Botswana, Africa

Botswana, Africa
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this blog are our personal views and are not representative of the Peace Corps or the U.S. government in anyway.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Finally some sun!

Hello everyone! Right now we are sitting outside having a beer on a nice sunny day in Molelepolole, Botswana. It has FINALLY stopped raining after a week of almost constant rain and cold! We were told that it was very unusual weather as the winter season (the seasons are opposite here on the southern hemisphere) should be very dry. Anyway, things are still going well with our training. Next week we will have a chance to go stay for the week with current Peace Corps volunteers around the country and see what day to day life is like for a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer). This will also be the first time we will get out and see some of Botswana so we are very excited. We uploaded some pictures we have taken so you guys can see what it looks like here. I haven't been very good about taking pictures (as usual) so sorry there are not more. We will add some more later. The pictures are just of things here in this village called Molelepolole which is one of biggest villages in Botswana. Some interesting things we have learned about Bostwana are that there are only about 1.8 million people living in this country (most US city's have more people than that!). There are actually more cattle in Botswana than people! This is because the beef industry is big here. The country is about the same size as the state of Texas, but because we have to take buses to get around it can take two full days to get from north to south in Botswana.

The first picture we thought was funny because we saw some goats standing in front of a butchery just waiting to be eaten. (Well actually there are goats, donkeys, and chickens running around everywhere here!).

I also thought it was funny how they call bars 'liquor restaurants' here so I took a picture of one.

This is a picture of a traditional house with some cows in front. Many homes here are in a compound style so there are several of these traditional houses and a more modern house that a family (grown children and everything) would live in.

The next pictures are of the church were we are having our traning classes right now. We have 'school' everyday from 8am-5pm. We have Setwana language lessons for about 4 hours everyday and then some classes about culture, HIV/AIDS, and other things.

This is our puppy friend at school. I called her Marupa (ma-roo-pa) which means bones because she is very skinny but everyone feeds her at school now so she is getting fatter. Someone will probably take her home and keep her after our training is over too.

And finally these are some pictures of us playing with condoms during a lesson we had on how to get youth to talk about HIV and get used to handling condoms. You can see that we had fun blowing them up and stuff!

That is all for now!! We miss you guys, but we are also really having a good time here so far. We hope you are all doing well too.

Go Siame! (pronounced Ho See-a-may) meaning goodbye!

Lindsey and Mark

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The first few weeks

Wow! So much has happened in such a short amount of time. We are now in Molepolole where are pre-service training is. We are living with the Sobuko family which consists of a grandmother and her grandson, but of course there are always extra family members staying. They take very good care of us making sure that we are properly fed and enjoy teaching us new things about their culture. Our Setswana is coming along and in no time we should be quite fluent. The people here are all very nice and eager to see just how well you can speak Setswana, so we will have to learn quickly. Are days normally start before the sun rises so that we can make it to school by 8am. The work day goes from 8 to 5 and is Monday through Friday. In Gaborone we had a dinner with the U.S. Ambassador to Botswana and the National Chair for HIV/AIDS. This was a wonderful experience and gave us a chance to be inspired by some top ranking officials. Upon arriving in Moleps we spent a day at the Kgohtla (coat-la) which is a community building where citizens can come to settle disputes. We had the privilege of speaking with the local Kgotsi (chief) concerning HIV in the area. This was a big eye opener for many of us as some of the opinions expressed were very.. wrong! For instance the belief that condoms cause AIDS.... So with that I will say we truly have our work cut out. We are having a blast and going a mile a minute. Next time I promise pictures and thanks for your comments.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Welcome to Botswana

After a very long two days of travel we have finally made it to Gaborone, Botswana. Botswana is a beautiful country with even better weather! Lindsey and I took a run this morning when the air was still cool and crisp which we really needed because we have been having a buffet for every meal since we got here!! You might be wondering what animals we have seen so far in Africa....and I would have to say two bunny rabbits and a cat! Hahaha. We are at a lodge for a few days to get settled in and then we are going to stay with a local host family for the next three months. Overall things are going great and we will be checking the internet for the next few days regularly so send a message if you want! We hope you are all doing well too!