When I signed up for the Peace Corps, I was prepared mentally for pooping in a hole and living in a hut. Well, I almost have that. I certainly don’t have “posh corps.” And if this is considered posh corps—I want to know what the authentic Peace Corps experience is!
On the up side we have two bulk food stores in Hukuntsi that cater to the surround settlements. Having the bulk food stores allows us to purchase bulk supplies of canned veggies, rice and pasta—items which are often absent from the shelves of our general dealer. I have to admit, the lady who runs our general dealer will order feta and cheddar cheese for us! Which has been my saving grace these past 20something months. Up until a month ago we were the only subdistrict in Botswana not to have a grocery store and a bank! About a month ago a small Shoppers opened about 100km away! We are still waiting on the bank….
Neighboring PCVs….well, I can count them on one hand. Very few of them actually complete their two years for varying reasons…Its like the Kgalagadi spits you out after a while. I don’t know what life is like in the rest of Botswana, but I feel like the Kgalagadi is the forgotten district. That mentality is reflected in every aspect of life. Villagers try and cling to traditional values and practices which clash with government values and programs. Education for example, there is no value in obtaining an education, instead children and parents would prefer to be at the cattle post leading semi-nomadic lifestyles with their cattle. You in fact can still barter livestock for material goods! Why should children sit in English or Setswana class?
I have had my share of bad days, today for instance, tears were in my eyes as I took walked the 3 kilometers from my house to school. The thought of leaving my house to charge my phone and computer were unbearable. I have the ability to say that when I finally leave this place-I will come out stronger. I have done it. I have met my battles head on with little complaining and succeeded.