Yo yo yo, what up parentals?
Our adventure in Botswana is coming to an end. Our time here has opened our eyes to a beautiful culture and lifestyle and we couldn’t be more grateful for the Botswana warm hospitality, generous hearts, and for welcoming us into their homes. Since our last update, we had our first official class meeting, dinner with Dr. Musa Dube at her home, and experienced our last day at Kamogela Day Care Centre.
In the beginning of our first class meeting (around the bon fire), we were asked to take ten minutes to free write (by candlelight) about any preconceptions, thoughts, ideas, and/or traditions that we had before embarking on this unpredictable journey. After discussing a few of our entries, we went on to talk about Dr. Musa Dube and her two articles. The history of Botswana, how it became the country that it is today, and how the prevalence of HIV/AIDS affects the country and its people are a few of the main topics discussed in her articles. Because of all of the insight from our classmates, our deep conversation was delightfully unexpected. Our class was put on hold when Steve, our tour guide/cook, announced that dinner was ready and that it was time for our first Braai (AKA barbeque, but if you call it that, you ain’t gettin’ no dinner). We enjoyed each other’s company eating dinner around the bonfire before we dispersed into our cozy huts for the evening, which was for some of us resembles something straight out of a Disney Movie (Beauty and the Beast - “Good morning Belle!”).
The following afternoon we had the chance to experience everyday life at the market in downtown Gabarone. Our senses were pleasantly surprised with the smells of the food, noises of the people, and the feeling of the brick pathway under our feet in the marketplace. After making our way through the crowds and learning how to barter (which is no easy feat), Austin and I (Taylor) had a chance to get to know the storeowners on a more personal level. It turns out that some of them are from the Mochudi Village, which is where we toured yesterday afternoon. They travel from the village every morning to sell their craft in the marketplace. After connecting the dots between our experiences and conversations, I (Taylor) was still in for an even bigger surprise. While walking with Austin, we met a friendly storeowner. While trying to buy something, he decided to propose to me! We are now happily engaged, sorry boys, I’m now spoken for (Dad-take a deep breath, I’m only joking).
We returned to the lodge to prepare for an evening with Dr. Musa Dube. Once we arrived, she warmly welcomed us into her beautiful home. She took the time to introduce herself, elaborated on her extraordinary life journey, and shared with us her plans for the future. After her introduction, we all sat down to a traditional Botswana meal (lamb curry, greens, pap, butternut squash, dumplings and lentils) prepared by one of her former students who now owns her own catering company. We thoroughly enjoyed the intelligent conversation and having the privilege to ask her questions about her articles and her life experiences. The evening ended with full bellies, happy hearts, and her extending an open invitation back into her home the next time we are in Botswana.
Our last day at Kamogela Day Care Centre was bittersweet. The children were more comfortable than ever wanting to hold our hands and climbed on us like we were jungle gyms. As much as we didn’t want the day to end, the time flew by with all of the singing, dancing, and rough housing on the playground. They might have thought that we were there for them, which we were, however, they will never truly know the amount of joy and happiness they placed in our hearts. In a world where we are always thinking about what’s coming next, for three hours for three days, the children gave us the gift of the present, the ability to escape our own minds and BE in the moment.
As the day came to an end, none of us were ready to leave. I (Sarah) heard Steve tell us that it was time to go. I hugged a few of the kids and gave some of them high fives, as I looked around none of the other girls were making their way to the bus. Something inside me clicked and I knew that if I didn’t walk away now I wouldn’t be able to leave these kids who had been such a blessing to all of us. I wish I could have hugged every one of their smiling faces, however I knew I needed to distance myself or else I would want to stay with them forever.
Ke a leboga (Thank you) for reading!
We love and miss all of you!
Taylor and Sarah J