Routines & Objectives

Ah, how life has changed in just a couple short months. Only while reflecting can I appreciate how different things are here. In some ways, I’m having the “Peace Corps Experience,” if only temporarily.

I’m always home before dark, and I sleep at least 8 hours each night. Electricity currently consists of an extension through my window, so I can keep my fridge plugged in and alternate my stove, electric kettle, space heater, and lamp when necessary. Donkeys, chickens, cows, horses, and dogs all cross my path at some point during the day – all seemingly stray, but actually just roaming because they can. I eat locally and seasonally (there are no other options). Any real (non-canned, non-dried) food has to be bought in a village 2 hours away by bus. I eat what I can carry. I bathe, do laundry, and clean dishes in buckets because there is no indoor plumbing.

These first couple months indicate a time for adjusting, and I think we all need them. It’s more than just adapting to lifestyle, though. I’ve never really had to figure my job out on the fly, but that’s what I’m doing right now. The role of a volunteer in development work is expectedly varied depending on one’s placement. For my own sake, I’ve created a list of goals for my service (both professional and personal). Broad as they may be, I hope that identifying them at this early stage will guide me through these next couple of years:

1. Support the members of my NGO with their projects, both creatively and logistically
2. Assist my NGO with getting a building which has electricity, phone, internet, and the resources it needs to operate
3. Make the NGO more self-sustaining, with a clear structure, competent executive committee, and reliable funding sources
4. Maintain and build good relationships with friends, family, and colleagues in the US and Botswana
5. Work on or develop a project at the district level with a public health focus
6. Learn about Botswana’s LGBT empowerment NGOs
7. Maintain and improve my health, both physically and mentally. Better myself by: conquering my fears of isolation, understanding what is important to me and my life, and not compromising my beliefs and identity
8. Travel

In other news, the first lady is in Botswana. Actually, she’s in Gaborone to be specific, which means I won’t see her. Oh well, maybe she’ll be back again, and at a time when I can travel to see her!


10 thoughts on “Routines & Objectives

  1. Millie says:

    Your goals are so inspiring, Jer! Hoping you can find a way to make it all happen. Are you going to get even skinnier or do you eat enough? Haha this is my favorite post thus far because I pictured you doing everything. I love and miss you.

    -the queen

    • jeremiahardy says:

      Haha, I don’t know about skinnier since I’m pretty much on an all-carb diet. Just have to wait and see! I always appreciate your supportive comments – they mean a lot, babeh. Love

  2. Sherry says:

    Hello my dear!
    Lofty goals but how amazing that you are able to identify them. Sounds like you are on the right path and Botswana is lucky to have you.
    Now what can your family do to support you?
    We love you and miss you
    Aunt Sherry

  3. Megan says:

    Your life fascinates and inspires me Jer! I don’t know that I would have the courage to do what you are doing and that makes you even more awesome. I hope that life continues to treat you well!


  4. Lori says:

    Hi son:
    Quite the list you have there, i know you will accomplished most if not all of them! I think of you often and missed you terribly! I get a sigh of relief each time i read your posting with information of your where about and well being. We’ve shipped a big box a week ago and will ship smaller one this week. Hope it will get there before your birthday. We need to skype so i can hear your voice again. Love you very much and talk to you soon!

    Love, Mom

    • jeremiahardy says:

      Thanks mom, I’m adamantly checking my mailbox! I sent dad an email about Skype this weekend, so hopefully it works out! I love and miss you guys too, have a great anniversary!

  5. Carol Reckamp says:


    My name is Carol Reckamp and I am scheduled to arrive in Botswana Sept 15 2011. (I will be coming with my husband – John) I have been following your blog to help prepare myself for the next phase of my life.

    Your blog is very helpful in every way. You provide great insight to the culture as well as the events. I completely enjoy reading about how you process all that is happening in a posative, but truthful way.

    I am fairly sure my Grandmother will pass away after I arrive and after reading your posts I am going to make sure and sit down with her and let me know how I love her instead of pretend as though she will be here when I get back.

    It also sounds as though your home and village are fairly remote and something that many of us hope we don’t get – but your goals and hopes make it seem like maybe I should hope for the same sort of assignment (although what I really hope is that I can be as posative as you are being if I get such an assignment).

    I am looking forward to meeting you and working with you soon.


    • jeremiahardy says:

      Carol, thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad my blog has helped you out. Feel free to send me an email ( if you have any questions; I’d be happy to pass along some knowledge that can help you prepare for departure. I’m looking forward to meeting you and your husband in September!

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