Fall 2018 has finally begun and with a bang! This fall, CIEE has a total of nine students, eight ladies and a gentleman. Seven of the students are enrolled in the CIEE Community Public Health program which entails classes and clinical observations within Gaborone and Kanye village for a week. The other two students are in an Arts & Sciences program which includes an internship and more community outreaches. Additionally, all students are taking classes in the University of Botswana. On Monday July 30th, all roads led to Sir Seretse Khama International airport as most of the students were arriving in Gaborone, Botswana. A lot of the students chose to stay on the university campus so they moved into the dorms right away, while the homestay student was picked up from the airport by her host family. The following day orientation begun and ran for a week. Orientation week covers a variety of presentations about Health, Safety, Academics just to name a few and engage students in cultural activities.- Lebogang Gubago
Our excursion to the Game city mall was a great experience for me. We went seeking the essentials that they would need in order to survive the semester at UB, phones to communicate, locks to keep their property safe in the dorms, washing utensils as well as their basic necessities such as towels, shampoo and conditioner, bathing soap, and Sandles for the communal showers.
A highlight of the experience which was great for me was watching them take their first bite of real world class Nando's (I'm a vegetarian by the way so I don't eat the chicken. Still really good). Along our journey we meet some unique characters such as Imi (I think that's how you spell it) an Indian expatriate and the guy from whom we purchased the students burner phones. He's a flamboyant businessman. Always giving a discount on something or trying to sell something better than what you want. Someone who in the simplest of terms is a barterer. I am too. End result we got a pretty good discount just to add the cherry on top.
But the best part was meeting and bonding with new friends. In my group I felt as if each of us had our own little connection and things we can relate to. The whole ordeal was a beautiful medley of correspondence with each other. Game city mall was a real experience that I loved cause I got to share a piece of my home, our development, our diversity, our Botswana and the memories will forever last. - Sedia Modise
Wednesday was a pretty awesome day, we started off with culture shock and adjustment. Students are taught how to deal with culture shock and its stages. Also to simply transition to another type of life. Students were also given skills on how to navigate UB.
Survival Setswana skills were taught which are very helpful Setswana words that are needed on a daily basis, for example “Dumela Mma/Dumela Rra (Hello ma’am\Hello Sir)” “Ke a Leboga (Thank You)”
Dance teaches social patterns and values and help people work, praise and is used in celebrating festivals and funerals in many parts of Africa. Dance is very important in the Botswana Culture and of great value so it was only fit that the students learn about the significance of dance in Botswana Culture by a dance workshop. The students as well as student volunteeres danced house and African contemporary, it was very amusing and entertaining. - Ruby Pitinyane
On the 4th of August CIEE hosted a welcome dinner for the students, staff and volunteers. (Which also happened to be my birthday eve LOL). The night started off with a combi ride to the venue (Avanni hotel and resort), loud music from the international scene played as we all sang along and realized that although cliché, music was universal. Upon arrival we were guided to our table and shown a buffet area filled with an assortment of starters. The menu spanned across continents, catering for everyone’s tastes whilst managing to include a few traditional dishes. The dinner also included a stir fry station where guests could design their dish before the chef prepared it. The group sat around the table as drinks flowed, and laughter filled up the room. We were wise enough to leave space for desert in anticipation of the desert bar. For those with a sweet tooth the former was a treat. An assortment of ice-creams, toppings, cakes and pastries was provided, and we had our fill. Over desert one of the students suggested we play “rose bud thorn”, a game she had learned at one camp she had attended. Rose would be the best part about your day, thorn the worst part and bud would be something you were looking forward to. Although it seemed like a simple game it gave us an opportunity to better understand each other and ourselves too. Friendships were made as we realized that we all had one thing or another in common. After all was said and done we got back into our loud combi to explore Gaborone’s night life. - Maduo Mogaetsho