New site & Drakensbergs

New site & Drakensbergs
These are the mts from our village

Monday, March 7, 2011

We know where we'll be for our 2-year posting!

Hi, all!  
Wow! Peace Corps training is intense.  I think especially in South Africa (SA)) because we have only 8 weeks of training instead of 3 months. 
The 46 people in our group cover a wide range of ages and states.  We are about 3/4 women and 1/4 men.  Richard is the oldest guy by a year or two but the oldest woman is 78!
We were very disappointed at noit getting to go to Lesotho to teach but were glad to get a 2nd chance to go to Africa even if it was as HIV/AIDS outreach workers.  Well, when we got to SA Peace Corps SA decided that the country would be better served by our skills if we worked in the schools so we are going to get to be in a school after all!! YEA!  We stayed with our training group since the next  Education group won’t be in country till July.  Much of the training is about cultural adjustment and/or HIV/AIDS which is important for us to know anyway because we will be working with teens and our secondary project may well be related to that.
Being here in SA is really amazing.  At least once a day something makes me pause and think,  “I’M SOUTH AFRICA!”  Maybe it will be a lizard on the wall that surrounds the yard.  (We are staying with a host family in the rural village of Sekgakgapeng while we are in training – it’s in Limpopo Province in the northern part of SA.) or the sound of children playing and speaking Sepedi (the language we are trying to learn) or the view of the mountains that are on the other side of the river from our town or the lemon or mango or banana trees we have in the yard.  AMAZING!
Friday we found out the village we will be posted to for the next two years .  It is very rural – the nearest Post Office is 30 km away and the nearest police station is 60 km away.  Well, , I did say I’d rather be in a rural area than a  city.  Guess I got my wish.  I will try to get this on the web tomorrow and will try to include a picture.  I hope to have more time to write blog entries once we get to our post permanently on March 25th.
Bye for now,


  1. Yay, Emily & Richard! Keep up the good work! I love the details like the lizard on the wall. That's exactly what I experienced in Ghana. And I'm very interested in the curriculum of your training. Whatever you have time to post, I'm interested.

    Love & peace,

  2. If you are with my mother, Barb Shirk, the 78 year old you mention, show her how to create a blog !! and tell her her family misses her !