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Botswana

After being in Botswana for the last three months, there is definitely a lot to miss about the U.S. There is a huge difference in the pace of the two countries literally and metaphorically speaking. Lines are longer here and there isn’t the same kind of service as in the U.S. Also, the technology is definitely far behind that of the U.S. Many times, this week included, there is no internet where it is supposed to be on campus so I go to internet cafes or the few places with internet on campus.

But what stands out more than the things that are appreciated in the U.S. are the things that are appreciated in Botswana that I will miss when I go home. In the U.S. there is a heavy emphasis on the work that needs to be done. Here in Botswana, it is the people that matter more. For example, sometimes I will have professors show up ten minutes late to class because they stopped to talk with an old colleague along the way, and this is routine and normal. It can be inconveniencing at times, but it really is pleasant when you adjust to it. That mentality is something I wish I could bring back to the U.S. and I probably will on a personal level.

There are definitely stereotypes both about Botswana and Americans. People tend to think that the Botswana culture moves a lot slower and is very poor everywhere you go. There is some truth to this, but what people don’t realize, and should, is that there are a lot of developed areas of this country and it contributes to the global market.
There are, of course, American stereotypes too. Most people automatically assume that Americans are rich and are willing to spend lots of money. I personally, however, am on a “student budget,” so this is not true. But Americans are well liked here and relating to the people has been a lot of fun. It is great to actually experience this culture and look beyond the stereotypes and see the hospitality of the people of this country!
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