Monday, May 28, 2012

I, (your name), am accepting my invitation to serve...

So begins the text of the official acceptance statement Perry and I emailed to the Peace Corps yesterday. After inserting our personalized information, of course :).

We arrived home from our cruise yesterday and our neighbor had our Peace Corps invitation packet! It was delivered UPS -- we had USPS on vacation hold and we were afraid we'd have to wait until Tuesday for our packet. So, the suspense has ended and we're officially invited to...insert small drum roll here...South Africa!

According to our packet, we'll be serving in either the Mpumalanga or Kwa-Zulu Natal province. It should be pretty interesting trying to learn a click language like isiZulu! Both of us will be school teachers at the primary level, which for Peace Corps South Africa purposes is grades 1-7. We could end up in a classroom with no teacher (due to demotivation, illness, or even death due to AIDS) and as many as 100+ students. We could be living in a mud hut with a thatch roof or a brick house with a tin roof. We could have electricity or not have it, have running water or not, internet service or not. 

We're not willing to speculate too much (the unexpected seems the norm when it comes to the Peace Corps), but we're thinking we'll end up closer to amenities (e.g. medical services) because of my asthma. Flat maps are deceiving because of distortion, but South Africa is actually as large as Texas and California combined, and some posts will be many hours away from a major city. For anyone considering visiting us, know that when it's winter in the United States, it's summer in South Africa! 

Now, we need to file more paperwork (visa, PC passport, etc.), get more shots (starting with yellow fever), organize our affairs stateside (power of attorney, selling cars, etc.), and squeeze in a visit to New York (visit family!). The next six weeks will certainly fly by.

We're super excited for this new adventure! It promises to be a life changing experience.

- by Elizabeth

Mpumalanga - Kruger Park in the NE, big 5 territory!

Mpumalanga Vista

Kwa-Zulu Natal Vista
Kwa-Zulu Natal

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