We made it
I’ve been in Botswana for six days now, and I already love it. The atmosphere is so laid back, but also chaotic. For example, to get to work, Graham, Amy, and I have to walk to the bus rank, where chombis (15-seat van-taxis) can take you all over the city. Everyone walks to the rank at a pretty leisurely pace, but once you get there, it’s pandemonium. We took about 10 minutes to find the right route to get to work, then we ended up missing our stop, running across a highway to catch another chombi, then finally getting to work. When I strolled into work at BONASO, ready with dozens of excuses, nobody was the least bit worked up because I was late. As long as I get there in the morning, it doesn’t really matter.
I haven’t had much of a chance to see the "real Botswana." Living in Gaborone is essentially the same as living in Halifax. There are malls, movie theatres, etc, that are basically the same as what we have in Canada. I have an office on the third floor of a building, overlooking downtown Gaborone; it isn’t at all what I expected when I found out 4 months ago that I’d be going to Africa. That isn’t to say that I’m disappointed here, I’m just surprised at how ignorant I was. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, once we get settled in, a trip is in the works to see one of Botswana’s many animal preserves.
Our house in Gaborone is phenomenal. It’s a two-storey townhouse with two bathrooms, three bedrooms, and a large dining room. It’s pretty bare right now, but within a month or so, it should look just like home, except at this home we have a lemon tree in the backyard. I hope to upload a picture in the near future.
Another thing I didn’t expect about living in Botswana was how cold it gets overnight. It’s the tail end of their winter now, and yesterday morning I could see my breath outside. I thought the winters just got Africa-cold, not cold-cold.
My first assignment at BONASO was to make a powerpoint presentation for my boss to give at the international AIDS conference in Toronto next week. She said it was good, but I was a little nervous doing my first real job. Before that, I just spent the days proofreading people’s work. It seems like after this, a lot of my job will entail writing proposals for different community groups to get funding for AIDS awareness programs.
I apologize for having such a disjointed entry, but things just pop into my head randomly, then I write them down. I’m still getting the hang of this online journaling, so maybe it’ll get a little more smooth as time goes on. I still don’t know how to end each entry.