Wendy's emails and phone messages
   



1/31/2004

Am in Jbrg. Picked up computer and seems to be working fine. Haven't had chance to do much with it as am in non-private quarters, but was able to ck enough to be happy! Thank you thank you for all!!!!
School is off to a slow start. Got a big stoop put in outside my kitchen door so now can sit/lie/work/nap/play with kids outside on the shady side of the house when I get home from school, and there will be way less dirt tracked into the house. I'm very happy with it. My gift to the owner - early but I get to enjoy it this way. She hasn't seen it but I "offered" to get it done to be sure it was what she would want and she was thrilled. Cost me equival of $150 and employed a few locals for gathering the sand & mixing the cement as well as the guy who built it. Just big flat raised cement "dance floor". I keep wanting to do more but mustn't. This is fine.
Wonder how the "fort" party went. Sure it was a fun time for all.
Ok - bye, love - Wendy

1/10/2004

    Just returned from a 2 week trip along the east coast with friend Trudie who came from CA to trek with me. We rented a car in Johannesburg (6 hr bus trip from my house, abt 20 hr flight for her), drove to Durban then north a couple of hours to St. Lucia. St. Lucia is referred to as the "wetlands". Lots of estuaries with crocs and hippos and bird life. This year the country is experiencing severe draught so some of the rivers have dried up or are not reaching the ocean, so many are suffering the effects, including the tourist industry — trips from ocean up river / water stagnating where previously the incoming tides provided some cleansing. Well I won't go on about that. It was cloudy with some occasional light showers (not enough to be therapeutic to the land) when we were there so we weren't really tempted to play in the ocean. Plus Trudie needed jet lag sleep time and I cultural readjustment time (from nobody with a nickel to spend to multitudes without enough to spend their multi-nickels on). We did go on a game drive — were the only passengers that day — saw many species living freely and the hi-lite was coming upon a lioness under a tree having just killed an impala which lay a few feet from her as she panted and recovered. We sat in the car with our guide for about a half hour and just watched her. She seemed unconcerned about us — laid her head down for a while then came back to full alert when another impala came close. There were MANY impala. Numerous Cape Buffalo, giraffe, kudu, wart hog, zebra, a few hyena, eagles, birds. Didn't see elephant though did come across their piles. It was a great trip and we were very glad the skies were overcast so it wasn't too hot.
    After a couple of days we headed down the coast with nice stops, ending in Cape Town for 4 days including Nyear's eve & day. Beautiful! Hi-lite for me was drive to the point where Atlantic & Indian Oceans meet.  Truth be told: felt/looked very like the US west coast.  I struggle with the fact that most the people in my village have never seen these parts of their country and have little hope of ever seeing them. This jumps me into the huge issue of cultural complexities here — and tragic historical development. I can't write about it yet, it's too much and I'm just beginning to feel I understand some of it. A broad generalization of the basic current status is that the very small minority of whites in the country have all the prime property and are rich with opportunity and material goodies. The vast majority of the blacks are very poor, living on land that would require considerable resources to farm- water — watering systems — machinery, which they do not have the "grub stake" to begin to acquire. The gap is so wide. The blacks were strongly suppressed educationally and by location just when the rest of the world began leaping forward technologically. The gap widened exponentially. Since democracy in 1994 there have been genuine efforts to bring things into better balance but it's HUGE and the infrastructure is so limited no one has been able to figure out a remedy. Lots of talk of returning land to blacks but that is what was done in Zimbabwe — so the whites who had developed great farms that provided food for the whole country have left and the blacks who were "given back the land" do not know how to make the land produce (variety of issues here including skills to use equipment, money to repair/purchase necessary equipment, decades of knowledge about farming, work ethics — as well as corruption in the political system of who was granted the land ) .
    I won't go on now - too much.  Good book if interested — Fault Lines by David Goodman

7/7/2003
In Port Elizabeth on way home after Grahamstown Art Festival. Had great time - many good aspects and last night had a wonderful shower!
This is fast machine & cheap so had chance to look at Baxter web site & see new to me pics of kids - fun!
And cked in on "my info" - thanks for doing that. Could you change the address to have the "zip" after Taung Station then followed by SA. Thanks. So many extras included - enjoyed Taung skull site link and will be getting there soon! Maybe right after I get bk this wkend. Will be visiting another PVC near there before she leaves in August.
OK - all well here - hope for you too!
Love, Wendy

