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In the Beginning…

In the beginning, there were two teachers at Sandy Spring Friends School. After long deliberations, they decided to leave their wonderful school for the adventure of a lifetime. Peace Corps was in their sights…and so it begins.

Hello Friends. Welcome to my blog about out adventures as Peace Corps volunteers in Couth Africa (SA16). My name is Will and my wife is Robi. We are very excited as we begin our experience and we wanted to share with you. Here is the background history about how we got here.

In December of 2005, we mailed in our Peace Corps application. After many steps (more because we are a married couple) and many months (19 to be exact), we showed up to our staging in Philadelphia. There, we met 92 neat and interesting people with the same goal as us…to make a difference in the world and have an adventure at the same time. After 2 days of introductions and activities, we were loaded onto a plane, ready for over 28 hours of travel, including a 12 hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany.

We all arrived on July 21 with optimistic outlooks. Right away it was onto a bus for another 3 hours to our first home in South Africa. In Mankwe (next to Pilanesburg National Game Reserve) in the North-West Territory, we were first introduced to our knowledgeable staff and trainers. We stayed at a college and started our training in language and culture, along with medical shots and lots of forms to fill out. The days were packed and we were all very busy. We wuickly got to know everyone around us and developed very strong friendships.

After a week in Mankwe, we have been moved to three villages outside of Zeerust, near the Botswana border. Robi and I live in Motswedi (Water Spring in Setswana) and we are learning Setswana. We have been greeted with open arms by the community and look forward to creating friendships and learning a ton about the language and culture of our area.

Looking to the future, in two months, we will be placed in a permanent site where we will be working for the next two years.

As you read this blog, please post questions and comments for us and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can. Please be patient as there are not many internet cafes in the rural areas.

Thanks.

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5 Responses

  1. We were delighted to receive your first blog and to know that all is well and that you are enjoying an exciting adventure. Priscilla has sent you two airmail letters which may reach you eventually.
    Gordon and Priscilla

  2. Hey Guys! I hope you received my letter I mailed about a month ago, I believe. As I stated in the letter, I would love to come visit you come visit February in your future home, wherever that may be! As long as I can scrape up the money I will BE THERE! I can help out with whatever you like or just tootle around. I will be staying with your mom and dad in Maine in just two weeks and wish you were there to join me! Hope all is well, take loads of pictures!

    Kris Roudebush

  3. Very exciting stuff. Sorry to miss your call the other morning, but its the thought that counts. Luke’s 5th birthday party was yesterday with a water slide moon bounce. Total blast. Rob came down and we had perfect weather. Missed you guys, though. Be well.
    Hugh

  4. Dear Will and Robi,

    We got back from Athens, Georgia–100 day and night or so it seemed–on Sunday in time to attend part of Luke’s fifth birthday party. The water slide moon bounce was really something to see.

    I talked to your mother, Will, today and Hugh is flying up to Maine tomorrow. Rob arrived yesterday I think. Luke and Nancy will take a trip to Canada with the Maine Coast Botanical Society in about a week, which sounds like fun.

    Natalie, Anders, and Annika are coming for a short visit Saturday evening.

    Everybody is looking forward to hearing more about South Africa. Gordon has dug up some websites that give information about the area. This one gives information about the Zeerust area which includes Motswedi at:
    http://www.tourismnorthwest.co.za/central/zeerust.html
    Keep us informed, please.

    Anne W-B

  5. It’s is extremely hard to find internet time, so the blog is going to be sleeping for a while. Please be patient.

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