Saturday, April 24, 2010

Snapshots of March & April

The last two months have been more than a bit crazy for me with lots going on. And as usual, when life gets hectic, blogging is the first thing to go. So here’s the snapshot overview of the last two months. Enjoy!

  • In March, I started working with my organization to develop a four week day camp program to take place this winter (summer for those of you in the northern hemisphere) during the 2010 World Cup. This has been the project that has consumed majority of my time. We should be hearing soon about a grant that we applied for through Peace Corps. I’m sure you will be getting lots of blog updates about this project, so I’ll leave the details for a later post.
  • March 25th, I turned 28. It’s not an incredibly important birthday year per say. But I will say that 28 officially feels like I should be or am an adult. Good friend Anne baked me a cake the weekend before when I visited her place, and my host family bought me a cake day of. (Got to say Americans do cake better than South Africans—sorry, but its true.) Also received lots and lots of calls and emails. Fantastic goodness.
  • On the weekend of March 27th, a good number of PCVs came together to run the Longtom Ultra Marathon and show support for the KLM Foundation. I ran the 21k (half marathon) in 2hrs 32min. The course was mostly downhill except for a few excruciatingly painful and steep hills. Props to my buddies who ran the ultra marathon (56k), first going up the mountain and then coming back down.
  • As the weekend closed, a few of us also decided to take in a Freshly Ground concert. Freshly Ground is a favorite find in SA, a fantastic Afro Pop group with a host of incredibly talented musicians. To all of my music aficionado friends out there, I really recommend that you check them out. I already know that you’ll love them.
  • April 2nd, SA19 (my intake group) celebrated one year of service. 14 months in country, 12 months at site, 12 more to go. A few days later, we came together in Pretoria for Mid-Service Training and mid-service medical checks. We celebrated with our usual wild rumpus through Hatfield Square, the local college spot.
  • Mid-service med check also meant for me a visit to a specialist to have my left knee checked out. It has been hurting off and on for several months, but training and the subsequent brutal nature of Longtom led to constant pain. Diagnosis: My ITB (the band that connects your knee and your hip) is too short, causing it to rub against the knee joint whenever I bend my knee. Treatment: I’ve started taking the 2 1/2hr taxi ride to and back from Pretoria twice a week for physical therapy, trying to lengthen the ITB. I’ll be doing this for probably around two months (I’ve been going for three weeks at this point), and then the doctor will re-evaluate. If physical therapy is not effective, I will likely have to have surgery.
  • At the first of April, I started facilitating the training that I’ve been developing for the home-based care workers at our organization. I was very pleased with the participation level and the feedback I received from the care workers following the first session. We’ll have two sessions a month for the next few months.

Between developing and implementing the training, developing and preparing for the day camp, going back and forth to Pretoria and keeping up the friendships I’ve developed here, life is suddenly very full. But I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Things to look forward to in May: continued work on the afore mentioned things, my host mom’s 50th birthday party (big plans are in the works) and my parents’ visit at the end of the month. Its been almost fifteen months since the last time we saw each other, so their visit promises to be the highlight of May.

I hope that March and April were fantastic months for all of you. No promises, but hopefully May will see more blog posts coming your way. Cheers!