Friday, May 7, 2010

Heavenly Sunlight Filling My Days with Glory Devine

Hello, Friends! So, looking at some of my fellow trainees videos, I have found that I am one of the few slackers who hasn't updated yet. I'll do my best to fill you in.

I have been in training in Molepolole (pretty close to the capital- I think of it like Dallas and Ft. Worth). I live with a host family there. Mine, in particular, is amazing! I have a mother and a father, a little brother who is 14, a sister who is 11 and a sister who is 1. They are super cool. I usually get up at 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning (by that time the roosters have been crowing for three hours), get ready, sometimes pack a lunch and meet four of my peers/neighbors for our hour long walk to school. Our training takes place on a church compound for the most part. My language class has four other ladies about my age in it. We actually meet about ten minutes from the church in the office of a member of parlement. We break for tea, then right back to Setswana (usually the lessons are between 2 and 4 hours a day). After lunch we are all together in the church auditorium for lessons on HIV/AIDS and community development theory (jealous?). Occasionally we break early and get to go to the village sports complex and play basketball/volleyball/soccer or just run around in the sun. These days are our favorite for obvious reasons. Then we go home. I try to get in the way in the kitchen until my family gives me something to do. Usually that is cutting vegitables, and plating the food. Then I have dinner, take a bath, and try to be in bed by 8:00. I know it's hard to believe that that would be my bedtime, but culture shock is exhausting.

The people I have met here would blow your mind. I would recomend Peace Corps service solely on the quality of peers you have. Seriously, they rock my face off. They all have big hearts and winning smiles, several of them have advance degrees and years of experience in world-changing. One of them told me a story yesterday that honest-to-God started with "When I met Mother Theresa..." A couple of them have served in the Peace Corps before. Basically, they're amazing.

That being said, I still miss my sweet mind-blowing, face-rocking, world-changing friends in America. All of whom I couldn't be prouder of. My Peace Corps friends have to be so sick of hearing about you and all of your coolness.

Botswana is pretty great in my book. It was hot, and sunny, and deserty when I got off the plane. Feels like home to me! It was pretty rainy for a week, but it's back to sunshine now. Perfect.

My host mother gave me the name Tumisang (TOO-me-sa-ng) or Tumi for short. She said that means 'anounce me'. I have also heard that it can mean 'famous' or 'more good things'. It can be for a girl or a boy, like Kelli. I really like it. My last name (my host family's last name) is Tese, which means 'beautiful thing'.

That's all for now. Love you guys!


  1. Kelli I loved reading this! How wonderful! I know you are going through extreme culture shock and crazy changes, but your amazing character and resiliency will get you through it. I liked reading about your new favorite similar-to-doughnut treat in the Mother's Day update. It made me go out and eat a doughnut which immediately made me sick. Worth it!

    Side note: I have been make a conscious effort to use exclamation points sparingly but it is difficult when I write about you because I am so excited. Perhaps this is due to working with 5-year-olds all day.

    Is it weird that I suspected your sleep patterns to change when you joined? I feel like you are doing something exciting and new. You are doing something you have dreamed of for years and years. So now you are going to bed early in order to get up early to do something you love. I am so happy for you love! It will be crazy hard, but I know you will cherish every minute of it.

    Also, I love imagining you standing awkwardly in the kitchen with a big smile on your face ready to help. Just like . . . well me in the kitchen when you were cooking. I am sure your host family loves you too! How fun is it to be around a 1-year-old right? Kids freaking rock!

    I love you!

  2. Kelli, you may not remember me, but I knew you from New Life Church in Abilene =) I have been thinking a lot about Botswana, from the ladies #1 detective agency books, and I'm excited to hear that you are having an adventure of a lifetime there! I'll be praying for you and your adventures! keep up the posting; I'd love to hear more!
    Natalie Hughes

  3. Natalie!-I'm so glad to hear from you! Are you and Shane still in Oklahoma?

    Megan- You are so wonderful and encouraging. Thanks, friend. I miss you!