At Site – Kulezo ntaba

Moved into my site yesterday where I’ll be staying for the next couple of years. It was a bit of a drive down here, moving from the dry, flat desert on the border of Limpopo to the chilly and foggy mountains of the Drakensberg region. It’s beautiful here. A lot of the area feels like Wisconsin or Michigan placed into mountains, so I feel right at home. My family and school were extremely welcoming – the school staff waited to greet me when I arrived. The school so far looks very well-put together. I have a two room building to myself in my family’s yard (painted neon-green on the inside). Life is good.

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Swearing In

Today is our official swearing in ceremony. No, I’m not actually at a computer, I just typed this up a few days ago since I have absolutely no idea when I’m going to have internet access again – and WordPress doesn’t seem to work well on a Blackberry.

This is the next big moment in PST, although after site announcements it’s kind of felt like we’re just waiting to get out into the field. Before, we’ve only been PCTs – Peace Corps Trainees. Now, though, we can call ourselves volunteers for real. We have our ceremony and take our oath, perhaps in front of important people like the ambassador. We’ve prepared a speech. One that has also been translated into isiZulu. One that yours truly will have to present in front of such a prestigious audience. Meep. At this point, I will have probably been rehearsing it like crazy and doing my best to actually get the tones of isiZulu right. I’ll have to jot down here how it all went – though if you don’t see anything on the news about some crazy American resurrecting the Zulu Empire, I probably didn’t mess up the speech too badly.

Now, tomorrow we’re off to our sites. Time to see the Sisonke region for the first time in my life – home for the next two years. I’ll probably feel compelled to write the next blog post in Zulu. Feel free to picture me wearing traditional skins and waving a spear and shield. Hambani kahle, y’all.