Disconnection In The Delta Created Everlasting Connections

Authored by:
Marisa McKimm

Marisa McKimm

As it was time to leave the Okavango Delta I couldn't have been more proud of the students. I watched most of them individually bid farewell and give hugs to all our new friends, from the guides to the kitchen staff. This was the moment I knew they had really been touched by Botswana. Just the other day my host mom quoted, "Ya know, these cell phones put you next to the person far away, but take you away from the person right next to you." This couldn't be more true and was very evident during our experience in the wild. No cell service, just raw nature and the mix of people around us. During our final reflection many students opened up about the connections they made along the way. Specifically stating the instant love and friendliness they felt from the people of Botswana, whether it was a simple greeting in passing or they got a few weeks with them. Also, I must not leave out their fellow Americans that they are now forever connected to and have shared such an incredible experience with. We walked in fresh tracks of lions, watched a herd of buffalo drink water across the river from us and had sleepless nights from elephants making noise as they enjoyed the nuts of the makalani trees in our camp. However, the lifelong impact was the connections with people we met along the way. We came for the wildlife but left with new friends and family. Re a leboga Botswana! We thank you Botswana!

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