A-10 - The main road that I travel on. It is the main paved road that goes along the southern part of the country. It extends from Gaborone (in the southeast corner) across to the western village of Ghanzi.

Aish! - An exclamation of surprise, shock, disgust, or horror.

AO - Administrative Officer. This is the person that handles our allowances and reimbursements (among other things) so the AO is super important to a PCV.

APCD - Associate Peace Corps Director. The APCD is program-specific. In Botswana, that means we have APCDs for PCVs in the NGO sector, CCB, DCL, and Life-Skills. My APCD is Rosemary (NGO). If I ever reference that name, my APCD is who I am referring to. Please also see PM (Program Manager), which is the preferred acronym for Peace Corps Botswana.

Batswana - A group of Motswana.

Botswana - The country where I am serving.

Bots 10 - What my group is fondly called. We are the tenth group of volunteers to come to since the program was reinstated in Botswana. (Subsequent groups are called "Bots 11", "Bots 12", and so on, according to their group's order of entrance into the country.)

"Borrow Me" - "Give me".

Bottle Store - Where alcohol is commonly purchased. Other places include Liquorama and what they call "Liquor Restaurants".

BWP - Money. Pula.

CBO - Community-Based Organization. Civil society non-profits that operate within a single local community.

CCB - Community Capacity Builder. This is one of the program areas that PCVs work in. PCVs assigned as CCB are usually placed in clinics or social work offices.

CD - Country Director. 

Chibuku - Also known as "Shake Shake". It is a traditional brew that tastes like the after-taste of vomit but with chunks. It is disgusting. The box, however, is only BWP 5 (or $0.78) so it is the drink of choice for those who are poor or desperate to get drunk. (One box can get someone sufficiently drunk. You usually see people walking around with two.)

Combi - A large van that sits 15 people (not comfortably). Combis are the main form of public transportation in Botswana. I take a combi every time I leave my village, as it is the only form of transportation (outside hitch-hiking) to either Gabs or to the junction where I can catch a bus.

COS - Close Of Service. This is when all of us PCVs finish our 24 months in country. See also "COS Date". Often heard in conversation as "Oh my gosh, can you believe our COS date is coming up?!" My COS date is 31 May 2013.

CWWS - Coverdell World Wise Schools (Program). This is a program that links PCVs with schools in America. We correspond with these schools throughout our service to help share both cultures (American and host country) with the other. I am working with three teachers in America through CWWS.

DAC - District AIDS Coordinator. The person who coordinates HIV/AIDS efforts in the district. (There is also an A-DAC, or Assistant DAC.)

DCL - District Community Liasion. This is another program area where PCVs may get placed. In Botswana, these volunteers work at the district level at the District AIDS Coordinator's office.

"Dumela" - "Hello" in Setswana, the language of Botswana.

ET - "Early Termination". This is when a PCV decides to terminate their service early (duh). In other words, for one reason or another, the PCV decides to go home before their COS date.

Gabane - The village where I live. It is in the southern part of the country, in the Kweneng District, just 15km outside of the capital city of Gaborone.

Gaborone - The capital city of Botswana. Often referred to as "Gabs" or "GC".

GCHBC - Gabane Community Home-Based Care. This is the NGO that I am working for in Gabane. It is multi-faceted, working with patients infected with HIV, facilitating the Support Group, networking with the clinic and health post to assist the sick and provide health education, and having a preschool for OVC.

General Dealer - A very small store where essentials can be found in a village. Such things that are sold at a general dealer include sorghum meal, rice, macaroni, and the occasional vegetable (usually onions).

Ghanzi - A village in the western part of the country in the middle of the Kalahari. I spent my shadowing week in Ghanzi.

GROW - GROW is a women's social and economic empowerment model started by PCI. The model organizes women into savings groups and teaches them how to marshal their own social and financial capital - without external inputs or long-term support. In Botswana, these groups may also be part of IECD activities.

HCN - Host Country National. Used most commonly when discussing our counterparts or people we work with on a regular basis from our host country (in my case, Botswana).

Hiking - Hitch-Hiking. In America, we say "hitching" but in Botswana it is "hiking". And, no, it is not confused with the American version of hiking because (from my experience) hiking of that nature doesn't exist. (People here do not hike - err walk - for fun.) This used to be sanctioned but was recently made an acceptable mode of transportation, due primarily to the fact that there are some villages/sites that cannot be reached otherwise.

IECD - Integrated Early Childhood Development. This is a holistic and integrated way to approach early childhood education. It encompasses play group therapy for children to develop and reach age-appropriate targets, empowerment programming for mothers, and youth enrichment activities.

IST - In-Service Training. A technical skills-based training that occurs after your second month at site. My IST was held at Big 5 Lodge in Mogoditshane in August 2011.

"I'm coming" - A phrase meaning "I will be right back". It is usually said as someone is leaving a room but intends to return.

"It's just ok" - A phrase people in Botswana use that means "It's okay". Why they include the "just" is beyond me.

"Izzit?" - A rhetorical question that most closely translates to "Really?" and is used without regard to gender, person, or number of subjects; therefore it could mean "Is it?", "Are you?", "Is he?", "Are they?", "Is she?", "Are we?", etc. (excerpt from Lonely Planet Guide to Sub-Saharan Africa).

