A week in the life of a PCV in Swaziland: Friday

When thinking about writing about a normal day as a community health PCV in Swaziland, I just laughed. There are no normal days.

I picked a week to report on where I had very little on my calendar to start with, and by the end of the week, I was exhausted from the number of activities that came up. Sometimes, though, the week does not get filled with activities and sometimes I know the week will be extremely busy before it starts.

I will be posting each day this week with the activities I did on the corresponding day a few weeks ago.

Remember that this is only representative of my life. Other PCVs in Swaziland have very different schedules and are working on different projects and activities in their communities. We are supposed to be meeting the needs of our communities, and of course, each of our 70-some communities have different needs, which means we work on different projects across the country.

Friday

530: Woken by a WhatsApp message from a Swazi. Apparently he thinks my day started just as early as his. Thanks to him, it did. He decides on the time for our meeting that day.

730: Finally get out of bed after trying to fall back asleep and failing. I spent the time reading emails and a book. I take out that day’s egg. Then I boil water, put away dishes, track my spending, reorganize my room, eat, update my garden map, fill out my tutor reimbursement form, update my reimbursements list (essential for making sure I get back all the money I am owed. We get reimbursed for tutoring, when someone in the office asks us to come in for medical or a meeting, or when I go in to work on the SOJO), check on my garden, and get ready for my meeting.

1030: I take a khumbi to the umphakatsi just like on Wednesday for my 1100 meeting. It took until 1220 for the person to show up, and fortunately, I have reading material with me at all times. We talk until 1400 and I get a ride down to my house.

1430: Three of the nearest high schools are meeting at the sports field near my house for some competitions. There are soccer and netball games. Only boys are allowed to play soccer and only girls are allowed to play netball. Netball is kind of like basketball but without any contact and without dribbling. You can only pass the ball while standing still.

1545: I head home after tiring of annoying high schoolers calling me umlungu (this word means visitor and to me is only offensive when the person’s tone implies it is being used impolitely, which it was in this case). I eat a snack and wait for my tutor to arrive for our lesson at 1630. When she had not shown up by 1700, I go to her house. She is not there either. Rather than to continue idly waiting for her, I get to work watering my garden. Then the bucopho (a community development leader) comes by to discuss our plans for the community meeting the next morning.

1815: SiSwati finally starts

1900: I make dinner and spend much of the evening making final preparations for the next morning’s meeting and speech. I update my blog and finally sleep at 2215.

Check out Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

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