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Dear Meredyth,

It’s Friday, so passes another week. I have been in Botswana for 6 months, 1 week, and 1 day, an (official) Peace Corps Volunteer for 3 months, 3 weeks, 1 day, and a resident of Phitshane Molopo (my village/my project site/my home) for 3 months, 3 weeks. When exmaning my time here in Africa in this way I feel disappointed, like I should have done more, I should have more to show for myself after all that time. If I had gotten knocked up the night I left America I would already be in my second trimester! If I can almost grow a real baby in this time, I should have been able to get at least one real project off the ground, or saved a couple kids from getting AIDS, eh? Not, so.

I have a lot of time on my hands here, even though I am trying desperately to have much less free time, so I often reflect make on why I wanted to join the Peace Corps and come to Africa. I had this dream of what Africa would be like, and what I would be like as a PCV. For some reason in this dream I was always wearing those explorer’s khaki button up shirts, shorts, tall white socks with army boots, and one of them safari hats. Trust me, I know this is odd but this tells you just how different I thought I would be as a person here. Before I came here, this dream of going to Africa was my motivator, it kept me in the library finishing papers, it kept me from procrastinating writing papers too. I pushed myself to get good grades and finish college as quickly as I could so I could go to Africa, ASAP.

Now that I am here, faced with the reality of my situation, I find myself dreaming of my next step. What lovely, exotic, foreign location do I want to go to next? Or should I pursue a Master’s degree first? What clothes will I wear to class to express my personality and intelligence? These are the things that I dream about now. But before I get carried away with the many ideas I have for the future, let me assure you that I have not given up on the present. This was not my PeaceCorps dream, but it’s ok. I have pushed through harder things than boredom and cultural frustrations. I will power through this like I did the last two years of college, not rushing but enduring the hard times and getting everything I possibly can out of this experience. I will prepare myself to jump into my next dream stage of life, fully prepared and determinedly ignoring reality.

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