I value privacy in my own life and realize that being public about my South African/PC experiences could impact other people unintentionally. The compromise I make to reduce these risks are to use different names if a PCV works in that city. Every place in South Africa also has an isiZulu name so I stick to English to make it less identifiable.
My American Family
The Math Teacher: My mother
The Engineer: My father
Caring Spaz: Younger Sister
The Manager: Middle Younger Brother
Dinky: Youngest Brother
Places in South Africa
Amajuba: My district and what I usually call my current site. Right now I am the only PCV working in the district.
Duke City: My official shopping town. The 3rd largest city in my province, district seat, and named in honor of an English Duke as most places in Natal had English names. Often confused with major cities in Australia, England, Ireland, and numerous towns in the US (the English like to repeat names). Duke City also pays tribute to my roots.
Little Swaziland: The Anthropologist’s community that shares a name with town in Swaziland.
Pretty City: The major resource city for my first District, roughly 2 Hours from my first site. Where the SpEd lives.
Research Town: SA Home to the MSW couple and also the Anthropolgist’s shopping town. It is a prime area for medical research in Msinga District
Scotland: The coal town south of my shopping town and closest route to Pretty City. Named for the founder’s home town in…you guessed it Scotland!
Schnitzeland: the municipality which shares the name with the closest town from my site. Has arguably the most German name in South Africa (some town in Namibia would probably take the title for all of Southern Africa) despite having a predominately amaZulu population. Named after a German farmer with the first name of Reiner, and sealing the deal is the shape of the municipality looks like a skinnier version of Austria or potential schnitzel. Thus Schnitzeland.
Shopping Town 1.0: How I got anywhere at my first site and where I obtained groceries (I was not the most creative with my names back then)
PCVs in My Cohort
My first cluster (closest volunteers to me geographically …all on the other side of Shopping Town 1.0)
The Anthropologist: a Master’s International Student in Medical Anthropology, stays in a rural community about 30 minutes from Research Town
The MSW Couple: Met while completing their MSWs and now spending their retirement, fulfilling a long term dream to serve in PC, stay in Research Town
The Social Worker: Stays in the township of the next town East of shopping town 1.0.
Sort of the cluster/ Other members on Team KZN
The Dietitian-to-be: Always excited by healthy food and fitness. Stays in a township near Pretty City
Gogo: One of my closest friends in her 70s doing Peace Corps round 2. My roommate for Staging, Orientation, and IST and role model for my senior years. Stays on the coast of KZN.
The SpEd: Special Education Teacher who stays in Pretty City. Arguably the best at keeping the cohort in line!
The Psychologist: a PCV superstar (with 13 projects) from the CHOP cohort before mine. She works in Limpopo’s Vhembe district.
Mozambique Girl: A dear friend I met when we were exchange students in Botswana. Serving in PC MOZ as an English Teacher.