Jojo - A 5000L water tank. Most commonly seen at schools and government homes. I wish I had one, especially during my 5 week water outage.

"Just here" - Term that means "around". Usually used in reference to a location. Ex: "I am just here."

"Just now" - This term actually means "soon". Ex: "We are leaving just now."

Kanye - A village of approximately 50,000 people in the southern part of the country (approximately 1.5 hours outside of the capital city on the A-10). This is where I spent my first ten weeks in Botswana during PST.

Kgosi - A chief. Every village has a head kgosi as well as several dikgosana, who oversee smaller sections of the village (called "wards"). Of all these dikgosi ("many kgosi") from the district's villages, one must act as "paramount chief" for an entire district.

Kgotla - The kgotla is both a physical structure and a tribal governance system in Botswana. The kgotla is a large open building where community meetings are held. The kgotla is presided over by the kgosi. The kgosi, dikgosana, and kgotla make p the local judiciary system; the community gathers in its local kgotla to discuss problems and meter out justice (occasionally this includes corporal punishment). Only after a group discussion does the kgosi pass a verdict.

Kumakwane - The village I was originally placed in for my service. I lived in Kumakwane from June 2011 to January 2012.

Life Skills - PCVs in the school system who are working with the counseling department. These volunteers act as mentors, teachers, and friends to the students.

LS - Sometimes the abbreviation LS is used for Life Skills. This acronym is most commonly used to describe the type of lessons taught to children and youth. All lessons that refer to "Life Skills" development, such as communications, budgeting, self-esteem building, etc., falls into LS.

Mafhikana - The ward I lived in during PST in Kanye. We used to have "Mafhikana movie nights", which were times when every PCT living in the ward got together to watch movies and decompress.

Motswana - A single person from Botswana.

NGO - Non-Governmental Organization.

"Now" - "Now" actually means "eventually". It could even mean in a few days. Ex: "We are leaving now."

"Now now" - "Now now" actually means "right away". Ex: "We are leaving now now!"

OMS - Office of Medical Services. This is the medical office in Washington DC. If a PCV requires medical attention above and beyond that which can be provided in-country, the OMS can authorize the PCV to go to the regional medical office (mine is in Pretoria) for additional care. In extreme cases, OMS will have the PCV brought back to America for care. Additionally, if there is an emergency at home, OMS can authorize the PCV to be sent back for a given amount of time at PC's expense.

OVC - Orphans and Vulnerable Children. Most children in Botswana are classified as OVC.

PC - Peace Corps (DUH!)

PCI - Project Concern International. The organization I extended with for my third year of service. PCI's international office is based in San Diego, California and they have offices in fifteen countries globally. 

PCV - Peace Corps Volunteer.

PCVL - Peace Corps Volunteer Leader. This is a third year volunteer (someone who extends their service). The PCVL acts as the liaison between PCVs and PC Staff, provides technical training for PCVs, and can be a great advocate and resource.

PCMO - Peace Corps Medical Officer. The doctor.

PCT - Peace Corps Trainee.

PM - Program Manager. See also: APCD.

PEPFAR - President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This one is really important in Botswana, as most of our work is funded by PEPFAR. (And all of our work is HIV/AIDS related.)

PSDN - Peer Support and Diversity Network. A group of volunteers that act as ears for their PCV peers when they are going through a hard time. In other words, our friends and counselors. They are primarily concerned with PCVs emotional health and strive to keep us all uplifted.

PST - Pre-Service Training. This is the first two months in country, where you engage in intensive training on culture, language, and program-specific skills. At this time, you live with a host family (mine were the Ramathlabas) and are completely immersed in the life of HCNs. I had PST in the village of Kanye.

PTO - Programming and Training Officer. Assists the program-specific APCD.

Pula - Money, rain, and an exclamation of success/excitement. All of the above.

S&S - Safety and Security. This is what PC stresses the most.

SADC - Southern African Development Community.

Setswana - The local language of the people of Botswana. Other languages are Kalanga, Khoisan, and Sekgalagadi.

Shadowing - A time when PCTs visit PCVs to learn what it is like at site.

Shebeen - Pronounced "shuh-bean". This is a local bar that sells chibuku.

Shop/Sharpo - A ubiquitous slang word meaning "great", "good", or "ready". It can be used in a similar way as Americans use "okay".

Site - Where a PCV lives and works during their service.

Swearing In - When a PCT swears an oath to serve as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer. My group, Bots 10, swore in on the 7th of June 2011.

TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Many of us teach english at some point during our service.

"That side" - A term Batswana use to refer to anywhere but where you are presently standing. Ex: "It is that side".  Sadly, that is often the only direction Batswana give you so you remain lost.

"This side" - A term Batswana use to refer to the general area they are currently standing. Ex: "I live this side."

USAID - U.S. Agency for International Development.

VAC - Volunteer Advisory Committee. The VAC primarily works with the CD to address policy issues.

VDC - Village Development Committee. A group elected by the community to run income-generating and poverty-relief projects in the community.

VRF - Volunteer Reporting File. This is our quarterly report, where we lay out what we have been working on and our impact.

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