|The Camp BRO bros|
“I want to start a hospital that has a neurosurgeon,” a young man says in response to fellow PCVDanielle’s question asking for the fifty boys what their goals are.
It is Saturday morning and I am exhausted after staying up the night before doing evening activities with the same boys. I am exhausted but profoundly happy.
Camp BRO [Boys Respecting Others] is the male equivalent to the Camp GLOW I co-directed in September. Unlike in September, however, I am not in charge this time. This means that I have the energy and enthusiasm to lead energizers and activities and to joke around with the guys.
|Nt Lebohang from the Business|
Economic Development Corporation
leads a session on business.
Yolanda, an amazing woman that lived in my training village back in Pre-Service Training, has done an astounding job planning the camp. Nearly all the sessions-covering topics including goal setting, leadership, business skills, career development, gender, and sexual reproductive health-have at least one host country speaker or organization leading the session. This helps the participants to connect with a number of professionals in their community but also dramatically increases the amount of effort Yolanda has had to invest in communicating and planning.
|Danielle smiling during her HIV test.|
Later in the day, I am co-facilitating the session on Sexual Reproductive Health with some volunteers from the Lesotho Red Cross. As I discuss the female reproductive system, I am again surprised as most of the many questions I am asked are about the biology and genetics of reproduction, not sex.
That night we have a bonfire with s’mores. Jamilla, another PCV, starts doing some call and response camp songs. When Boom Chicka Boom begins, I jump up with enthusiasm. I have not sung my favorite verses of this camp classic in years and I am absurdly excited.
|The new BRO Club president hands|
out certificates to his Bros.
Living in my community in rural Botha Bothe, I forget that I am great working with youth. I keep myself busy with Grassroot Soccer programs, teaching life skills at school, and working with the women in myorganization. This work, however, happens predominantly in Sesotho. When I work in Sesotho, I find I lose the playfulness of my personality and I have to work so much harder to convey my content or explain activities. At camps like GLOW and BRO, however, I am working with high school students, who are more accustomed to English. I find my personality returns and the work is more fun and less work. It is a great reminder as to what had me teaching in the classroom, on ships, and in the woods.
So that said, thanks Yolanda for all of your efforts in planning this camp. And thanks to the rest of the camp staff-‘M’e ‘Mahlapi, Adrian, Corinne, Ryan, Jamilla, and Danielle-working with you was wonderful!
|Adrian catches a water balloon during a relay.|