As part of the CIEE public health program, we got to spend a week in the beautiful village of Kanye. Since we were busy with clinic visits and Setswana class during the week, we finally got to experience some Kanye festivities on Saturday.
In the morning, we went to a lodge to do some cultural activities, which included walking and climbing to see the gorge. It was a little tough to climb, especially since they hadn’t told us to wear hiking shoes, but it was worth it since it was so pretty. We also got to milk a goat and then try some of the fresh milk right after. The milk was still a little warm, which I didn’t love, but it was a new experience and I’m glad I got to try it.
After the lodge, we all piled into some cars and were taken to the wedding of a relative of some of the host families (two of the host moms are sisters and a third one is the daughter-in-law of one of them). Even though we did not really know anyone at the wedding besides each other, we had a lot of fun. There was so much food, music, and even some dancing. One of my favorite parts was watching the bride come out in all of her different outfits. I think she had four in total. They were all gorgeous and every time she would come out with a new one, the whole wedding party would do a dance from the house back to their seats. There were so many people at the wedding that some people were sitting on the ground or just standing since there were not enough chairs and tables for everyone. It was really cool to see since it felt very different than any of the weddings I have been to back home. Since my family was not at the wedding, I had to get home before it got dark.
Once I got back to my house, I had a little time to relax before me and two other CIEE students were off to a birthday party with my family. The birthday party happened to be for the mom of one of the other students (our host moms must be pretty good friends). It was a pretty big party and there were probably at least fifty guests. She was turning 65, so it was a pretty big deal and some of her relatives gave speeches or sang songs. You could tell how wonderful of a person she must be and how much love everyone had for her. They served us dinner around 10pm and even though it was late, it was worth it since it was really good. As soon as dinner finished, they passed out some sort of bread with cream on it, which we all enjoyed. There were two beautiful cakes in the shape of 65 sitting on the table all night, but we thought that they were too pretty to cut which was why we had the other dessert. That assumption was incorrect, however, since they cut it up and served us pieces as soon as we were done with the bread.
Even though we did not always understand what was going on, I had a blast at all of the events and they were unlike anything else I have ever experienced before.