My study abroad experience has been the most amazing experience of my life. I cannot believe that almost 5 months has passed and I’m already back home. It seems like I just left a few weeks ago, but when I look back at everything I got to see and do I feel like it was an entire chapter of my life. It is wonderful to be home and see all my friends and family, but I miss everything about Africa. As much as I hated on the food, I miss papatas! I miss taking combis to the Station, Main mall, and S.O.S. Orphanage. I miss going on adventures to cities outside of Gabs and Countries outside of Botswana: South Africa, Mozambique, and my favorite… Zimbabwe! I miss having the chance to do crazy things I will never do again.. bungee jumping at Victoria Falls off of the highest bridge in the world, night swims in the jellyfish infested waters of the beautiful Indian ocean in Ponta de Ouro, and climbing the -way harder than it looks- Table Mountain in Cape Town. I miss the feeling of being somewhere new and exciting and different full of different people, culture, foods, and environment. I miss the children at Tshwaragano Primary School in Old Naledi and at S.O.S. Orphanage. I miss hearing Liquideep and all the other fun house music beats at Bull and Bush, and dancing like crazy! Read more
Well, it’s been fun. Thanks for 5 months of near-perpetual perfect weather, greasy Steers fries, 30 rand wine and movie nights. Sure, we had our disagreements here and there – I know I can be too uptight, and you’re the kind of place that asks for a lot of adaptability, but I think we came to a pretty decent balance most of the time. Thanks for the cool people you introduced me to- I’m just as sad to leave them as I am to leave you, truth be told, and even for dragging me hiking that one time in the Drakensburg. (Note: I’m never doing that again.)
I know our time together was short – feels like it’s been a matter of weeks sometimes – and if I could make it longer, I would. But we both knew I’d have to go back to Philadelphia eventually, Durban. It’s about that time now.
I still maintain that there’s no such thing as too many photographs, so when Philadelphia gets too chilly or rainy, I know I’ll be rifling through pictures of you and me and remembering the good times– the beaches, the marketplaces, the weeklong jaunts to Cape Town and Mozambique. You’ve given me a lot, Durbs, and I’ll always remember our time together as absolutely fantastic. Do me a favour and take care of the next new girl you meet, alright?
The best part about studying abroad in Botswana, is being able to travel to some amazing nearby places. For semester break I traveled with three other international students to Ponta de Ouro, Mozambique: a county that is said to have the most beautiful beaches in all of Africa. Just getting there, was an adventure within itself as we began our trip by not being let through the South African border, therefor missing our bus we had already paid for. Instead, we ended up hitchhiking to Johannesburg, then catching our next bus to Moputo, taking a ferry to Contembe, and then being driven by a jeep for the last three hours, until we finally reached our backpackers hostel. I four-wheeled up the coast, bought food from the local market, negotiated for local crafts, and spent my days laying on the beautiful beaches and trying to avoid the blue jellyfish as I swam in the warm ocean. It was a wonderful vacation filled with relaxation, adventure, and culture. Read more
This is “grandma’s brother” at a cultural excursion to a village that teaches people about traditions of villages in Botswana.
Dumela! I have already been in Botswana for almost two months now and I am so excited for the next few months to come. Although I feel like I will never be able to fully understand everything about the culture and Motswana people, I have learned such a great deal so far. The first most basic and obvious cultural difference is the food. I was hoping to come and and have the best food of my life and want to bring back different spices so I could make the food at home.. that is not happening at all. Most of the food here I do not like, especially at the refractory (Mogul) which is where I have my meal plan. They serve the same thing every day for lunch and dinner. Usually it is something like: pap (a traditional porridge like stable made from maize) or rice, then you choose chicken or beef (prepared the same way every day) and then carrots or a beat salad. Sometimes they have a couple different things, like some people eat fish from the special diet section but I dont like fish, or sometimes they have dumplings instead of pap which is a boiled bread, that I love. The other international students and I love going out to eat when we can afford to, there are so many placed to eat that serve delicious food from all different cultures, including a lot of American food. Read more