Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Day in the Life of... (Training Version)

Here is an example of a typical day for me during training:

5:30am: Wake up, take a bucket bath, get dressed, and eat breakfast (I see the sun rise every day, and I am actually rather enjoying getting up early).

6:30am: I am out the door for my 1hr+ walk to my training site. It is around 7-8 km one way and I walk to and from school every day with the other volunteers who live nearby. My host family thinks I am crazy to walk so far (especially since a taxi ride to school is the equivalent of 45 US cents and takes about 15-20 minutes).

7:50am: Arrive at school and meet up with all of the other volunteers. Share stories about the previous night's meal or other funny things that happen to us.

8:00 - 10:00am: First session of the day (usually language). My language teacher is great and while I have difficulty with the language sometimes, I am slowly picking it up.

10:00 - 10:30am: Tea break. You have to love a country where there are tea breaks built into the schedule. I could really get used to this.

10:30 - 12:30: Second session (usually language again, but can also be something technical). The picture above us is an integrated language and technical lesson. We learned the Setswana words for food and then learned to cook traditional foods (and using traditional cooking methods).

12:30 - 1:30pm: Lunch.

1:30 - 3:30pm: Third session (usually something technical) The above picture is when the former Minister of Health came to speak to our group about HIV issues in the country. She is such an interesting woman to say the least. If you have the DVD of the series "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," you can see an interview with her in some of the bonus materials.

3:30 - 4:30pm: We either have a fourth session (again about some technical aspect like capacity building or behavior change), or three days a week they transport us to the stadium to get some exercise. Stadium days are a welcome stress reliever and I have enjoyed playing soccer (football) with some of the staff.

5:00pm: Walk home (assuming we didn't go to the stadium)

6:00 - 6:30pm: Arrive home

7:00pm: Eat dinner with my host family. I talk about my day and practice the new words and phrases I learned during the day.

8:00pm: I go to my room and read or study.

9:00pm: Lights out and go to sleep.

This is my schedule Monday - Saturday of a typical week. Sunday is my only day off and I spend the day doing laundry and working on homework assignments.