6/30/2003
Thanks 4 news & glad bd note arrived. Just mailed the next installment on little chip - worked great - with photos of family folks identified so that should help. Like the Ella perception of happy/sad event. (from Suzie - when telling Ella about the giving away of clothes production she said “It is sad and happy. Sad because someone died but happy because other people will get to wear his clothes.”) Will write more abt death stuff later after have been to a funeral and have a better take on it all. I know some facts now but want to get some feeling for their emotions etc. Now it seems more like a reason to have party after party...
Well I'm off to Grahamstown for the art festival then to Moruleng to visit old family. Bk home prob Fri the 11th or whatever is closest to that number. Hope mt trip was grand!
Love to all – Wendy

6/26/2003
Thanks 4 news - did peak at your web site & looks good and names all sound right. Taung Station is the PO designation for the town of Taung which is a 20 min ride for me but where I have to go for any groceries etc. My schools are Lokgabeng - 15 min walk and Lekwene - 20 min ride...opposite direction from Taung.
Love to all - W

6/21/2003
Thanks for great news all around! I will write Air Mail on pks hereafter... well - glad it did arrive & looks workable! Haven't had to pay anything on padded pkgs and seem to arrive pretty quickly from Trudie.
All going well here - going to Grahamstown for big art festival July 3,4,5,6 - with a PC friend and will visit my Moruleng family probably next wkend. Had an "African experience" yesterday - all related to time frames / was told by school we would depart for retirement party in next village at 10... it was 11:45, and that I would be home by 3... it was 7pm! There's more of interest to the story but will put it in the journal. Another goat slaughtered last night and sheep this morning for "receiving the clothes of a relative that died a while ago".
Well - thanks for webbing the info and be sure to feel free to edit as you judge best.
Love to all---------- Wendy

name here is Kagiso (ka hee sho) which means Peace.. I arrived the day US decl war on Iraq so maybe that's why that name. I like it better than the one the Moruleng folks gave me Buitumelo - "joy".

5/28/2003
(in response to Botswana safari invite for June 2004 with Suzie and Michael)
Yippie skip! Sounds GREAT!!!
Dang... sure wish cd had arrived. Curious if the burn worked. Don't know why I didn't think to try it before sending... I was on overload at the time and I guess wasn't thinking so clearly. Do love having the computer - printed out some photos for family & school events. Folks are thrilled tho quality isn't what your laser or a really good desk jet would do. They don't know that & are very happy.
All is well - continue to be amazed at the things I know would simplify life ... like a paper cutter for the schools... I am so spoiled it is good to take these steps back in time and readjust my modes of operation.
Will compose new letter soon and try sending the new gadget. Thank you and love to all - W

5/12/2003
Enjoyed the family photos - thank you - fun to see Daniel in band uniform too!
The 8580 on envelopes seems to be a US postal prob. Ive gotten some from the same po with the # lined out, and others come thru just fine. So maybe putting AIR MAIL on things clearly so they don't look at it as a US zip... or put the number after Taung Station, then SA. Don't know & folks here say its done elsewhere - not their thing.
Have you seen the bench on the bluff? Lucia sent me a couple of photos - looks good!
Love all - Wendy

5/10/2003
I got the tapes and discs THANK YOU and a very nice letter from Nancy W. Some mail I got today had the 8580 crossed out too - don't know - have to ask at PO - some came through with no marks through the # ?????? At least am finally getting some mail. Yea!
Am in Kimberley today with a friend - enjoying the outing. Sent you CD with letter & photos, so hope they work. Let me know if you can't open photos - maybe I need to format them differently before burning cd. Schools having some plus moments... sure is a tough place for these people to live & operate. "Things" flash through my head whenever I try to think of alleviations.
OK - bye and love to all - Wendy

4/30/2003
Thanks thanks thanks! I did know Elsie was getting inducted into H of Fame but haven't gotten any news about the event itself. Hopefully someone will send article. As far as things... the pencils & erasers here are poor quality, so great to stick into any soft pkg. And I don't have enough info yet to propose a grant type thing - the mode of operation is not what anyone in US would label as efficient or "go for it" mentality, so we'll be patient on that but keep it in mind. Selfishly, some peanut M&M's and Balance Bars would be nice lifts for me!
Don't find them here & almost out of the B bars I brot - I've been frugal but really enjoy them now & again.
OK bye & love to all! W

