This weekend, all of the PCTs (Peace Corps Trainees) went to visit current volunteers at their sites and shadow them for a day at their schools. My group went to Tafelkop to visit an education volunteer named Colin and we had an awesome time! In addition to me laughing more this weekend than I have since I arrived in ZA, we got all sorts of valuable advice and information from our host and we got to see what being a PCV is really like.
It was really cool to walk around the village and have people ask us,”where is Colin?” It was obvious that his community and his learners really care about him and gave me something to aspire to. It was incredibly enlightening to spend a day and a half at the two schools where he serves as well because I really had no idea what the ZA education system was like until then. Getting back home became a bit of an adventure since we had to wait over 2.5 hours for our taxi to leave Marble Hall for Mokopane and a guy in Mokopane seemed fairly determined to get me to let go of my bag, but all in all the trip was a success and was exactly what I needed. It reminded me just why I decided to come here in the first place and that life is about the journey, not the destination. As a foreigner coming into a South African school, it’s important for me to remember that I can’t come in and fix what I may think is wrong. Instead, I think I have to work with what I have to make small differences in the lives of individual children. We even saw ostriches and monkeys on our way home!
I think the $8 I spent on a fake wedding ring from ebay may have been one of the best investments I have ever made. In addition to men asking Jess and I if we were married, black South African men just couldn’t believe that we live outside of Mokopane …in a village…with black families. They were surprised to hear us say that we love our host families and we love living here. It is amazing to me how quickly this has become home. I have found myself referring to my house in Magongoa with my host sister and mother as “home” and my parents’ house in Asheville as “home home.” Attached are some of the pictures from this weekend. I hope you enjoy them!