Ke a leboga

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Before we get to the first few days of life in Botswana, we’d like to express our deep gratitude to all our friends, families, and co-workers for making us feel so loved these past few months. You guys said some ridiculously nice things to us. It was overwhelming. We carry those fine feelings with us every day. I hope you all are well. We love you so much the same.

So what is Botswana like, you ask? Hard to tell exactly. We’ve been at a hotel in the capital, Gaborone (Ha-bor-o-nay), since Friday afternoon. There are 75 people like us (ages 21 to 70). We are all very nice to each other. The Peace Corps staff are all very reassuring. The Batswana who teach us language classes are so friendly that it almost makes you cry. We can barely talk about them without getting misty.

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The weather is beyond pleasant. It’s 80 during the day, full sun. 50 at night. We’ve used our scant free time to walk to two different grocery stores, one of which is WAY nicer than the Thriftway in Fishtown. In fact, they both might be nicer. They are full of stuff. Anything you want. It won’t be like that in the villages but we’ll be able to come to the capital occasionally.

The sun sets every day and fills the sky with orange Southern African light. The moon is bigger and brighter than we have seen in years. We’ve seen blue-bellied birds and chipmunks with skinny tails.

We have simple cell phones and check the internet rarely. We eat three square meals a day. Drink tea at tea time. We take showers. Sleep in beds. It’s all very normal.

Tomorrow we take a bus 5 hours to the northeast to the village of Serowe where we live with a family and train for 10 weeks. The days will be busy but the training activities seem fun and helpful. We and everyone else are nervous about living with a family. About bathing in buckets and sleeping under mosquito nets and eating strange foods and not being able to speak to anyone. We just have to remember how nice the Batswana have been to us. Our new families will love us. The sunsets and moonrises will be bigger and brighter outside of the capital. More stars. It is all we could hope for.

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  • Jocelyn

    Beautifully described!

  • Andrea Kenyon

    Sounds like a warm, welcoming atmosphere to start your new life. Funny you should head to the grocery store. That is one of the first things I do in another country or part of the U.S. – I know you are not surprised! But seriously its a great way to see how folks live. I am always amazed at the interesting things you find.
    Loved the photos and can’t wait to hear about your journey to Serowe. Looking forward to seeing those stars! xo