On the Job Training

The next morning I woke up and was sitting outside writing when my host make comes up holding a rooster, I was so happy it was a rooster because I know they are too stringy to eat so whatever she was saying it was not asking me to kill another chicken. She kept gesturing to it and asking if I liked it so I said yes, and she looked happy walked away, and slaughtered it….Apparently, some people do eat the roosters.

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How I do my cooking now

I sat with babe and make as they plucked and cooked the chicken, which is a bloody task and not my favorite. I was pleasantly surprised babe sat with us in the cooking hut, as some Swazi men think cooking is a woman’s job. We finished

cooking and ate the rooster for breakfast, which was not exactly what I was craving for breakfast, but such is life. My SSA had said she’d come and meet me at 9am to show me around the community, which in Swaziland translated to 10:30. We walked and saw the clinic, school, hair salon and little store that sells very basic staples and the tour was complete. It is a very small community. We went to the kagogo center (literally “Grandmas’ center” which serves as a community center) and I met my SSA’s business partners. I was a little confused why they were pouring peanuts into buckets, but just sat and watched. All of a sudden they said “ok let’s go catch the bus,” but I did not want to leave since I only had a day to get to know my community. I tried to explain I was supposed to talk to people and see as much as possible, but did not really have any power since I could not refuse to go and be left alone. So, we all hopped on the bus to the next biggest city and carried the peanuts to a World Vision center where you can pay to use a peanut grinder. They all set to work, each having their own task of cleaning, sorting, or organizing to prepare to make peanut butter. I just sat there uselessly and watched. It is pretty cool they just add oil and salt to the peanuts and grind it into little plastic containers. It’s sugar free, organic, and natural; everything health food stores overcharge for at home. The smell of the peanuts being ground was amazing, so overall it was not a bad day even though I did not really get to accomplish what I was supposed to during the day. That night I ate dinner with the family, and was so exhausted from barely sleeping the night before coupled with no electricity and sunset at 6pm that I fell asleep very early. With the limited transport, I had to leave at 7am the next morning which was unfortunate because I wanted to spend more time in the community and with my family.

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Making Peanut Homemade Peanut Butter

Peace Corps organizes someone from the group of volunteers that has been there a year already to host you for the last night of OJT and show you around your shopping town. I stayed with one other girl from my group and a G10 volunteer who is blessedly close to my site if I ever feel the need to speak to an American. We saw my shopping town, where we ground the peanuts, which has 2 little stores, bomake stand which sell fruits and vegetables, and a hardware store as its main amenities. Things could be worse, there’s no internet nearby, but all my basic needs are met. It was really nice being able to talk to someone who has already braved their first year and can give advice and answer questions PC staff cannot.

The next morning the 3 of us took a khumbi into Manzini where our G10 host showed us around, which was more than she had to do. It was great to get a tour of spots we might not find on our own; cheapest internet café, best coffee, post office, etc… and to get a feel for where things are. We all had lunch and headed back to the bus rank to go home.

The next couple weeks I was feeling sick whether from stress or something I ate during OJT I’m not sure. A lot of the days I just slept 12 hours, attended training, and slept some more. It was not the highlight of PST.

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5 thoughts on “On the Job Training

  1. Hi Maggie,
    Thanks for the pictures. It helps to make your experience “real” to us outsiders.
    The peanut butter sounds good! So glad you are feeling better. Everyone sends their love,
    Aunt Jane

  2. Maggie!!
    Love the photo wall and all of your stories. Love you so much!!!!!
    So proud of your selflessness and contributions to world health.
    You and the other 28 Americans in this years PC group in Swaziland rock at an international level.

  3. Hey Maggie! How very awesome you are doing this! I hope you continue to send lots of posts.
    I will be looking for them. It’s so cool that you can experience Africa and that they are receiving all you have to give!

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