Monday in a Picture – Yebo Thishela

I teach. My school and community have been very welcoming and receptive to my teaching. My students ask questions and engage in discussions. While some classes have lessons prescribed and guided by the Ministry of Education, I’ve been given much freedom to adjust to meet the needs of the students. 

Lessons have included drugs, love, and consent among other things. The phrase, yebo thishela (pronounced yay-bow tee-shay-la), is one that I hear often. It’s direct translation is “yes teacher”. This picture was taken during a lesson with Form 1 students. 

This week, my students will start taking their internal exams on various academic subjects to showcase what they’ve learned so far in the school year.

Be kind to yourself. 

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Where I’m going, and what I’ll be doing

I am excited to be serving as a Youth Development (Peace Corps) volunteer in Swaziland starting in June 2016. You may be wondering where Swaziland is, why I’m going to Swaziland, and what I’ll be doing during my time there.


Swaziland is a small country in southern Africa that shares borders with South Africa and Mozambique. Swaziland is the only absolute monarchy in the southern hemisphere, and the only remaining monarchy on the African continent. The population hovers around one million people, and is about the size of New Jersey (a northeastern US state). While official government business is conducted in English, Swazi people also speak sis-Swati.

The Peace Corps application process gives an opportunity to state preferences of where you are placed and what area you will focus on. As a social worker, I decided that I would be the most competitive in the Youth Development sector. I stated preferences for Mongolia, Swaziland, and anywhere in the world. The rest is history.

As far as what I will be doing during my service, I am not sure. I know that I will be joining a group of about 40 people from all over the US to start Peace Corps training, which will be in Swaziland. I will be learning more about the assignment(s) as time goes on.


I’m going to Swaziland! – How I got here

Welcome to my blog, where I hope to share my experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer over the next couple of years. I would like to start with my timeline.

  • Completed application. (April 13th, 2015)
  • Placed under consideration for Armenia, leaving in March 2016. (April 14th, 2015)
  • Changed availability date, due to my brother’s wedding being scheduled in April 2016. (April 22nd, 2015)
  • Withdrew application. (April 23rd, 2015)
  • Completed (second) application. (May 1st, 2015)
  • Placed under consideration for Swaziland, leaving in June 2016. (June 9th, 2015)
  • Interview request. (June 19th, 2015)
  • Interview. (July 7th, 2015)
  • Invitation to Swaziland. (September 1st, 2015)
  • Legal clearance packet sent, to receive legal clearance. (September 11th, 2015)
  • Legal clearance packet returned to Peace Corps office. (November 13th, 2015)
  • Comprehensive medical tasks assigned for me to complete, to receive medical clearance. (November 27th, 2015)
  • Uploaded last medical clearance task. (February 2nd, 2016)
  • Medically cleared, including dental clearance. (March 23rd, 2016)
  • Travel booked to Philadelphia, PA for staging event. (May 17th, 2016)

I am currently clearing out my home of the past six years and packing up. I’m super excited!