Hello and happy New Year! (NOTE PHONE NUMBER BELOW- you don't have to read all of this message but look for the number) Things have been busy since we got here on... Tuesday? It feels like it's been a lot longer than that. Our group has classes for most of the day, learning about culture, getting around, issues that might come up, and (mostly) how to teach. It is a lot of fun though, very interactive and the group is great. We're staying at a hostel called Backpackers and although we dominate the social scene there just by being such a big group, there are Namibians, Germans, and Norwegians also staying who tend to be quite chatty.
New Year's eve was a lot of fun here. We had a braai (a barbeque) and had some quite well done steak and Boervurst, which was delicious. I spent a lot of the night chatting with Jim and Sharon, the older couple in our group, and really enjoyed that. They have great stories and Jim and I definitely share the same sense of humor. I'm having a hard time being really outgoing in such a big group (shocking for me!) but I've gotten to know everyone at least a little and really feel like I click well with the two girls who will be in my region, which bodes well.
I find it amusing that we all get up at around 6:30 and tend to be in bed by 10. Granted it's because of the jet lag, but it's still pretty unusual for a group this age. Alright.. I'm finding it hard to tell you everything that happened so here are some bullet points of important information.
- MY PHONE NUMBER: I have a cell phone and to call me you dial 011-264-81-456-2991. I can also receive texts and I'm not charged if you call or text me (sorry to put the payment burden on you, but it really is much, much cheaper for you to call me). I've heard skype and phone cards are the best way to do it and if you have Verizon you can call and spend 20 minutes on the phone to get a free international texting option added to your plan. Call anytime but I'm most likely to answer between 6 and 10 PM for the next two weeks (remember I'm 7 hours ahead of NY, 8 of MN, and 9 of Denver) and I'll let you know beyond that time.
- Some of you will be pleased to know people here think I'm a game nut. I taught everyone literature and basically participate in board or card games whenever I can.
-Also, we played a game very similar to 10,000 questions. Awesome.
- I bought a device so I will have internet at my site (they said it would be easier to go to an internet cafe, but given that the closest town to me is two hours away I think this is a good option. I will be able to read emails and messages but probably won't check facebook too often or be able to download pictures/ attachments (unless they're important) or go to multimedia links, just fyi)
-We had mexican food last night! Not going to be a common occurrance, but still exciting.
- I haven't seen any spitting cobras yet (sigh of relief,mom) and we've been in the capital but I did see some warthogs and baboons on the way to the hostel.
Alright, I love and miss you all, please email me or reply to these posts, let me know if you have questions, and please feel free to call me!