November 12, Day 469
Wake up at 6 am. It’s DMSAC meeting day.
I hear Olive outside and he’s staring into my windows like a creeper, so I go outside. I give him belly rubs but really don’t want him to stay this morning because last time we had a DMSAC meeting he kept walking into the conference room to sleep by my feet and when I put him outside, he insisted on laying in front of the door and growled at anyone who tried to move him.
It was quite a fiasco.
I give him some water and go back inside.
Get ready for work.
Bike to work, and make it just before 8 am when the meeting starts. As I feared, Olive followed me and refuses to turn around and go home. I promise I tried.
The DMSAC meeting is important because our district is divided into north and south. The district is sort of like a county. I’m in the Kgalagadi district, and there are Kagagadi North and Kgalagadi South sub-districts. My office oversees all of the HIV activities for the Kgalagadi South.
In the DMSAC meeting, this is the one time that the north and south Kgalagadi offices come together and share data and talk about what’s going on in the district.
I can tell Catherine is stressed. Her mother is in the hospital, she’s 7.5 months pregnant and doing two jobs for the past year with no recognition.
She blows that meeting up. And when I tell you she blew it up, she BLEW it up. She wrote on her minutes that the data submitted to our office is frequently inaccurate and incomplete.
I can’t believe she did that, but good for her!! She’s so right!!
Everyone in the room goes silent. I can see the head nurse stewing in disbelief that this was just said in a meeting. But in Catherine’s defense, she’s been telling the head nurse (the one who oversees the M&E woman) about the incomplete and inaccurate data for months and nothing has been done.
We end the meeting with teatime. Thank goodness Olive didn’t try to come into the conference room this time. I munch on my magwinya and bread. Everyone is talking and no one talks to me, but that’s okay. I enjoy the peace.
We walk back to the office and Catherine tells me the hospital is running tests to determine what is wrong with her mother.
She leaves to go see her mother in the hospital at lunchtime and I stay to prepare for the first class for my media club tomorrow at the Brigade.
The man from MYSC emails me a list of unemployed youth who can be a part of the class. I call each person one-by-one and invite them. Some are very thankful for the opportunity to learn media production for free, and others are annoyed that I’m calling.
Chit chat with Bontle while I’m calling people. She tells me that she has three dogs, so she doesn’t mind Olive coming with me to work every day. She seems to be amused by him. Olive sleeps peacefully in the corner of the office while I work.
In the late afternoon, we all decide to go home. Olive and I bike home.
At home, I do more work to prepare for the media club and decide what STEPS video I’m going to show at the class.
Take a nap.
I wake up 30 minutes later in a panic that I overslept, because Nops is coming over to do a dress rehearsal for class on Thursday. The deal is that I teach him in English the content, and then he teaches the class in Setswana.
I didn’t oversleep. I’m fine.
Mma Toto’s son calls me and I invite him to the media class. He asks for transportation to get to class. I tell him Peace Corps volunteers aren’t allowed to drive, but to find a way there or walk like I do.
Keep working on the media class. Watch the rest of “Sharp Objects”. Yup, it ended the way I thought it would.
Cook some veggies for dinner while I wait for Nops. I make sweet potato fries, salad, mushrooms and onions while listening to Erykah Badu. One of the sweet potatoes is sprouting quite a bit, so I cut that part off and intend to plant it in the yard to grow my own sweet potatoes.
Nops arrives and I teach him the content. Thank goodness we are rehearsing, because there are some kinks for us to work out and I’m thankful we did!
He leaves around 8:30 pm. Write and talk to Colden.
Head to bed.
A needlepoint my sister made for me that hangs on my living room wall
STEPS Video I decided to show at the first media production class