Each new group of trainees gets to shadow a currently-serving volunteer during Pre-Service Training. They spend a week with us, learning about our job and how we integrate into our community. I have been blessed with two amazing shadowees, Celia and Tate. Celia visited me last November (see previous posts here and here). Tate came in May of this year.
Tate and I had a great week. She saw the clinic, helped me begin my Life Skills class and held a focus group with a bunch of my friends in Shoshong. Celia and I did a focus group with junior secondary school kids (ages 13-16) so I wanted Tate to meet a new group. I got together some of my out-of-school youth friends, aged 24-34. She spoke with them about their hopes and fears about the future. It was really interesting. They urged us to work on supporting the youth with businesses rather than simply teaching about HIV/AIDS. Two even said that HIV isn't a problem here and we should focus on other things. Definitely gave Tate a lot to think about as she begins her work.
And then we traveled to Machaneng to visit the volunteer there, Stephanie. We spent a night out on the Tuli Block, an area in northeastern Botswana known for its extensive family-owned farms. During her service, Steph became close with a family who lives on a farm right outside of Machaneng. They invited us out to see the area and the animals. We had a great time.
|Tate and I|
|The group that went to the Tuli Block, from left: Matt, me, Leah, Chad, Tate and Steph|
|As Steph's friend drove us through the farm, we were able to see the thousands of acres of African bush. It is beautiful. Here I am standing in front of the Limpopo River.|
|And we saw giraffes!|
|They had a Caltex gas station on the property. I thought this was pretty funny.|