Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Our Permanent Site

We now live in a village near Nebo, which is south of Polokwane and east of Pretoria. We have a nice room outside the main house where we usually cook for ourselves though sometimes sit down to a delicious dinner with our host family. We have one brother and two sisters. Our host mother is a teacher at one of the nearby secondary schools and a gracious host.

Jennie is working at a non-governmental organization (NGO) that supports 28 different local non-profit organizations (NPOs). She works with 11 of these organizations on programs supporting HIV/AIDS victims or orphans and vulnerable children (OVC).

I'm working with three primary schools to improve education practices and on a USAID project called mindset, which provides technology to suppliment classroom instruction.

We have regular access to e-mail now, so feel free to send us a note. If you e-mail us questions or leave them as comments to this post, we'll post the answers here for everyone's benefit, if you're okay with it. Our e-mail addresses are benbleckley at and jennie_bleckley at

Hope things are good where you are.

Monday, September 24, 2007

We Are Officially Volunteers

Sorry it's been so long since we last posted. Jennie and I drafted a
post a few days ago and were transfering it to the phone, but the
phone cut me off at 1294 characters. Then we were going to break it
up into multiple posts of 1000 characters or so, but I lost the
notebook. That's okay though, because so much has happened in the
last four days.

We've finished what Peace Corps here calls Phase I Training, which is
basically all the classroom sessions. The next three months are Phase
II, where we begin to integrate into the community and complete
assignments that apply the skills we learned. Phase III is in January
where we come back together to share our experiences and successful

The exciting news is on September 20th we were sworn in as Peace Corps
volunteers at a ceremony at the ambassador's house. We also have a
new address:

Ben & Jennie Bleckley, PCVs
PO Box 870
South Africa

More about our new home, jobs, and host family in our next post.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Teal Rondaval

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Teal Rondaval Here are some long overdue pictures of the rondaval we've been living in during training.



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