4/23/2003
Hi -
If I had a USB chip or whatever it's called to save things on, could I save photos and text like a letter in Word to mail to you to webize? I have photos but can't put text on the photo chip and haven't figured out if I can copy bk to chip from comptr after editing and labeling...bought a printer thinking you could maybe scan in a letter I compose but my USB cable is not compatible (store was sure it would be since is new computer...) now have to wait for chance to go bk to big city.
Be calling you soon but was in town now for Phys Ther appt for shoulder so thot I'd write.
Hope all is well with you and all.
Still haven't gotten anything at new po except something from PC - they did include 3 letters from CA that went to Pretoria address.
All is well - great wkend in Kimberley for Easter with 15 others from out group. Enjoyed a movie & jazz concert as well as touring the town. Not as big as anticipated.
Bye - love - Wendy

4/14/2003
(phone call to Suzie)
Dear Friends,
Wendy  now has a cell phone (isn't giving out the number for obvious reasons) but maybe phone cards would work with the cell phone. I will try to find out. I'll keep you posted for further notice on phone cards to send her.
I hope that as she settles in she will let us know what she really can use and what just costs her more time and money.
She did call me at 1AM today (yes, I was sleeping) and sounded really good.
She dislocated her shoulder in the last couple of days riding a new bike that had not been properly tightened. Don't know if she was just trying one out at a store or what. By the time she reached the doc for x-rays the shoulder was back in but she is wearing a sling for the next 3 weeks. Ugh.
Today was to be her first work day. How exciting!
-suzie

4/5/2003
Hi & thanks for all.
Own po box 202, Taung Station, South Africa 8580
I've just typed this for the third time & will try to send before gets deleted again.
Hi to all - glad u had good bd visits all around & do hope this war ends soon! love, Wendy

4/1/2003
Hi hi -
Thank you for putting my photos out to the world - I've heard from several people who appreciated them. So did you create a website or ???
Don't know if Robyn got msg to you - if you can find Setswana language tapes I would be SO happy!
I just passed my language proficiency test - not that I can speak Setswana now but at least know some nouns and verbs I can recognize & use. Get sworn in on Thursday then off to my permanent site near Taung (north of Kimberley if you have a map). No PO Box yet as the post office didn't have keys... hope I'll be able to get one soon. I will have electricity at my new place and plan to write a more explanatory letter when I have a chance to compose it on my computer & take to the internet site in Taung to send. Training was intense with few opportunities to breathe let alone write, so am looking forward to this next phase (folks say we will be bored for the first 3 months - I'm ready!)
Sending things in large envelopes is better than boxes as I have to pay duty on this end for boxes and also have to get to the po at an open time to pay for them. Also, don't send anything now until I send a new address as it will sit in the Pretoria office until someone happens to come to my village.
Hope all is well with you and all - love you lots - Wendy

3/20/2003
Just a quickie to let you know I'm alive & well - hope to write more soon....
Thanks to all who have written - good to get news and cheer!
Am at the site where I will be for the 2 years - just for 10 days now, then return to Moruleng until April 3 then back. It's very interesting - so poor. Tchers have no support staff or supplies or coffee pot or copy machine... WHEW! Village is Mokassa II, just outside Taung where I did my "shadow" experience a few wks ago.
My place does have electricity but no running water - pump set-up in the yard next door & tin outhouse. I share a house with a 74 yr old who has a 5yr old great grandchild she is raising who sleeps with her. Her actual house is next door with 7 people in it. 10 min walk to my "key school" and a 6km drive to the other.
Weather is changing from summer to winter - tremendous rain/hail storm yesterday.
Love to all - Wendy

