It's that time of the year again when we look back at the amazing time we had with the summer group of Community Public Health students. Though it was a short programme, lasting about 2 months, we got up to so much! There were clinical rotations, some travelling and half the group took a trip to one of Botswana's wildlife treasures: the Okavango Delta.
Here's what's in this issue:
As always, our weekly student blogs were informative, sometimes funny but always eye opening. There were so many stories to tell and experiences to share. In case you missed out on some of them, browse through the links below.
Life in Gaborone
Our first blog "Dumelang" was from Abigail Dykes who gave us a quick run through of her first week settling in to her study abroad experience in Gaborone. Her very first day in Gaborone started with a power cut! Garret Donaldson also shared his first impressions of Gaborone in "Finally in Botswana!", as did Muijj Ghani in "Godbye Nebraska, Hello Gaborone". Elizabeth Pappenfus gave us a glimpse into daily life in her blog "A day in the life of Miss Pappenfus". Emily Roberts and Michelle Vu fell in love with children during a visit to Tlamelo trust in Old Naledi. See what they got up to in "Playtime in Old Naledi" and "It's official, I'm adopting 20 children!"
Salpi Apkarian described week 2 of her time here in "Settling into life in Botswana", in which she went to Mokgolodi Game Reserve and to the Victoria Falls. In "Oeme ha stopong", Alexander Polino gave a comical account of the public transport system here in Gaborone. Katie Schmidt chose to spend some of her free time at a local art exhibition in "Amazed by Art".
Clinical rotations took place everyday at various clinics around the city and allowed the students to get hands on experience working in a public health setting. Elizabeth Doro and Jamieca Love described their time on rotation in "Clinics, Fat Cakes and Setswana" and "My week in the Extension 2 Clinic" respectively. Nitin Agrawal had the unique experience of observing home based care and described it in "Home Based Care". Dane Mallad also briefly shared her Clinical experience in "Week 3 in Botswana". Unfortunately, Olivia Trofimuk became a patient when she caught Malaria after a trip to the Victoria Falls. However, she looked back on it humourously in "This one time in Africa, I got Malaria".
The Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe is a favorite destination for many given that it's one of the is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Alvin George shared his trip there in "A weekend at Victoria Falls".
The students also spent a week in a village close to the city called Kanye. Sif Nave tells us a bit about it in "A Village called Kanye". In "From the dorms to a homestay" Janine Appleton chose to write about her experience going from a dorm in Gaborone to a homestay in Kanye. Komal Ramzanali had a somewhat adventurous time in Kanye,where she found herself locked in a bathroom! Read "Bathroom Adventures in Kanye" to find out what happened. Aine Lehane described a trip to Serowe Rhino sanctuary in "Our Rhino Tracking Adventure". Lakin Hocker did her best to recount her 5 days camping in the Okavango Delta in "Where the wild things are".
Other students took the time to reflect on their experiences here, drawing lessons from them or using the experiences to learn about themselves. Jordan Threatt has lived in northern Africa before and took the time to reconnect with her love for the continent in "Rediscovering Africa". Vicky Shah shares a few lessons she learned during her travel abroad experience in "When you leave home". Emily Brincka took a look back at her time in Botswana in "Goodbye Gaborone!". Kelsey Gratz found the African within herself and also shared some lessons she'd picked up during her time here in "Lessons from a white African".
One of the highlights of our programme is always the humourous but informative videos the students create for their media projects. Below are two videos; one summarizing the week in Kanye where the group got to attend a traditional wedding, and another introducing the life of a dorm student, hand washing included!
On a lighthearted note, a few of our students decided to try their hand at doing a popular Nigerian dance called the Azonto. Luckily we caught it on video!
At the end of the Summer semester, some of the students opted to go on a CIEE trip to the Okavango Delta in the northwest of Botswana.The Okavango Delta is a natural wild ecosystem supported by the Okavango River that regularly floods the area every year. This water and area supports a wide range of wild animals that are one of Botswana’s biggest tourist attractions.
The trip began early on a Tuesday morning with everyone reporting to the CIEE office at 6:30am where the transport was waiting. The first leg of the journey was a 10 hour drive from Gaborone to Maun where the students would spent a night before proceding to the Delta the following day. At 9am the following day, the students were met by the guides at the lodge. The guides ushered everyone into two safari trucks and then began a slow, dusty and bumpy 3 hour journey to the campsite in the Moremi Game Reserve. The last hour of the drive was quite pleasant as some animals were spotted which increased everyone's excitement. Upon arrival at the campsite, the students got a chance to meet the campsite staff, choose tents, freshen up, have lunch and prepare themselves for an afternoon game drive. Majority of the 3 days were spent going on leisurely morning and afternoon game drives where one could see a variety of animals in their natural habitat including Leopards, Elephants, Lions and Hippos. It was also not strange to see a herd of elephants casually walking by the campsite or hearing hyenas laughing by the tents at 3am, and on the last day a herd of Zebra passed by during breakfast. The students also got to take a relaxing river ride in mokoros (dug out canoes) and some even tried to master the art of steering a mokoro too! The campsite staff kept everyone happy with delicious meals and the head chef went as far as baking fresh bread for breakfast! The guides diligently answered questions about the animals and their behaviours. They also gave a lecture on how the Okavango ecosystem works and the various threats to its future existence. The trip culminated in a short scenic plane ride over the delta back to Maun. The arrival at the Maun airport signified the end of an amazing 4 days in the bush.
And on that note, we come to the end of the 2nd 2013 issue of our CIEE Gaborone newsletter. Keep your eye on our blogs to catch up with our new students who have just joined us.
As always, till the next issue, sala sentle (stay well)!