I'm spending seven weeks in Botswana this summer as part of a Global Health Study Abroad Program and performing an independent HIV research study. However, I hope this blog will not only keep you informed about my adventures but that it will reveal why I feel it's so important to travel and see the world.
Here's to the inner wanderlust in all of us!
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Getting the Lay of the Land
I am finally beginning to feel like I can successfully navigate my way around Gaborone, but we'll see if I'm still saying that tomorrow as we attempt to find the first of five clinics we will be working in over the next month and a half. Hopefully getting up at 6am will leave us enough time to get lost and still be on time, but African time always manages to sneak up in there some how.
Walking. I walked so much these last two days it is unbelievable, but it really helped me to understand the city's layout and how the public transport system works which uses mini buses called "combis." Yesterday we spent the entire day running around taking pictures in front of different building and monuments and in different malls and shops. One thing that Gaborone is not lacking is malls, they are EVERYWHERE. At each stop we had to take a picture with our group and all the pictures will be turned it to our professor who will award the winning team with a free dinner at one of the best restaurants in Gaborone--obviously my group is going to win.
The delicious caterpillar bucket!
Oh! During our picture scavenger hunt yesterday I ate a caterpillar! It tasted fishy and salty and was not my cup of tea, however I loved some of the teeny little berries that they were also selling at the same stall and I proceeded to munch on them throughout the day like sunflower seeds!
Our faces once we figured out we didn't like them
Last night all 27 of us strolled out to the street of downtown Gaborone to check out the local night life, and I have to say I wasn't that impressed. I think it was because there was such a separation between us and the locals that it felt like we weren't really able to become a part of the night life atmosphere. I'm sure I'll like it more once we learn more about the different options and where the best places to go are.
Currently my Motswana roommate who is a graduate student here is chopping away making some sort of fish and veggie stew and yelling to her sister in another room and I am exhausted from another bustling day out. Today we climbed Kgale Hill though it really should be called a mountain because it was unbelievably steep and rocky. But nonetheless we successfully climbed up to the top and there was a breathtaking view awaiting us when we arrived--see the gorgeous view?
Tomorrow we start our first clinical rotation (each small group will spend one week at a specific clinic, then rotate to a different one the next week) and I really have no idea what to expect. We haven't really been given any direction as to what we will be doing but I'm expecting it to be very hectic and crowded--which is making me a little anxious about the possibility of not being able to get my interviews done but I'm learning to just take each day as it comes here in Botswana.
I feel like I've been running around non-stop since I arrived in Botswana exactly a week ago, but I'm really loving it here. I know that starting classes tomorrow will also make me even busier, but I'm excited to see how professors here structure their classes and what their opinions of their health system are and how they approach problem solving methods to critical problems.