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.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Food and Traveling

I would first like to answer some of your questions. I have been helping Flora cook most nights. Some homestay families do not cook family meals every night, so I feel lucky that I am having that experience. It makes it really nice. A typical dinner consists of rice or phaletsche, meat like chicken or beef, morogo, and sometimes salads. Salads are mostly shredded cabbage or carrots in mayonnaise (like cole slaw). Phaletsche is made from maize meal and stirred into water until it is like dough. It is just a starch used to eat other things. It is very filling. Morogo means greens. Often we will have morogo wa dinawa, which is a specific type of greens made from beans. Most things are boiled/fried with a combination of spices, water and oil.

I LOVE the food here. Some trainees are having a harder time adjusting to it, but it works really well with me. The portions are too big so I have to eat less than the rest of the adults, but it is still enjoyable. They also make homemade bread. Some are called madumbe, which is the boiled bread. Other bread is baked, some is fried. It is all amazing.

We also have tea or coffee probably 3-4 times per day. The Batswana put roughly 4 teaspoons of sugar in each cup. Although I am drinking slightly less sugar, my sugar intake is still through the roof between the tea and my chocolate addiction. My dentist is not going to be happy when I come home from Botswana.

Although it is cold and is going to get colder, I packed enough blankets and jackets. Layering is the key. No need to worry! I am well equipped to deal with whatever Botswana weather can throw my way.

I just had my first Language Proficiency Interview. It is kind of intimidating because you sit down with one of the staff members and they ask you a bunch of questions in Setswana. It is just a conversation to gauge your Setswana skills. I feel fine with how I did this first time. I just kept talking and hoped that what I said was correct. We are going to get the results in a week.

So, starting Wednesday all of the trainees are shadowing current volunteers. I am heading to Nata in the northeast of Botswana. I am traveling with another trainee named Maggie. I am so excited to see another part of Botswana and what life is like for a volunteer. This will give us a better understanding of what our life will really be like for the next two years. And it will be a good chance to practice our Setswana with people with different accents.

I will update again after shadowing!


  1. "I just kept talking and hoped that what I said was correct. " I just love this. It is a technique used often here in the states as well. Reading your post is a great way for me to start my day. Keep the faith. K.

  2. Letter is in the mail, but whats your e-mail?

  3. Mel,
    I have just read all your blog posts this morning. What an amazing experience you are having! I am so excited to be able to follow you through this adventure. Stay warm and safe!
    Love, Deb (aka Mrs. A)

  4. Julius, what is your email? I will email you. It is so good to hear from you! I will let you know when I received the letter :)

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  6. Nata is great! One of my friends was posted there. Have fun!

    Ke rata morogo wa dinawa - yum!