|Counterparts and PCVs at PDM|
Before this week, I had heard many positive things about Peace Corp's PDM workshop. Even those volunteers who found Pre-Service Training and the following trainings exhaustive have had positive things to say about PDM.
This workshop occurs about six months into a Lesotho PCV's service. It is a workshop for both the volunteer and his or her counterpart-the host country partner with whom the volunteer works the closest.
Last Sunday, Ausi Mareisi and I traveled from our village to a hotel a few hours away. There, we met up with 13 of the other volunteers I swore in with six months ago. (Three other volunteers are out on medical leave and one has terminated their service early)
|PCVs and PC Staff sending love to some fellow PCVs|
Other sessions included looking at Peace Corps Safety and Security procedures again--a good thing to review with the Lesotho election only two weeks away--and how we volunteers need to report our work to Peace Corps.
|Ausi Mareisi getting her certificate for PDM.|
From there, we were led through the Peace Corps process for working with our community to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate larger projects. Volunteer and counterpart teams worked to create a project for our community from the planning stages to a sample (albeit unresearched) budget, timelines, and evaluation questions. The fourteen teams in our group had a variety of different project ideas, many of which I am sure will become the projects chosen after an official needs assessment has been completed in the community.
|Ausi Sadia, Ausi Mareisi, and me having fun in the pool.|
Swimming is not a part of the Basotho culture. Only a few of the counterparts knew how to float or move in the water prior to this week. Somehow, my cooling off in the pool turned into casual swimming lessons in which I found myself reawakening the parts of my brain that have rested since I stopped maintaining my Water Safety Instructor credential. I worked with half a dozen of the counterparts throughout the week, helping them gain confidence in the water. While they will not be competing in the Olympics anytime soon, seeing them go from trepidation to joy in the pool is something I will always cherish and remember. The hottest day, a number of other PCVs joined us and we played Marco-Polo with great passion for nearly an hour!
So, it has been an incredibly busy but wonderful week at PDM. Ausi Mareisi and I are excited to return to site tomorrow to being working with our organization and community on the things we have learned and discussed this week.