August 18th, 2011
I think I walked at least 10 miles today. I am lucky to share a community with another PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer). She is an education volunteer and I am a Health volunteer but we both live in this giant community that I am not really sure where the boundaries are. I will be working within the community mostly and she will be mostly in one of the primary schools. We are about an hour walk apart so this morning I walked to her and one of her host sisters walked us around Ekutsimuleni (E-koot-sim-moo-len-ie). I can’t ever pronounce that name so I always just call it Luve, which is what the actual “town” is called.
Luve (pronounced Lue-vay) town reminds me of a mix between an old western town and a 19th century midwestern pioneer town. It has a few general stores where you can buy canned food, sugar, flour, and basic household supplies. You can also buy cold coke in a bottle for 3 rand or about $.40. It never thought I would enjoy a coke so much. The advertisements that advertise opening a bottle of Coke as opening a bottle of happiness are so true. A bottle of Coke can simply make my day.
Anyways we walked all around and I was able to find many key points in the community and met many people. My favorite place was the community garden that was established for HIV positive people to be able to grow their own vegetables and sell the surplus. A church funded it and many NGOs and the Coke Cola Company (not just refueling PCVS) contribute in some way. Coke donated three solar panels that pump water up from the ground so the garden can be watered. We met the cutest old lady who had the most beautiful vegetables growing. She was so nice and answered all our questions and invited us back to teach us how to garden. I hope I can be involved with this garden some how in the future!
And let me talk about the view. Holy cow is it amazing. Rolling plains nestled in between mountains. Spring is just on the brink of starting so trees are beginning to flower. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in full bloom! An hour walk is amazing when you have this view to accompany you!!