3/1/2003
Dumelang!
I'm in Sun City today - the Las Vegas of S.Africa...or at least of the North West Province.
Slot machines, Bingo, a wave pool, not sure what else as my draw was getting to a machine I could write to you all on so here I am.
Been here just over a month now and my biggest challenge is learning Setswana - I think I'm doing all right but they are really pushing us...which is good but intense. So many locals speak English that it's easier to really communicate that way than struggle with strange sounds. Taught a first grade class about trees yesterday - probably few understood me without the teacher's translation but it was a good experience. We are having lots of "Tech" training on culture, history, school transition from rote to critical thinking system, how to work with NO resources, how to run workshops for the educators, medical, safety issues etc!
The classrooms are really sad. Some just tin sheds - never any custodial staff - broken windows - "learners" have to bring pencils & work books as no supplies are provided by the gvt. Haven't seen a copy machine in a school so reliance on chalk brd is major. Easy to see why there is such dependance on verbal/rote work. "Educators" are very poorly trained and most teaching now were trained in old methods so will be challenging to help them see benefits of trying new styles to encourage thinking students instead of subservient robotic answering machines. A lot of time is spent cleaning rooms. Discipline situation is totally different than in States - children obviously prefer to be at school than at home and are very obedient. We are told corporal punishment was practiced very heavily and though it is now against the law, it still is used frequently... so whether it is that or the threat of that, there is no misbehavior in the classroom. They are wild outside but no one worries about that. No equipment to play with so it's throwing rocks at each other or kick the can or ???? Wish our kids could get a clue how lucky they are!!!
Life with my "parents" is good - they are very nice and easy to be with. It's mostly hot so my pores have been working overtime expelling fluid, but had quite a bit of rain last week and it was a great relief. Will get info on my permanent assignment March 10 and will then visit it for a week while still in training to meet the school folk and get the lay of the land.
Well - will sign off for now as this is not the cheapest way to communicate. Has been hard to find time to write and this is easy to get word to all.
Hope you are all well and doing well.
Miss you all - and am able to receive snail mail here (hint hint!) though takes abt 2 weeks to arrive. Don't know when I'll be able to get back on a machine for this mode so don't expect me to reply to msgs in this way.
love, Wendy

February 10, 2003
(a pen and ink letter)
Dumalang! (plural greeting — 1st word in Setswana)
So many things to share — so little time! I’ll try to give you a few “snapshots” of my here & now.
I live in the village of Moruleng in the North West Province of South Africa with Ellen and Peter Tshite. They are basically retired though they have a “Tuck Shop”... An approx 8’ X 8’ metal shed with basics they sell to neighbors as there is no real store within walking distance. Ellen was a “domestic” in Johannesburg until about 5 years ago & Peter was a chef – which doesn’t mean he does any cooking to speak of now, but isn’t afraid of the kitchen (the way most men here seem to be) & has made gravy & a sauce for one meal. Very nice – 2 grown daughters ea with a small child live fairly close. E & P grew up in Moruleng but didn’t meet until they were both working in Jo’berg. Both speak some English so basics are easy for me to communicate.
House is typical middle-road for here. Built of mud bricks & plastered over (as one sees in C. & S. America). I guess I can say it has open beamed ceilings... 2X4’s across walltops, sometimes wired together, with a tin roof. Liv rm has TV (we rarely watch as they/we prefer to sit outside on the porch & watch the world go by!), dining room (only used by me to study) with artifi. Xmas tree in corner, 3 bedrms (mine spacious w/ dbl bed, dresser, wardrobe, end tables & dressing table), a small utility rm for ironing, bathroom w/ flush toilet & tub (I can only use in daytime as entry is through parents’ bdrm), & large kitchen. 3 stoves (wood to take off winter chill, elect. — too expensive to use, & gas), a micro (only used to store food), small fridge & considerable cupboard apace. Fridge is kept at just cool — not easy to get a cold drink. Many in my group are in homes with no running water but all have electricity. I’m a lucky one!
Tomorrow I’ll be p9icked up at 6 am to journey 6-7 hrs (3-4 different taxi’s = VW bus with 17 passengers) to “shadow” a current volunteer. This will be a more rural setting near the area where I will be doing my post-training assignment.
Food: starch is big here. We usually have supper at about 8:30 — tonight was potato salad, rice, meat, very well cooked squash & “pap” — corn meal porridge that is white & heavy like mashed potatoes (made of maize rather than our type corn & a real staple here. Tea time mid morning & afternoon is a big thing, usually accompanied by a sandwich of bread & butter. Vegies are always well-cooked. Same type of meal about 2 I guess — I’m usually at training so miss the earlier meals at home. I made corn meal pancakes for brkfast this morning which seemed to be a hit. Blew it on rice the other day — supposed to cook w/ lots of water then drain it off to get rid of all the starch before stirring in butter.
Wash clothes in metal tub outside — special technique of rubbing on a wood plank, rinse in another bucket, soak briefly in 3rd w/ fabric softener then hang on line. Things do dry quickly her... Did I mention it’s HOT?? This is not the Mpumalanga area we were all told we were going to — apparently a mistake in the packets we were sent & some of us wonder if we all would have shown up after reading the somewhat less enticing descriptions of this North West Province. Vryberg is the town near my “shadow” area — west & south of Pretoria.
Training is intense. Get picked up at 6:45 to go to local college (no longer used for regular ed). Language training in Setswana (or Tseswana), culture & history, education system past – present & hoped for, HIV/AIDS, how to provide wkshops for tchrs here, safety in home & travel, & medical encounters for shots & preventative info. Language tutors are good — we’re in small groups f 3 to 6. I’m still waiting for it to click in — but it’s only been 2 wks so we are told not to worry about it, just keep trying.
Yesterday was on my 3rd public “combie” — taxie — 21 people — sudden DROP of the left rear. Looked back to see entire tire rolling & bouncing off into someone’s yard. Coasted to a stop — nice gouge in pavement — all got out — 3 others & I started walking but were told to wait & sure enough, along came a rescue combie we all piled into for safe delivery. Hopefully tomorrow’s long journey will be in more well-maintained vehicles.
Well I need to get to bed — morning approaches. I think of you all but time to write has been slim & none so — at least you get a glimpse.
Hope all goes well for you —
Sala sentle Goodbye
(sah-lah see-nclee)
& love, Wendy

