Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yes, still here

I offer you a very South African apology for being so late and few with my blog posts. Seriously, apologies is one agenda item on most meetings and other gatherings I’ve been to.
I am alive (despite what my blog looks like) and am doing great. I’ve now been in country for seven (almost eight) months and have loved most times—can’t quite say all but overall wonderful time. I made it through my lockdown phase fine and have now started more on some projects. At both my schools I’m working on getting libraries set up. Currently books, mainly textbooks, are scattered everywhere gathering dust and making insects happy. Also I’ve started volunteering at Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme (TVEP) on Wednesdays and hope to help get Scouts South Africa going in my area.
                I’m actually eating much healthier than I was in the States, less fast food and soda and fresher food for the most part. I have multiple grocery stores a short khombi (taxi) ride away and sometimes I go stop by with my host dad in his car. I’ve currently got about six butternut squash grown in my village sitting on a chair in my room waiting for me to cook them. My diet along with walking to school one school is around 3km away and because I’m training for a half-marathon means I’ve lost around 30lbs since coming here. Which is great!
                My local language skills in Tshivenda are honestly not very strong, but some of their words are adopted from English with vowels simply added on. At my schools English is supposed to (emphasize supposed to) be the language of instruction from Grade 4 on up with Tshivenda spoken only in Tshivenda class. So the teachers and many people in my village have at least some English and I can have conversations with many about anything. I actually had a conversation talking about exchange rates and why different countries have different currencies and so on…I did not bring up the topic, but was happy to talk about it.
                About the marathon, it’s called the Longtom marathon that takes place on March 27 in Sabie, Mpumalanga Province, not too far from Kruger Park. It starts at the top of the Longtom Pass and goes downhill most of the way into Lydenburg. I’ll be running the 21.1km option, which is a whole lot further than I’ve ever dreamed of running before. It’s a great personal challenge to me, gets me focused on something while in the village and it’s for a good cause. The marathon is a fundraiser for the KLM Foundation, founded by to PCVs that served in SA, the funds send a child to an excellent independent high school in Mpumalanga called Uplands College. You can check out more at The minimum amount that each runner needs to raise is 100USD, nearly 800ZAR (local currency), so if you could donate any amount that would be great (especially since I have to cover the difference and. well, Peace Corps Volunteers don’t exactly get paid much).
So please go to the KLM website to make a donation, just click on the 'donate' photo. The online donation is preferable, but if you need to mail in a check, please make it payable to "Kgwale Le Mollo (US)" and send it to:
KLM Foundation (US)
c/o Bowen Hsu
461 So. Bonita Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91107
Please make sure to include a note that your donation is on my behalf and this is tax deductible.
                I have gotten packages and letters from people back home and I just want to say thank you to everyone. Knowing people are thinking about me back home means a lot.

Off to bed now, it’s 1400 EST while I write this but 2100 here and get up early here. I promise the next entry will be much sooner than this and will have more stories.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Kyle! You popped into my head today and I thought I would check out your blog! It sounds like you are doing great! I plan on checking back more often so do post updates! Cindy F