This one is casual, even the title is casual

Khotso my friends,

Popping into say a quick hello and let you know about the exciting next few days. Most of my posts have a really serious tone, including this month’s YOP post, so I wanted to do something more direct and offer a friendly greeting as if we are ol’ chums meeting for a spot of cafe at the local bistro. We are ol’ chums, right?

On Thursday I return to my training village for Phase III training. This is a big deal for many reasons: 1) After three months of lockdown, I will finally be reunited with my friends who live throughout the rest of the country. It will be so nice to hear stories from everyone’s first three months at site and gage how we’ve all changed in that short, but meaningful, time. Also, not going to lie, but my sanity has checked out. There were signs it was about to run away – weekly dreams staring Jason Segel, inside jokes with myself and talking out loud about my life story as if Oprah was interviewing me (wait, I’ve always done that.) But the real sign that my sanity was no where to be found was when I decided to do a speed workout on my run. I haven’t done a speed workout, or really anything beyond long and slow, since my senior year of cross country in HIGH SCHOOL. Not only did I do it, I ENJOYED it. Sanity, gonzo.

2) The workshop promises to give us lots of information to further our work. I am so excited to learn all I can and come up with a list of possible projects to start once I return to village. I am at this point where I am getting over myself and “how hard this is” (read in a mocking tone) and ready to do some actual good. The training will give me shot of good ol’ motivation.

And 3) It was at this point in my Niger service when I was evacuated. Sure, I am a bit nervous of history repeating itself, it’s only natural to feel that way. However, I am just excited to finally move beyond the training and integration phase and, to me, it may finally feel like I am a real volunteer (more on that later).

After Phase III, we are setting out on our first vacation over the Easter break to Durban, on the east coast of South Africa. We’ll leave straight from training and then enjoy five days in what is for all purposes the First World. It will be a great break full of hot showers, runs on the beach, cold beer and good food, all of course in the company of amazing people. It’ll be the perfect boost to return to site re-energized and motivated.

The beach will also offer a nice relief from the dropping temperatures. The highlands are always cold, but the first signs of winter are hitting the lowlands, where I live. Winter’s harshness will peak in June and July, but I am already wearing fleece jackets to bed and drinking several cups of tea a day. Whatevs, I am a born and raised South Dakotan and we pride ourselves on the ability to handle extreme temperatures in either direction.

While I am gone, I am going to schedule a few posts for the blog in the name of consistency. Also, please feel free to comment if you want to know something about Lesotho or Peace Corps. I want to write posts that are actually entertaining instead of the constant emotional dribble that winds up on this page. What do you want to know?

I am contemplating relaunching my running blog because running has become such an integral part of my life here. Would anyone read it? Does anyone read this blog? Just kidding, hi mom.

OK, that is enough of the tiresome blog wit that isn’t really wit at all (thinking that I am funny is another proof that my sanity has fled me). See you all in a few weeks. Enjoy your Easter and the blessings that come with it, no matter what you believe.

Love,

Heather

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