Dumelang!

Dumelang! The last 10 days have been a blur of training, bonding, and enjoying gorgeous Mpumulanga province. A few days ago, I found out my language assignment is Sepedi! This means my permanent site after the 3 months of pre-service training (PST) will either be in Mpumulanga or Limpopo province.

The conference center we stayed in was really nice- running water, toilets, a pool, and lots of adorable wild monkeys running around. Pictures to come soon! We’ve been in nonstop training on languages (we learned greetings in isiZulu, Sepedi, Xitsonga & Afrikaans in addition to focused training on Sepedi), culture, medical, safety & security, HIV/AIDS, and the history and context of SA. We also watched some of Trevor Noah’s stand up and Searching for Sugar Man, which I highly recommend. I feel like PC is doing a great job of preparing us for the unpreparable. Our country staff and PCV leaders are also amazing and so incredibly patient.

We’ve also had some intense bonding as a cohort (PCSA 35!), aided by the fact that we only got cell phones 2 days ago. One of the trainees tore part of her ACL and fought to come back! I’m very impressed by the quality of our fellow trainees and the support we provide each other. Also, if you want to contact me, the best way is to find my US number on Whatsapp.

We’re now headed to meet up with our new host families. We’ll be living with them for the next 10 weeks, so I’m a bit nervous- I hope they like me! I’ll be in the same village as about 9 other trainees, and we’ll be fairly close to the rest of the cohort. PC is gradually easing us into what life will be like at site, so we’re in for bucket bathing, filtering our water, and intensive language and technical training. I’m pretty excited despite the nerves.

That’s all for now, but I’ll leave you with a Sepedi greeting:
Dumelang! (doo may lahng)
Agee! (ah Khay, pronounced like the French r or Arabic kh)
Le kae? (le kay ee)
Re gona, lena le kae? (ree Khona, layna le kay ee, with rolled r’s)
Le rena re gona. (Le rayna ree Khona)

This means:
Hello!
Hello!
How are you?
I’m fine, how are you?
I’m also fine.

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