Post by Sara Sanders from Creighton University
We have now officially been in Gaborone, Botswana for two weeks. I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed! It seems like yesterday that we arrived; yet we are almost a quarter of the way through our trip. The group is already so close; you would not be able to tell that we just met a couple of days ago.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself; let me start from the beginning of the trip. After, a long 2.5 days of flying we finally made it to Gaborone, Botswana where we entered the customs hall after a short walk on the tarmac. The airport had an extremely Caribbean feel, which was kind of surprising. I proceeded to pick up my luggage (I was lucky that it showed up) and make a great first impression…walking into the glass automatic doors exiting the arrivals hall. As embarrassing as this was, I knew I had found kindred spirits when the next girl through the door did the same thing and everyone just kept moving like it was nothing.
From the airport we went to a motel for the evening. Once everyone arrived at the motel we were treated to a group dinner. However, everyone was so tired that we all were in bed by nine o’clock. The next day we moved into the dorms, went grocery shopping, and began orientation. The next four days were filled with energy, as we excitedly heard about upcoming adventures. The first of which was our weekend “Combi Safari,” or public transportation tour around the city. This was when I finally realized that Gaborone had a true city center and was not just a collection of suburbs. The most interesting was definitely the combi station as there were so many different vendors, people, stores, and much more. For lack of a better word, the station had so much texture.
After a busy but relaxing weekend, we started our first week of clinic visits. Even at 6:30 in the morning, when we had to leave campus, everyone was very excited. As soon as we arrived at the clinic, they were already running for the day. Within fifteen minutes after arriving, the first child of the day was born. The four of us then split into four rooms to observe and created a mini-rotation schedule. The four rooms were the CWC, injections/wound wrapping, consultation, and maternity. Although this was a great experience, the next day we decided to work in groups and observe just two rooms. This time we decided that it was most beneficial to observe the CWC and the wound/injection room. The CWC is also known as the Child Welfare Center. This is where mothers come to weigh their children (between 0-5 years old) on a regular basis.
After our clinic visits we head back to campus for more coursework. I have Setswana immediately after lunch and then a short break. Following the break we have class on Mondays. However, on the other days we finish for the day and have the opportunity to explore the city and work on coursework. I look forward to what the rest of the trip has to bring, especially given the great first two weeks.