a wallflower no more


Africa bound for 7 weeks!

Class, class, and more class

so i have a little time fore my next class at 4. We have class all the time and very little free time which is kind annoying. but we did learn yesterday what clinics we are working in and i am luckily working in the clinic in my neighborhood.  SO that means i dont have to get up as early because when we take the taxis and the khombis it takes like almost an hour to get to class. but since we are always in class it doesnt really seem like a lot. but the food has gotten sooo much better. the only thing is that for breakfast we always eat meat. and not like bacon but like chicken and tuna. so that is pretty strange. 

the only problem right now is that my wireless isnt working at my house. well correction, the wireless is working at my house but the service provider isnt working. so i cannot get online. but my dad is trying to fix it because he always wants to be online and is really mad that he cant be online right now. so he is really really working to fix it. 

tonight ill try to upload some pictures so you can finally see what i have been doing. as for now i am my moms favorite daughter as i was the only one to give her a card or a present. but my host dad did buy my host mom a cow. so that was actually a pretty big deal haha. but im gonna work on some homework and then ill blog again tomorrow with pictures.  see you soon!

Dumelang borra le bomma (Hello men and women)

Well it’s taken me long enough to finally blog again but believe it or not I don’t get internet that well in Botswana. Most people here don’t really care that much to stay connected to facebook and email.  I think the last I left off we had our free day.  So for our free day (Friday) we went to Riverwalk mall finally got Batswana cell phones, ate lunch, got money, and shopped. We had to get all the things we needed for classes and most of us had to get more winter clothes because believe it or not its freezing here. It actually gets warm during the day but in the morning and at night its cold.  But its not like super super cold but the people really think its freezing. So we all stick out like a sore thumb in our short sleeve tshirts and pants. The shorts I packed are never gonna get worn but oh well. Everyone here is in hats, gloves, scarves, and heavy winter jackets. After we went shopping, we went back to the hotel and had some African wine and beer and watch the France- Uruguay game which was so boring. But the night was so fun. It was Erica’s 21st birthday so we tried to celebrate as much as we possibly could. 

On Saturday morning our families came to pick us up.  I met my family and I love them. I have both a mom and a dad which is very unusual here as most families are single mothers.  I also have a sister, Thuto, who is 20 and really looks out for me. She is so helpful and really shows me how to do things. I also have a brother, Setso, who is 13 and obsessed with video games.  My family is pretty well off and we do have wireless internet which is a huge deal.  My house isn’t that big and we don’t have showers, only bathtubs, but it is really nice. On my first day with my mom and sister, they took we grocery shopping and to the mall. Then Saturday night my family threw a party for me. My dad was still on the farm tending to the animals so he wasn’t there but my mom’s friends came over and some of their children. All together there were like 15- 20 people there and they projected the USA-England game on a screen. And they cooked a big meal for all of us. My mom and her friends are crazy and super loud so it was kinda like being with the Monroe’s.  It is hard though because they speak mostly in Setswana and all of her friends stared at me like I was the first white person they see. But there are so many sweet things that have happened. First of all, while my family was preparing for my arrival they called me Katherine so they had a name instead of just a person. And then when I got here they gave me a Setswana name. They call me Rona which means “us” and my mom gave me that because she said now that I am here, we are all together. So that was really cool and that is what my mom calls me. My mom is very protective and takes really good care of me. 

            Yesterday we hiked Kgale Hill which is more like a mountain than a hill. And not only did we hike it but we made our own path on the way up which was pretty interesting. We did some serious rock and mountain climbing. But once we got to the top it was seriously beautiful.  The view was absolutely gorgeous and we were able to see the entire city and surrounding hills. It was so pretty. So then last night we had a nice dinner (still in our hiking gear and smelling like sweat) at an Indian restaurant. Everyone should be super proud of me because I have seriously tried every food that I have been given. Although last night I thought I would die cause the food was sooo spicy. But at dinner my mom called me just to check in and see if I was doing ok. And she made me take a certain Taxi cause she knows the driver and already told him she would really hurt him if he messed with me. So basically my host mom is really awesome. And she doesn’t answer me unless I call her mom.

