As my departure for my next adventure draws closer, I think it’s high time I update the blog to let readers know what you can expect from me going forward. I have committed to spending the next two years in Swaziland with the United States Peace Corps focusing on HIV Prevention and Youth Development. I am so very excited and nervous about this opportunity.
-This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Two years living in rural Africa, doing development work is an experience I cannot replicate elsewhere. I will be able to immerse myself into the local Swazi culture, learn a new language, learn how to live without running water or electricity, and perhaps most importantly, make a difference (however small) in the world.
-I love pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and there’s nothing less comfortable than an experience like this.
-Swaziland is a fascinating country. It’s the only absolute monarchy in Africa, has the world’s highest HIV rate (up to 40%) and polygamy is widely accepted. I know little about this culture and can’t wait to learn more. After all, I was an anthropology minor in college! I can’t wait to pretend I’m writing an ethnography.
-Peace Corps will give me new career opportunities in my field. Professionally, this could not be a better opportunity. Most of you who know me know I want to find a long-term career in development and this is a perfect stepping stone to the next level in my career.
-Travel opportunities: Swaziland is located in an excellent area. Peace Corps is not a vacation but there will be time to travel. My goals are to make it to at least the following places:
-Mozambique (Tofo and the Bazaruto Archipelago for diving and beach-going)
-South Africa (Kruger National Park for a wildlife safari, Cape Town)
-Victoria Falls (technically in between Zambia and Zimbabwe, but I’m just dying to get there!)
-Botswana (another wildlife safari? A girl can dream)
-the world-famous annual Bushfire International Music Festival in Swaziland
-I’m missing a lot. A lot happens in two years. People get married, babies are born, lives change. I will be missing a huge chunk of the lives of people I care about.
-I’ll be leaving behind people that mean a great deal to me and will miss terribly. I hope they realize how hard this is for me too.
-I’m nervous about getting sick and getting sent home, or not being able to cut it and leaving early. Either of these things would be devastating to me as well as feel like a personal failure.
-I won’t be able to plug in my hair straightener anywhere. Terrifying. Also, there are a lot of bugs. Big ones.
-SO MUCH TO PACK AHHHHHHH!!!!
I’ll keep you posted throughout my journey in Swaziland both with day-to-day life updates and reflections on travels. You can keep updated here, or by following me on instagram: @lseglin where I post old travel pics as well.