Less than 90 days left…

 

Whoa! I haven’t posted since January. Not a lot has happened since then, but the few things that have been going on have been great so I’ll hit the big points.

Teaching grades 6 and 7 science is one of the highlights of my time in Lesotho so far! I have always had a passion for teaching/tutoring and knew someday I would give a shot at teaching maybe as a part time thing or as a second career. I went into it nervous and afraid that I wouldn’t do a good enough job. After my three-month stint as a teacher, I know I will find myself in a classroom someday!

Each day I came to school with a bag full of things to use in class for experiments or demonstrations—rocks, jars, candles, water, pasta, rubber bands, sand, and so many other random things. My students loved science class and during breaks they would ask me if we could have class again. Seeing middle-school kids excited to learn about air pressure, the rock cycle, or about the planets in our solar system is such a wonderful thing to me! I’ve always loved science and that’s all I’ve ever put 100% focus into even since elementary school, but I was never excited as my students have been the past few months. Fortunately for me after all the teachers wondered what the heck I was doing with all these random things in class, the test scores proved that a large majority took genuine interest and learned the material exceptionally well. The most recent topic was Earth Day, I had my classes focus on Earth-related issues. In grade 6 we went over air, land, and water pollution. In grade 7 we went over seven types of pollution (air, land, water, thermal, light, visual, and noise) and wrote essays. “But sir, this isn’t English class. Why do we have to write compositions?” We wrote a few different essays in grade 7 and I tried my hardest to help them understand the importance of being able to write well. If they really want to attend university abroad like they say, then the first things schools abroad see is their ability to write well. This is something I didn’t realize until college and had to play catch up, so I hope I was able to get that point across to at least of few of them.

As of last week I’m no longer a teacher; my principal and I agreed that it would be better for the school’s future if I worked on setting up a computer lab for the school. So, that’s now my primary focus for the next couple of months.

My cohort and I just had our COS (Close of Service) Conference at a really nice lodge—it had amazing food and a hot shower, so that equals paradise for me! We got our official COS dates, which we were all excited about. We did lots of reflection about things we will miss about Lesotho, the funniest moments, things we will never forget, and several other questions that brought back many great memories with these folks that have become like a family to me.

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Started from the bottom, now we here! Cheers to my cohort, the ones still here and the ones that found opportunity elsewhere!

It was an informative conference for me, and I mostly enjoyed the panel of RPCVs and the many stories and advice from them—the American Ambassador to Lesotho, a CDC doctor, a worker for PEPFAR, a Foreign Service Officer, my Country Director and a couple of other staff members. They talked about possible next steps after Peace Corps, how to readjust to America once we are back (my greatest fear), and all the benefits we have as RPCVs. It took a lot of dedication and time to finally get that R!

My assigned date to leave Lesotho is July 27. I’m looking forward to my three-month journey home: Lesotho→Australia→UK→Ireland→Iceland→Canada→USA!!

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The name of my blog, 1.5 Billion Inches, symbolizes my passion to see the world (to travel and see every inch of its circumference). I will see two more continents and double the number of countries I’ve been to by the time I return back to the US! So excited!

See you in October!
-Jody