It's my third weekend in Botswana and each CIEE activity gets better than the next. This past weekend, we drove 40 minutes west to Bahurutshe Cultural Village where we were surrounded by nature and a fascinating history. Our trip began with a visit to an ancient rock wall with paintings from hundreds of years ago. There we could spot human figures and giraffes painted into the rocks. Then we hiked to the David Livingstone Tree, a historic tree with sprawling branches under which the explorer and missionary, David Livingstone, was said to preach. We climbed up on its branches and enjoyed the shade for a bit before exploring other sites surrounding the history of David Livingstone in Botswana.
After enjoying a delicious lunch of rice, vegetables, chicken, beef, pap, and juice, we of course had to stop and pet the goats. As Americans, we are still getting used to seeing goats everywhere in the streets and villages. Then we watched a demonstration of a traditional wedding where two families within the Bahurutshe village became one. Most of the rituals we learned about are no longer practiced, yet it was still amazing to learn about how things were done back then. We also participated in a celebration of harvest. A few of us girls got to dress up in skirts and shawls and present grains and seeds to the village chief. This was followed by merry singing and dancing, which was amazing to watch. All of this was part of the Kgotla, a public meeting in the village that is led by the chief. It was unlike anything I'd done before!
After another delicious dinner, we sat around the lodge and watched the stars come out. We could clearly see the Milky Way and even saw several shooting stars blaze across the night sky. The only sound we could hear was the tinkling of cow bells and an occasional donkey neighing into the night. It was the perfect end to a perfect day in Bahurutshe.