I came out of my village for my mid-service doctor appointment and for the Volunteer Advocate Committee meeting. It takes a lot for me to get out of my village because the trip up to the capital can take me 10 hours-2 days. Needless to say, I'm a 'site rat' in Peace Corps jargon. But since I was out, when I got invited to a week-long working meeting with PSI (an HIV prevention organization), I knew I just had to attend. I'm always down for opportunities to discuss HIV prevention and gain strategies to help out my community. We've been creating materials for condom use instructions and HIV testing information.
Several weeks ago, I actually asked PSI to come to my site and test my students and the community. 117 people came out to test for HIV. I was really pleased with the outcome and my students and community members were proud of themselves for testing. Of course there were those that were still hesitant and scared, but at least they had the opportunity to test since currently there is an HIV test shortage in Lesotho...resulting in our village clinic to be completely out of tests. It's pretty difficult for me to encourage people to get tested since it is almost impossible for them to access a testing kit. Well, luckily for PSI, my community got this opportunity.
Aside from the testing event, I was busy visiting with a missionary group that came through to the orphanage close to my site. The missionaries gave me all kinds of donations to give to my community and they also donated to me! I got hooked up with shampoo, sugar, and soap. I take any free stuff I can get because after all, I'm a volunteer. They left behind a missionary from Durban and him and I chilled during the month of October. We did some fishing, made good food, and spoke a lot of english together.
All in all, I've been great. I wish all my friends and family a happy month of Thanks, and know that I'm always thinking of ya'll.