Pre-Service Training

botswana-map I arrived in Botswana on April 19th. I am conducting my Pre-Service Training (PST) in the town of Molepole, just north west of the capitol of Gaberone.

I am matched with a host family in Molepolole. My family consists of  approximately 10 members. After being matched with my host family, my host sister gave me the name of “Tebogo” (Tay-Bo-ho) which means ‘thanks’.

For the first couple of weeks, my days consisted of waking up around 6:00am, taking a ‘bucket’ bath and fixing myself breakfast. I meet with my language cluster (about four of us working in the NGO Capacity Building program) and our language instructor (“morutabana”) at 8:00am. At 10am we leave my house and either walk or take a taxi to the center  where we conduct cultural education training, HIV/AIDS training or other program specific education.

I arrive home between 5-6pm. My family usually has dinner prepared and we sit together in front of the t.v. watching the latest episodes of “Rhythm City” and “Scandal”; my two new favorite South African soap operas. I think that due to the ‘newness’ of everything: time change, temperature, culture and food I find myself going to bed really early (usually 8:00pm and no later than 9pm). I have heard this will change as I continue to adjust to Botwsana. Overall, everything is great and each day is exciting to wake up to.

Yesterday (May 6th), a group of eight volunteers took a ten hour bus ride up north to the city of Maun. Four of us are staying here until Sunday to shadow a current volunteer andsee their day-to-day activities. I am staying with another NGO Capacity Builder and am learning about  his NGO: W.A.R. (Women Against Rape).  This is a great organization and is the only rape crisis center in Botswana. Over the course of the next couple of days, I will  learn more about Maun and the community as a whole and will plan on going to the wildlife refuge too.

Even though we are entering the winter months in Botswana, the days are still in the high 80’s or warmer. Everything moves slower in Botswana than in the states but  Iam grateful for the change of pace.

Most notably so far are the stars! There is very little light pollution near my house and goingout on my front porch with a cup of tea and looking up at a new set of stars is not only relaxing but perhaps the highlight of my day. It’s nice taking time to just look up.