Last week we were given the opportunity to spend seven days in a homestay in Kayne, a rural village located about two hours south-west of Gaborone. My experience in Kanye was amazing and it will absolutely be one of the highlights of my entire study abroad experience. When we first arrived in Kayne we were met by our homestay families. My mum and younger sister came to pick me up and took me back to their beautiful home to meet my dad, my older sister, and our 4 dogs. I had thought that I would find it strange to live in someone else’s house but luckily my family made me feel right at home! My older sister and I made dinner for the family and she taught me how to cook local dishes such as chakalaka and beetroot salad.
During the week we spent our mornings shadowing local clinics and observing village healthcare practices. I was pretty surprised by what we saw. Most of the clinics were missing important supplies such as blood vials and anesthesia, and many of the nurses were forced to make questionable sterilization choices in an attempt to conserve materials. However I was really impressed to see that each clinic had their own vegetable garden and ration storage facility in order to provide food for sick patients and undernourished children.
In the afternoons we visited a local child care center that deals with orphaned and underprivileged children. I had so much fun playing with the kids and teaching them classic American camp games. We played “Duck, duck, goose” but the kids couldn’t quite say “goose” so we settled for “Duck, duck, juice!”. My friend Sylvia helped out in the office and was able to help draft grants and donation request letters for the director to send to prospective donors.
Mid-way through the week we got to visit a Kgotla meeting, which is the traditional court. We had to wear long skirts and headdresses and we were able to see three traditional wedding ceremonies!
My host-mum and her friends took us hiking and we saw the most beautiful sunset!
On Saturday we we able to visit a cultural center where they took us on a hike to a sacred gorge and then taught us how to make phaphatha, grind sorghum, and milk goats. We even got to crash a wedding party and enjoyed meeting the guests and listening to some speeches.
Overall, I had an amazing time in Kayne. Village life is definitely different from city life and it was interesting to have to get used to living without running water and wifi, however life in Kayne is also very peaceful and relaxed. I loved having the freedom to walk around the village and hear only the distant sound of cow bells, or look up at the stars at night and see a sky void of light pollution. Kanye was a dream and I hope that I will be able to return one day.