For years, I’ve been telling my friends that I would serve with the Peace Corps when my children were out of the house. It’s something I started talking about ten years ago, and last week, I received the invitation to serve in Lesotho, a small country in Southern Africa.
Now that I’m divorced, and my three sons are independent, this is the perfect time for me to work as a primary education teacher in Africa.
I applied to serve last year in June, and was turned down in January. I was devastated, especially as I felt completely lost, and could not understand why this could happen to me. I’ve attended monthly Peace Corps meetings, including a Peace Corps event at Cal State Long Beach where the new Director, Carrie Hessler-Radelet, stated that the Peace Corps is hoping to increase the number of over 50-year-olds to serve.
After my rejection, the local recruiter encouraged me to reapply immediately. I did so the next day, updating my resume to include the Trinity College Cert-TeSOL course in London. Fortunately I’d been accepted after my interview in London in December 2014, to take the TESOL course starting on April 20th-May 15th, 2015. I needed a backup, in case the Peace Corps turned me down a second time.
The Peace Corps placement officer for Lesotho, interviewed me on February 27th, and almost 3 months later, I received an e-mail with an ‘invitation’ to serve; ironically, on the last day of my course in London.
Now I have a massive amount of paperwork to fill out, passports and visas, medical and dental exams, and finger-printing, etc. As long as all my medical and dental results are fine, I shall leave for Lesotho, on October 5th, 2015.
I cannot wait to start a completely new and challenging life in Africa. I realize this is not going to be easy, and it’s going to take a long time to adapt, as well as to learn the new language, (think clicking sound) of Sesotho. During the first 3 months you live with a host family and learn the local language.
At least it sounds easier than the Czech language that we had to learn during our first week of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other languages.) Watch video of Czech here if you’re interested.
Here is a local dish: Basotho Bashed Beef. The article says they eat horse meat, but only if the horse dies accidentally. They never kill horses for meat.
I would love to meet Prince Harry in Lesotho. He set up the Sentibale charity to help orphaned children in Lesotho. So many children are orphans due to the 3rd highest rate of HIV/AIDS in Lesotho.
Watch this video to see Prince Harry and the work he does in Lesotho.
Anyone been to Lesotho? Please leave a comment below.