The opinions expressed in this blog are mine, and mine alone. They do not represent the views of the Peace Corps or the United States Government.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dumela Borra le Bomma!


It is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. We have only been staying in a lodge (for lack of a better word) for the past 3 days. The lucky ones (myself and my roommate Sara included) sleep in gorgeous little cottages. We have mosquito nets even though the area is supposed to be pretty malaria-free. It is a slight adjustment sleeping under a mosquito net but it generally makes one feel like a princess. We are all now on malaria medication. We are currently in orientation because we move to our home stay in Kanye on Thursday. We are all pretty nervous about living with a family, and none of these families have hosted Peace Corps volunteers before. We don't know what to expect but it's exciting.

Orientation consists of briefings on security, cross-culture learning, and LOTS of Setswana. We have been studying Setswana for 2-3 hours per day. I know how to have basic conversations with everyone now. I have been greeting everyone who works at the lodge, because the more you say it, the easier it becomes. I want to do it until I don't have to think about it. The language facilitators are amazing. They are Batswana and have all taught language before.

Examples of Setswana:

O robetse jang? - how did you sleep?
Ke robetse sentle - i slept well
Ga ke a robala sentle - i did not sleep well
Le kae - literally means where are you but actually used as "what's up"
Le teng - response to "le kae," literally means I am here, but used as "I'm good"

My fellow trainees (because we aren't considered full volunteers yet) are great. Everyone seems enthusiastic and willing to learn. I am hoping that we all swear in as volunteers on June 7th. The statistics show that ten percent of volunteers do not make it through Pre-Service Training. I hope we break that rate. The diversity of our group is also amazing. We have two older married couples, an 84-year old man, and a wide variety of races and backgrounds. It all helps us to learn better and develop deeper perspectives.

A few volunteers and I took a trip to a local supermarket, kind of like a smaller Cost Co. Everyone was so friendly. Walking outside and not being in our bubble re-affirmed my commitment to be here. There are always moments where we question if this is the right thing for us, but I am so sure at this moment. The culture is beautiful and I can't wait to learn more.

Sala sentle! (Stay well)


  1. Great to hear that you're doing well. You're always in my thoughts :)
    Sending lots of love from the states!!

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth! I am always thinking of you as well. Will respond to your email later this week or early next week. Love you :)

  3. Hey Amelia!
    It's me Jenn from Alpha Chi Omega :)
    So excited for your blog - monate!
    YITB & Sala Sentle