for a few weeks....Then I will fall into a deep depression once my cheese stash runs dry. To be completely honest, its not like the powdered cheese sauce or pre-made cheese sauce is any good and the mac n cheese is just just tastes vaguely like cheese and gives me a temporary high from my increase dopamine production. 

So far this morning, I while I was laying in bed drinking my coffee, I proceeded to eat a hunk of that burning love called peppered gouda with salticrax (Gods gift to the cracker world). 

And how do I feel right now? Perfectly fine! (aside from a nagging headache).My tum-tum is filled with cheese! 

Keep those Velveta Shells n Cheese coming! (maybe throw in some parmesan too?) 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Into the Wild

A month or so ago, I had an adventure of a lifetime....a random series of events landed me in Transfrontier Park. 

When you think things go as then are reminded that you are in the Peace Corps, and well...nothing goes as planned. As transport fell through we were offered a lifeline by a friend who knew someone who knew someone. 

Then we got a land void of people, filled with wild beasts and nothing but sand for miles and miles.  

We could of become vultures dinner...Or be rescued by the Marines  (um, yes please!) 
Alas, we dug ourselves out and ventured to safety. 

Hidden in the bush....a lioness on the prowl 

Ode to SMC

Ode to SMC

Any takers on what SMC is?

Its certainly not anything in ‘Merica that we think about.....

And only men/boys can do it.....

SMC stands for “Safe Male Circumcision,” SMC is a very simple (relatively) way to minimize mens risk for acquiring HIV. SMC can reduce the risk of a male contracting HIV from unprotected intercourse by 60%. It is currently one of the big pushes right now in Southern African to halt the spread of HIV. 
A very readers digested version of circumcision in Botswana: Many many moons ago, before the white people were vomitted from the sea, teen age boys were taken into the bush (literally the bush) and went through initiation schools. Girls did the same too. At this time, boys were then circumcised by the elders of the tribe and taught about manly things. Then the white people came, mainly in the form of Christian missionaries and told the tribes that circumcision was a big no-no. Slowly the circumcisions stopped. Fast forward to present day. White people are now saying that circumcisions is good again. Shish....what to believe?

The idea of circumcision is well....highly not favored by the men folk here. The clinics and health community are pushing SMC hard core with ad campaigns and health movements. To make it even more appealing, it is even free! As a good PCV, I had the health educator come and speak to 130 of my favorite teenage boys of the benefits of SMC.

The presentation was in Setswana, so I didn’t catch most of it, but one of the glorious things about the language is that it is very expressive. So while I didn’t know what exactly what was said--I had a pretty good idea from the presenter and the culmination of laughter and shrieks the boys gave off. 

One of the most common reasons men-folk claim not to get circumcised is the 6 week post surgical period of abstinence. The boys were told that they need to abstain for 6 weeks, then the presenter went on to put the fear of God in them. What better then to tell them that if they had sex, their penises would open up? Perhaps the tip would come off...All one hundred and thirty of them made a collective shriek and squirmed. 

Ideally, the boys will rush the lines to get circumcised...but realistically, this will not happen. My main goal of the presentation, is that these boys will thing about getting circumcised and perhaps one day, actually get circumcised---or better yet. Share the information they learned with their families back home. 

Making balloons

Winter happenings: 
This week....Bathing-well..lets get real. Fully submerging the body hasn’t happened (and its not even that cold yet!) But bucket bathing and baby wipes have. 
This week my skin is shedding like a snake...
This week I drank 11 hot drinks.
This week I sweated not once

I don’t get many visitors-I am okay with that to be completely honest. Yes, part of me twinges with envy with fellow PCVs talk about their visitors etc. But I am a pretty private person and like my alone time (introvert who me?) When I do get visitors it is either the sister of my neighbor or a Form 1 gal who lives down the road. 

This weekend I had a shadow...We had a smashing time. She followed me around as I dug a hole to burn my trash (sorry Mother Earth) and buried my compost--she said it smelled. She watched me do my dishes and make and drink coffee. We counted all the people in my pictures and she asked “O bidiwa mang?” to whom I replied “ Tsala ya me, Amanda/KG/etc.” Then we drew some pictures and learned how to write our names. The highlight of the day was blowing bubbles--or as she called them balloons. It takes a while to get down the technique of not blowing to softly or to hard to maximize the bubble making. I was a proud mother duck, by the end of the day--she had gotten it! And she proudly ran around the compound showing her brother and mum her balloon making skills! 

She also discovered my head lamp and sun-glasses. In which she proudly wore around my house! Later in the afternoon she came back wearing clothing tags on her head--it was her very own head lamp! 

Then as small people (children) she got into everything--So I had to explain to her, no, my leatherman is not a toy, nor is my sewing kit or needles....Oh vey! Kids are tiresome!