Ga Madiba a le teng, ga o matata

“If Madiba is here, there is no problem.”

It has been a while! Let me backtrack a little and go to before the holiday. I finished giving out all of the Mother Bears and if you want to see cute bears with even cuter kids check it out: https://picasaweb.google.com/112403922368017261477/MotherBearProjectItekelengPrimarySchool

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For the school break we all went to Pretoria for our Close of Service (COS) conference. It was so much fun being together, presumably for the last time. We’ll be planning reunions in the States, but we know it won’t be the same. There were sessions on readjusting and how to package the last two years of our lives so friends and future employers alike will be interested. There was also a panel of all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers that talked about finding jobs and they were able to offer some good advice. One guy said he paid $1000 for someone to review his resume, and it got him hired at USAID. So..that’s an option…

Outside of sessions Colin, a fellow volunteer, organized softball, assassins, and a euchre tournament. I will be including in my resume that I won assassins AND the euchre tournament with Colin as my partner. Highlights of my service for sure. We also held a talent show and Tara made a gorgeous slideshow recapping our journey. It was a nostalgic, amazing conference and a good way to go.

So now I’m back at site, and will you take a look at this garden?!

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Sustainability is a legend in Peace Corps, like finding Bigfoot, but without being too naive I really think this garden will stick around for a while. All thanks to Rre Modungwe, shout out if you’re somehow reading this.

In other news I got kicked by a lamb trying to get it’s head out of the fence. There may be a scar which hurt but it’ll make for a good story later in life.

And today, as the entire world knows, is Tata Madiba’s birthday! Mandela and I go way back, before I even came to South Africa. I was up for a scholarship the summer before freshmen year and in the interview I was asked who I would most like to have dinner with. You better believe I name dropped Mandela and you better believe I won that scholarship. Ke a leboga Madiba! To celebrate Mandela Day at school we had a lovely program full of songs and positive messages. Then the teachers split up and we visited an elderly man and a sick woman in the village to provide comfort and support. We also held a soccer game at the closed grounds- community members versus Itekeleng Primary School- and I was floored to see how many people from the community actually came. I watched the women’s round and Itekeleng won in penalty kicks! Everyone was screaming and so excited and it made me cry like a baby. Luckily the wind is fierce today so no one had any idea. If I’m already crying at a soccer game I can only imagine what these last two weeks of goodbye’s will be like. I’ll be sure to leave the mascara at home.

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