Life Thru Pictures: 1st Edition

PCT Rite of passage – killing a chicken!

My new home in Mbowane!

Youth Development (YD) turn up at my training host site!

Group 14 Site announcement day! 

Group 13 did such a phenomenal job! They put together a Dr. Seuss themed extravaganza which included – themed characters, rhymes, and puzzles! There are four regions in Swaziland: Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, and Shiselweni. 

My riddle went like this:

When you’re feeling down she’ll make your heart feel whole, come on up, the lovely Nicole.

All the velds are here and the good views are plenty. There is nothing to fear down in Shiselweni.

I’ll be staying in Shiselweni, spending two years in the rural village of Mbowane with a family of 5 with a Gogo (Grandma) headed household.

Disciples in Swaziland! I love the body of believers!

Ngili Volontiya laka Peace Corps 

After 10 weeks of rigorous training – that consisted of SiSwati language and cross cultural learning, practical development training, personal safety and security, and health training myself, along with 42 (16 Youth in Development, 21 Community Health, and 6 Global Health Services Response Volunteers) other folks from all across America swore in as the next generation (14th group to be exact) of Peace Corps Volunteers in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Peace Corps first came to Swaziland in 1969, but after an eight year hiatus PC was invited back from his majesty King Mswati III to help assist the government in the fight against AIDS/HIV.

On Friday August 26th, I will make the trek (with assistance from PC staff) to the Shiselweni region and move into my permanent site in the rural village of Mbowane where I will spend the next two years. Over the next several months until In Service Training (IST), I will integrate into my community through a series of activities that focuses on identifying resources, forging new relationships, getting to know key players in my community, assessing the needs of the community, identifying strengths, and so on and so forth. This in turn will help me to gain a greater understanding of my new community, brainstorm potential projects, and most importantly cultivate meaningful relationships. 

Mbowane high school will be my main entry point into my new community. During the first couple of weeks at site, school wont be in session. I will have a lot of down time to explore my community, read, journal, spend time with my host family…but my first task will be spent making my new home feel comfortable.

I’ll be sure to update you all soon! 💜

Umdeni wami [famILY]

I am SO thankful for the Masuku family (my training host family). I felt Gods love instantly when I met them on June 21st. They accepted me as a part of their family from Day 1. Their warmth, protection, love, and hospitality carried me through these last two months in my new environment. I deeply appreciated the cultural exchange we were able to share, they’ve helped me to better understand Swaziland’s beautiful culture, traditions, and language. Thank you for the lifelong memories, I will never forget these beautiful souls. Sala kahle.