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A Week in Kanye









Post by Katherine Taylor from University of Colorado Boulder

We all spent this past week in Kanye. Kanye is a large village 45 minutes outside of Gaborone. It is home to the Bangwaketse tribe, one of the main tribes in Botswana. Before arriving in Kanye I pictured it as a small village composed of huts, lots of livestock, and very little urbanization. In reality, Kanye is a sprawling town with a lot of urbanization. There is even a new mall complete with Debonairs and KFC. During our stay in Kanye each of us were placed with a host family. Luckily, none of us were staying in huts with dirt floors. However, some of us did have to cook on an outdoor campfire and bathe in buckets. The people of Kanye were extremely welcoming and excited for us to be visiting.

Our days started at 7:00AM when were all picked up from our homestays and then dropped of at our respective clinics. We each had the opportunity to observe in three different clinics. I was at the Mafhikana, Kgwaltheng and BOFWA (Botswana Family Welfare Association) clinics. Others went to the Main Clinic, and Ebraim and Mariam Clinic. I thought the clinics in Kanye were nicer than those in Gaborone. I think this is due to the lower patient demand. I also felt that I was able to help out more in the Kanye’s clinics than I have been in Gaborone’s clinics. For example, Alex V. and I were able to complete all of the paperwork for the babies being weighed in the Child Welfare Clinic. And we were able to dispense medication to patients, under the supervision of a nurse. However, my favorite experience from working in the clinics was listening to the fetal heartbeats in the maternity ward. The Mafhikana and Gwaltheng clinics both had consultation rooms, dressing and injection rooms, maternity rooms, dispensaries, child welfare clinics, and antiretroviral therapy clinics. Nurses mostly staff the clinics, I only saw two doctors at both clinics.

We left the clinic each day around 12:00PM. All 19 of us then headed to the mall for an overdue lunch. We mostly all crowded into the pizza place, Debonairs. We would all order copious amounts of pizza, garlic bread and ice cream. It was a nice break from the typical Setswana meals. After lunch we had our entire afternoon free to relax. It was great to have time to explore Kanye and hang out with our host families.

Some of our excursions in Kanye included: visiting the main Kgotla and hiking around the gorge. A kgotla is a traditional court used by the tribesmen. It is used to judge judicial cases, and caters to weddings and funerals. Typically, the tribe’s chief or headmen run the kgotla. Unfortunately we did not get to meet the chief, but we met many of the headmen. They were very welcoming and told us about the Bangwaketse tribe. They even gave me a Setswana name, Peo (meaning seed). Exploring the gorge was also a highlight of our time in Kanye. It was a great hike with extremely beautiful views of the village.

I really enjoyed my time in Kanye. It was great to get to compare the differences between the rural and urban areas of Botswana. However, I am very glad to be back home in Gaborone!

Image4Everyone at the kgotla with the HeadmenImage4The Bangwaketse Headmen

Image4A beautiful painting at the kgotla. A crocodile was chosen because it is the Bangwaketse’s totem
Image4During a beautiful hike at the gorge


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