A Second Look at a Week in Kanye
Post by Caitlin Bond from Indiana University
I recently just returned from my week in the small town/big village called Kanye, where I stayed with a wonderful host family. Before going on the trip, I was a little nervous for the homestay. I had some typical worries about whether my host family would like me, if I would feel awkward, or just not knowing what to expect. Of course, it ended up being great. My host family made me feel so comfortable and were really easy to talk to. It was only a mom and her son. My host mom’s name is Esther, but she told me to call her mami. My host brother, who is 25, is named Neo. I introduced myself as Caitlin, but they ended up calling me Cait, which was nice because that’s what my family calls me back in the US. Mami also gave me a Setswana name of Rosi, which has a religious meaning. From what I understood it has something to do with the idea that God is most powerful and everything we do on Earth does not compare to the power of God. The house was nice, and most of the time was spent in the living room with the TV on, or working in the kitchen. I was able to help cook. My host brother’s cooking was amazing! I tried to pay attention when we were cooking so I can go home and cook like him.
As I said before, I didn’t really know what to expect on this weeklong trip to Kanye. When we were being told about Kanye I got the impression that it was a small traditional village. However, when we got here I noticed that was not the case. It is smaller than Gaborone, but is a lot bigger than what I was expecting. My host brother told me there are about 15,000 people living here. I personally like that there are no huge buildings, rather small houses and stored spread throughout the hilly village. There is one mall area with a nice grocery store (Spar) and a Debonairs pizza restaurant, which we went to everyday after clinics. We also got to look at the tuck shops, which seem to be closing down as a result from the big grocery stores that are opening.
The clinical rotations here were great experiences. At BOFWA, which is a Planned Parenthood organization, we did home visits and handed out information on sexual reproductive health, gave out condoms, and talked to families about the organization. It was interesting to see how families and individuals reacted to the home visits. If it were in the US I would guess that people would just tell them to go away instead of taking the time to listen and be open to the BOFWA workers. In other clinics, my group got to do a lot of hands-on work. We sat in and observed some nurse consultation, worked in the dispensary, and worked in the vitals and registration area. Some clinics seemed to be overstaffed with nurses and not a lot of patients, while others did not have enough nurses for all of the patients. I felt like we were helping out a lot in the clinics, which was a really good experience. While we weren’t in clinics, at home, or at the mall, I really enjoyed getting to go on walks during the sunset, watching the World Cup games, and going on a hike at the gorge.
Overall, this week has been a nice relaxing break from classes and a great chance to understand Setswana culture!