            So things are going pretty well. I do get up every morning at 6 which is difficult. And we take these buses called Khombis which are super crazy and take forever to get anywhere. So I leave an hour before I am supposed to be in class. I did have class for the first time today and it was interesting. One of the classes is going to be pretty easy but the other class is going to be more challenging. But oh well all I need is a C for the credit hours to transfer.  Hopefully I am losing some weight cause the food I eat isn’t the greatest food ever. Like today for breakfast my mom made me a tuna salad sandwich. It was disgusting so I gave it to the dogs who are really skinny anyways. So really I was doing a good thing.  But anyways I am surviving on lunch and snacks. The only other issue is bathing because my family doesn’t have a shower. We do have a bathtub that I share with Thuto and Setso. I have to bathe twice a day because it is rude if you don’t and it is super hard to bathe in the tub as you aren’t supposed to leave the water running for long. So I am still trying to figure that out but it is going well. 

SO that is it for now but I will try and blog again soon since thankfully my family has wireless. It wasn’t working last night but I was too tired to actually ask my host dad for help. He is a computer programmer so that is super helpful. Tonight my family and I are watching the Italy game and then going to bed super early since I have to be up early again tomorrow. As for now Im sitting at the mall and the internet is super slow so hopefully this works. And then two of my friends are going to get dreads and we are going to Mokolodi game reserve on Saturday. But we have tons of work to do this weekend which sucks.  Today (Tuesday) is my host mom’s birthday. I bought her some flowers yesterday and she loved them. So I think we are celebrating tonight! But ill talk to you soon! 

Safari

oh today. where to start. well we woke up at 6 and went down to the lobby at 630. only to sit there and wait til 715. then we found out that our guide wouldnt be here til 740. so i came up to the room and went to sleep. well then mom came up to the room to inform me they would be later and would pick us up at 845. so we got up 2 hours early which really made me mad. we drove for 2 hours to get to the game reserve. it was beautiful! we saw so many animals. we didnt see giraffes which was really disappointing.  we did see elephants, zebras, hippos, rhinos, and lions. We also ate antelope for lunch! it was actually really good. and i guess i should probably thank tyler for helping me pick out such an amazing camera. honestly the camera is awesome. everyone on the safari was so jealous of my camera which of course made me feel good.  tomorrow mom and i fly out and are going to gaborone. that is where i will be spending the remainder of my time.  i am so anxious to meet the family i am going to be living with. i think that will totally help me calm down. as for now im going to sleep cause im so sleepy. i dont know when ill be able to blog again cause i dont know when ill get the internet.  i might have to wait to get to the university. so ill do it as soon as i can. until then… i miss you all!

pictures from the tour of the peninsula!

Capetown

sooo today was awesome.  today we went on a tour of the peninsula in Capetown.  It was absolutely beautiful! The views were breathtaking and Capetown is so clean. It is nothing like New York or any big city in America where the trash is everywhere and it smells.  Its nothing like that here. The whole city is clean and i am sure that part of it has to do with the fact that they are preparing for the world cup. the world cup is everywhere. people dress up as different countries and blow horns all the time.  everyone just expects that you are here for the world cup.  mom and i saw the stadium today on our tour and it is HUGE. it has a glass roof that is of course beautiful.  it seats like 68,000 people. its soo big. but our driver was going so fast that of course we only saw it for like 2 seconds.  i found a town i would die to live in but the houses average 29 million rand. even though 1 rand is worth .13 US dollars its still expensive. and its especially expensive here cause everything is so cheap. mom and i ate dinner today for $15. We both had chicken sandwiches, french fries, onion rings, and slaw.  thats right i had onion rings with dinner and they were amazing. made me feel at home. ok well thats all for today. im gonna go to bed soon since we have to get up early (6:00) for a safari. Yay!! and i cannot figure out the picture situation. ill try soon!