I just found out yesterday that tomorrow I'm going on a field trip. A Botswanan company has started a project that aims at promoting HIV awareness and prevention in very remote villages through videos. The videos will be in the villagers' language, as English is barely spoken in the isolated areas. I'm going with the project to get data to write a report on its effectiveness. Tomorrow I'll be in a village called Phuduhudu, then on Saturday I'll be in another village, Kang. Both villages are in the Kgalagadi region of Botswana, in the southwest corner.
From Monday to Friday, I'll be going with the project again, this time to the Kalahari Desert, in central Botswana. These villages are home to the San people, or "Bushmen." They've essentially rejected changes in technology and live as they have always lived. Their language includes sounds that aren't in English. For example, one of the villages I'll be seeing is called New Xade, pronounced "New (click)-ahday." Most of the villages in this area have just a few hundred people, and I've heard that there's a good chance I'll be the first white person a lot of the villagers will have seen.
Accommodations haven't been worked out yet, but it looks like from Monday to Friday I'll be camping in the villages. They don't have electricity or running water, so a hotel is out of the question. I already expect this to be the chance of a lifetime, so I hope it lives up to what I anticipate.
After I write the report on the project, I heard that I might be presenting the findings to international journalists. It was mentioned kind of off-hand, so I'll worry about writing the report and experiencing these villages first, then find out what's going to be done about it. I thought I'd write this little update before I go, then when I get back I'll be able to go into detail about what the experience was like and if it lived up to my expectations.