As the title of this post suggests, I will be moving to the village of Etsha 13 after I swear in as a Peace Corps Volunteer! I have no clue why there is a number in the name, but I do know that the village is small and on the Okavanga Delta. This means several things for me:
1. I will be living among some real fantastic wildlife. Think elephants and hippos. Walking around outside my village is risky.
2. Much of Botswana is desert, but I will be living on one of, if not the, largest inland delta in the world. It’s a more lush part of the country and I can get fresh seafood! No small feat for a land-locked country.
3. I will be working in a clinic, which I had to fight for so I am very excited. It is a small clinic serving a rural community and is staffed by four nurses, one layperson, and a health educator. There are also opportunities to work with a primary school, a basket weaving group, and a dance troupe.
4. I have heard several different things about my housing, from my country director, my counterpart, my program coordinator, and rumors from volunteers who shadowed in the area…. so I am just going to wait and see. But everything I have heard is awesome. And I will have cell phone service so I should be able to figure out something with the internet, woot!
5. Getting in and out of my village should be relatively easy. There is a major-ish road with buses that come through fairly regularly, which means getting a hitch should be pretty easy too. This means that I can travel to the five other volunteers on that road with relative ease, and get to Maun (a city with four Bots 12 volunteers) within a few hours. It’s a pretty small village though, so I will probably be doing my grocery shopping in one of the larger neighboring villages or potentially Maun. I’m really excited that I get to live the village life! Many volunteers are sent to more populated regions and don’t have that ‘traditional Peace Corps Experience.’
This is about all I know, but I am really excited about all of it. If I could have picked my region, the delta would have been it. Even my host family even said it was the best of area of the country. Plus, I’m just so thankful to be working in a clinic and I have some intriguing opportunities for side projects. That’s not to say that I am not nervous; isolation and integration into the community are always nerve wracking, many of the people I have become close with will be on the opposite side of the country along with the majority of the other volunteers, and I am still not exactly sure what my amenities will be like. Regardless, I’m going into what I anticipate to be the most challenging part of this experience feeling like I can handle it J