2-8-2003
(phone call to Suzie)
Hi all....
I don’t know if Wendy is going to making other calls today but our phone rang a bit after 6 this morning and it was a nice clear connection with Wendy. She was at a lodge in the reserve that is just behind where she lives and the volunteers were having a little post training time to play in the pool and such. Apparently one of the already there volunteers was once able to do a tour through this reserve and saw every animal imaginable but Wendy didn’t know if they would be able to do that ever. Her voice sounded very upbeat even when she spoke about sweating through her day. Temp is currently about 43 Celsius and will be hotter where she is going a bit nearer to the Kalahari Desert.
Next week she (I think in a group of 3-4) will be going to Vryburg (Town of Liberty) to shadow some current volunteers and then get themselves back. Vryburg is at about 27° S and 25° E. Directly north of Kimberley and west and a bit south of Johannesburg. In a quick internet search I find it listed as the agricultural and industrial centre of the province and it has an airport big enough to get a code – VRU. It is on the major road/highway north to Namibia. She understands there will be some internet access.
They have had some current volunteers with them and learned a lot from them. One woman was placed 3 hours from any other volunteer and after a year was moved because that was just too far. A lot of the training has been focused on the enormity of the job ahead and to expect only baby steps. Current teachers were all raised and trained in the learn by rote and the stick. Now they are to have their students ask questions. It is a huge transition. Apparently a couple of teachers in a school have been sent to 5 day trainings but with minimal success. It is not long enough and teachers change schools and there isn’t a good way for them to share what they do learn. A school psychologist they spoke with said before apartheid she had 20-25 schools, now 250 and in the current reorganization plan will have 500. Hmmmm....
Wendy still does not know her exact assignments but thought it might be to the province of Gauteng. She will offer workshops to teachers (they stay at school an hour after the students leave) with sample classes. The hope is that by the next generation there will be some headway made.
At this lodge (very white except for their very black trainers) they are able to get things like a hamburger and that is making everyone happy. So far the food has been quite heavy – potatoes, rice, beans and well-cooked vegetables – and quite bland. There seems to be little use of spices. The homes they stay in are very poor. The Peace Corps sends some additional food (she mentioned apples and such) every couple of weeks but most of the volunteers never see it as the families eat it up before they get home. Wendy says she is very lucky because the couple she lives with puts it all out on the table and there are no little ones to gobble it up. She gave them some money for extra meat and the woman gave her the receipt. She seems to like them very much. The nearest store is a cab or bus ride so this couple has a mini-store (7-11?) with sodas and a few staples. By day they sit on the porch and now and then someone buys something. Not a money maker.
We didn’t manage to touch on her language learning progress and I have not heard how her wardrobe is measuring up.
Hope this ramble halps you all feel in touch and maybe we will get something by internet in the next couple of weeks.
Cheers, suzie

2/3/2003
(phone call to Robyn)
I hope you also got an email from Elsie. Wendy called here also, saying basically the same things. She hadn't figured a convenient time to call you because of the time difference. She sounded good, said training is pretty intense, became more animated as she talked. Disappointed about being in flat, deserty area, but apparently there are fewer tourists, and my guess is more need. There's a 14 hour difference for us, so 11 for you. No reaction to shots or meds.
Love and Hugs,,,,,, R

