Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Moving day is upon us (and other questions answered)

I have been getting bombarded with questions about my pending move. When is the move? Have you told the kids in your current village? Have you talked to your landlord yet? Have you asked for a dog? Which one? When do you start your new job? Well, the time has come to answer all of these questions for you (realizing that things may change at any moment because that's the nature of the game here). So here I go:

1. When is the move?

Without going into specifics, there have been a handful of moments where I thought everything would derail and my excitement would be squandered once again. This is why I haven't been quick to respond to questions - I wanted to make sure there were somewhat concrete things to share first. There finally are! This morning was the final government inspection on the house in Gabane and it passed! There are a few things that the government wants done to the house (mostly in terms of painting and minor repairs) but I agreed that they could be done after I move in. As such, they went ahead with finalizing the contract this afternoon so it looks like it should be a done deal very soon. The DAC is arranging transport to move my furniture and things to the new house and they expect that to happen either Thursday or Saturday of this week. (Wow) I am frantically packing up everything I own here and cleaning my Kums house, while also trying to spend adequate time saying goodbye to both the Kums Kids and my other friends in the village.

2. Have you told the kids in your current village?

I thought the stress would be done once the site was determined and a house was found but that's just not the case. Goodbyes are hard, especially when they involve children that may or may not understand, and lots and lots of tears. But, yes, I have told the kids. I just posted about Bokena's reaction from yesterday. Telling the rest of the kids today (about eight of them) was no easy task either. There were many hugs and a few tears, followed by them pushing the limits of ruckus and wild behavior while we played games and colored pictures. I expected all of these things but it was still difficult. I'm going to miss these kids so much. But I have a date to play with them again tomorrow after school - we're trying to pack in a bunch of play time into what time we have left.

3. Have you told your landlord yet?

Well, yes and no. The DAC told the landlord last week and then I sent the landlord a message about also wanting to talk with her about my leaving. She said she was out of the village (my landlord is working in Jwaneng, a village a few hours away from Kumakwane) but that she would be back on Monday (yesterday). I have yet to see her. So my landlord does know but I haven't been able to catch her for a face-to-face. Sadly, I heard from the DAC this morning that my landlord is being a bit of a pill about terminating my lease early so I'm guessing she's upset. I really would like to see her so I could talk to her about it in person. I don't know if she would better understand or not but it would make me feel better to express my gratitude for the time I have spent on their compound.

(In a similar vein, I have been having trouble locating my current counterpart to discuss the move with him. He's been spending most of his time in his home village and I haven't been able to reach him on the telephone, neither through sms or phone calls, so I finally had to write him an email to explain the situation. He never responded. After days (maybe weeks?) of trying to get ahold of him, he finally called this afternoon. He didn't want to discuss my moving at all but rather the Botswana Zebras football match against Ghana tonight. I think he will make a much better friend than a coworker/counterpart so I'm going to accept that and be okay since I will be moving anyway. Peace Corps is going to address the messy bits with him for me.)

4. Have you asked for a dog yet? Which one?

I have not asked for a dog yet because I have not seen my landlord. As much as I would love to take one with me, I am not sure I want to ask for one. There are a lot of trips that I want to take and I am not sure it would be fair to get a dog knowing that I would be leaving it for days on end. I also don't think I could have a dog for fifteen months and then just leave it, especially knowing how the majority of dogs are treated here. I think it would be too sad.

5. When do you start your new job?

As soon as I get moved over to Gabane and get settled! I am really looking forward to it!

I think that's it for now! Once I get the final move date, I will post about it. Also, stay tuned for pictures of the new pad and my reactions to living someplace new (again).

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