Thing #17

Peace Corps Volunteer friends.

You join the Peace Corps and you get government issued friends.  We were issued  a group of more than 70 people from all over the US (and beyond). A wide variety of people with one common thread.

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(Our whole Bots15 group, minus those napping, on our first day in Boswana)

It is a truly random mix of people.  People who were much younger than us, and some much older.  Everyone was very different with a wide variety of life experiences and backgrounds.  We probably wouldn’t have met any of these beautiful people had we not joined the Peace Corps and been assigned to Botswana (good thing we were!)

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(Our last night in Serowe, we left for Kanye the next day)

We spent 10 weeks living in the same village with all of our “Bots 15” cohort and then we were dispersed all over the country.  Some people as far as a two day drive from us.  Friendships got a bit reshuffled and we got to know the people who live closest to us. Here is a snapshot of our part of the country with volunteers’ names assigned to their villages.

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At our site announcement ceremony is Shayna thrilled to be placed near us?  Or did she get a lucky number?

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Our new group of local friends included the volunteers who had arrived in country one year before us, who will leave one year before us. Some of those people will break our hearts when they leave.  At least one will.

IMG_8054Just as relationships with friends at home change over time, the longer we are here our PCV friendships evolve as well.  We find ways to spend time with friends who are important to us by traveling, training, or working together.

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Above is a group of 6 of us at a Setswana language training week, with our beautiful instructor.  We spent a whole week in a teeny, tiny PC house with one bathroom and we all got along fabulously. With PC you rarely see your friends for a just a few minutes here or there and you can’t just meet up for a drink. When you spend time with PCVs it is usually for a couple of days, or more, at a time, often traveling hours to be able to do so.

Some people, even when they live far way, remain a constant source of support and love (and fashion goals?).

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Some PCVs we just see here or there but we still have a common bond, a difficult to explain connection that no one other than PCVs who have served in Botswana could ever really understand.  We are really lucky to have such an amazing cohort and group of PCV friends, they provide support and camaraderie and not to mention good times (and dumb jokes)!

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Throughout our service our friends will get reshuffled many times.  People leave for a variety of reasons and then new people arrive.  We just received more than 75 new trainees, some of which will be assigned close to us in Kanye and some of them will be our new friends.  Our PCV friends are a government assigned, ever changing, coming and going group of amazing people who help us get through the rough days and help us celebrate the fabulous ones!  PULA!

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