2/3/2003
(phone call to Elsie)
Hi, Everyone:
I received a surprise telephone call from Wendy tonight. Her call came at 8:30 PM our time and she said it was 6:30 AM in South Africa. She did most of the talking because she was calling from a public pay phone and had very little time left on her prepaid calling card.
Here's the scoop:
She sounded great. Apparently her group of volunteers were told that they were being sent to the wrong area. The town she told us about originally was where the volunteer group sent over there in September was to be located.
Her group is presently in North West. An area north west of Pretoria. Instead of it being on a high plateau, it is desert-like and very hot.
She is living with a couple that are a little younger than she is. The woman was a domestic in Johannesburg and the man, who was a chef, has been retired for five years. She didn't say anything about the food though.
Her hosts have grandchildren, but she did not say anything about their own children.
Good news: she has running water and an indoor flushing toilet. The only thing is that she cannot go to the bathroom at night as she would have to go through her host's bedroom!
But, if need be, she can go outside to a head in a cinderblock enclosure.
She said that so far she has been in intensive training from early in the morning until late in the day. The language she is learning is called Setswana. It is not the clicking type language, but has many difficult guttural sounds with which she unfamiliar, but trying hard to learn. She said to day "Dumalong" to everyone, "Hello"
Wendy said that next week her training will focus on AIDS training. Her group of volunteers will also be given training in "safety and transportation." The following weekend, they will be doing job shadowing for about four days.
Then, her calling card ran out of time and she said to send her love to everyone.
Elsie

1/25/2003
Hi - just a quickie to let u know I got to SA .
2 nites in this nice lodge before off to remote village. Will be assigned in the Northern Province instead of Mpumalanga. Only 12 vols here before and none at the specific schools I'll be at. Jet lag is fun - can't sleep all thru the nite yet. Out early to see & hear great birds on the river here (outside Pretoria).
OK – one computer and others waiting - love, w

1/22/2003
Will have access to intern phone lines the first 3 days in county while staying at the Roode Vallei Country Lodge. (sounds impressive doesn't it?) Will try to call a couple of you anyway at that point.
The orientation was very well run and well organized. Guy in our group is re-upping from 2 yrs in Lesotho, so was a great resource.
Think I'm ready for the next step, so love you all, bye, Wendy

1/22/2003
Hi all!
Just finished the 2 day orientation and leave tomorrow morning at 7:15 for shots & med ck, then by bus to NY for 5:55 flight from JFK to Johannesburg. Have to wear a dress on the plane as we will be met by Peace Corps and Country officials as we debark the plane, and dress is very important to show our respect of them and for them to respect us. Bus 1 hr N to Pretoria for a 3 day country orientation, then to rural village as home base for the 3 month training. The base will be at Mankwe College in Mogase (North West Province). There are 37 of us and we will be divided into 3 groups and housed in homes in 3 different villages (from 10 to 25 km from the college). Each Monday we will all get back to the college to process the activities of the previous week and receive assignments for the next week. Otherwise, the training will take place in the villages. So I will learn a lot from my host family as I share meals and wash clothes etc. Mornings with my group will focus on language - either Zulu or Setswana - and afternoons will be culture and varied activities. During the 3rd wk I will visit a current Volunteer in the field (getting there on my own!) and shadow him/her to get reality experience of what I will do when I become a sworn-in Volunteer. During the 7th week I will be able to visit my future site and spend 10 days meeting my hosts and area supervisors. If all goes well and I decide to continue and they decide I am capable, I will be sworn in April 3rd and begin my official 2 years after that. To answer a few questions I have gotten frequently: I will get 2 days/month vacation, which I can accumulate to use in a lump; I am not allowed to drive a car or ride on a motorcycle in any way; I will receive a salary commensurate with that of a local person doing the same job (prob. equivalent to about $190/month); staple food is maize (corn) that is boiled - called pap and eaten with vegetables or a sauce; meat and fruit are readily available; I can decide to terminate this experience at any time - so far I have no plans to do that!
This will be my last e-mail missive for 3 months as we're told we will NOT have internet access during training.
SO - PLEASE REFRAIN FROM SENDING ME E-MAIL unless it is something that will be really valuable to me when I finally do get "on". I will not want to wade through really out of date news or jokes.
I do thank you all for your well wishes past and present and will send wishes for your well being over the mind waves of the world.
Love to all, Wendy

1/21/2003
flight stuff was fine - here in the city in close tall buildings! Contrast from Sonora!
Took too much stuff - already mailed some to Suzie to send me at a later time - good to have the "practice run" of baggage handling for a reality ck.
Not too cold here tho many are complaining about it - I'm fine wking around with sweater & vest but most have hefty wool coats & hats & scarfs. Sun is out but there's a little patch of ice here & there so I'm sure if sun left & wind came up it would be colder.
Found this little inet cafe - meetings in a couple of hrs.
Love to all and thank you for your help & support! So far so good - Wendy