I am back after two weeks of training in the capital. It was nice to see everyone and catch up on stories from the last two months. One commonality we all seem to share is there have been some rough times and being at our sites is hard in ways we never imagined.
We had a panel of current volunteers come to speak to us and the words of one really stuck with me.
First, a little background: The Peace Corps has three goals and these have been the same since it was founded in 1961.
- Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Today was a good day in those terms. I went down to the small market in town to buy peanuts (I am going to try to make boiled peanuts, but that is a topic for another blog). I spoke to the woman in Setswana asking her how to say "peanut" and then asking how much the peanuts were. She answered a few of the questions and then switched to English. She mentioned that her Setswana was not so good. I then asked her if she knew how to speak Kalanga. She was shocked to hear me speak it.
"Who taught you Kalanga?" she asked. I told her about me and that I had just begun learning it. She insisted that I come back to see her so I could get some more practice. I have feeling that whenever I need beans, peas, or peanuts I will be stopping by.