Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

My 24th Birthday was this weekend!  It will definitely be a birthday I will never forget, my first Swazi birthday!  Birthdays are a way of looking back and seeing how far we have come in life.  Only two short years ago I spent my birthday finishing a college paper just in time for exam week, track practice spinning in circles 20lb weight throw in my hands, and then after practice rushing through a blizzard to get ready for he Athletic Formal.  Wow, life has changed!
This year on my birthday, I had a successful event.  We are starting a youth club in my community, so the event’s purpose was to select the committee of leaders for the group.  The elected a female to be the chairperson! And they are looking forward to using this group to help organize social events, sports teams, and for community and business development.  I am really looking forward to working with this group!  After the meeting we all went down to the Butchery, where we bar-b-qued up some meat and pap and they all sang Happy Birthday to me!
Sinceni Youth Club
On Sunday, I ventured out to Simunye Country Club to meet up with other Volunteers who were also celebrating their birthdays.  This country club has beautiful grounds, grass everywhere! So green! And a sprinkler system to water the grass, hard to believe I am still in Swaziland.  I went swimming, ate a cheese burger, had a chocolate milkshake, free wifi, skyped with Patty, and a hot shower!  Successful day, I think so!  And if that isn’t good enough, I spent the night at Ryan and Addy Hall’s site (Ryan and I share birthdays).  Their family came to Simunye for Ryan’s birthday and they brought a cake, so I got my birthday cake after all!
The two weeks after Thanksgiving were really hard for me.  I was really excited and full of ideas after In-Service Training and then I got back to site and within a week everything started shutting down for the summer holidays and it was quite shocking o go back to living the hut life after spending a week with running water, prepared meals, and Americans all over the place.  So this weekend was badly needed and I am now out of that funk.  It’s amazing how little it takes to make me happy again: friends, a shower, and a chocolate milkshake.
Now I am really looking forward to some traveling, as I will be spending Christmas and New Years on the beaches of Mozambique.  It’s going to be a white sandy Christmas!

Peace Corps Swaziland Projects are looking for support

My fellow Swazi Volunteers are doing some great work around the country.  I wanted to let you know about two amazing PCPP (Peace Corps Partnership Project) projects that just went live.  This is a way for you to donate to projects that are being organized and facilitated by my friends.

First, Swaziland is hosting Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) program in April. You can donate to this fantastic, gender empowerment initiative here:

Second, the third annual Books for Swaziland project definitely needs and deserves your dollar dollar bills. BFS will provide 30 schools throughout the country with a 1,000 books each. You can contribute at:

Neither of these are my projects, but I do intend on helping out with GLOW next year.  And as for the library project, the Volunteer who was at my site before me was awesome and organized the first annual Book Drive, so both my Primary School and High School already have books!  My colleagues will appreciate any support you can give!