Monday, May 11, 2009

Farewell and Adu: Wrapping up the semester, via photos

A few hours ago I walked out of my African Traditional Religions classroom and became a free man. I am officially done with all academics here in Botswana, and thus I have finished my junior year of college!
It is a great feeling.
I am also less than 3 days from leaving Botswana and making the long journey back to the US. After 3 flights and two train rides, I will be arriving in Fairfield sometime Friday afternoon, around 30 hours after I leave Botswana. It will be a long day. Lets hope for good plane food.
So, this will be my last blog from Botswana. To wrap up the blog and reward you for spending time each week (or less often, I'm not sure how devoted you are), this blog will be a photo journey through my time here.
I hope you enjoy it.
And I have no idea how this blog has over 2600 views. Thanks everyone.
See you back in the US (unless you're from Botswana, in which case, goodbye!)

The first picture I took in Botswana right when I got off the plane:

This is a bunch of us in the airport that first day (a few pictures here are from Batsi, our program director, like this one. I will cite him whenever necessary)

The University of Botswana!!

Max and I looking thrilled to be there. While the first week or two were slightly rough, the next few months were great. (Batsi)

Here is the entire group of us, plus three UB students who were there to help us out. I think this is one of the few picture of all 12 of us. (Batsi)

View from Kgali hill.

All of us, minus Carlos, on top. (Batsi)

Cute kids.

Cliff paintings.

Our first elephants!!!

Chatting with the kgosi (chief) of Tlokweng. The statue in the background is of the Kgosi of Gaborone, who gave the government all the land for the capital. (Batsi)

Strikers marching.

Me leading children in song and dance.

Broken glass from rioters. This was Rebecca and Maggie's apartment.


Monkeys in the Okavango Delta.

Zebras looking awesome (Batsi)


Leopard showing some fierce teeth (Batsi)


Fish Eagle (Batsi)

Best sunset of all time

Elephant crossing on the way to Kasane.

Max hugging the giant baobab tree in Kasane.


Elephants swimming.

Oh Botswana.

My house in Mochudi!!

And my host mom and grandma!!

Max and I became amazing chiefs this semester, making a wide range of cuisine. This particular piece is a fried chicken (we fried it ourselves), cheese, bacon, and mayo sandwich, toasted. Amazing.

Mozambique man.

Tofo, Mozambique.

One of my favorite pictures.

Palm trees in Mozambique.

Johannesburg, the safest city in the world (just kidding, it's the least safe)

Victoria Falls!

More falls!

The Zambezi River.

The University of Botswana

More UB.

Sunset over Gaborone, with the mosque across from the university

Thanks for reading over the past 4 months everyone. I have had an amazing experience here in Botswana and I hope you enjoyed reading about my life.
I am quite excited to return to the US, so I'll see you soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The end approaches

In 9 days time, I will be boarding a plane and flying back to the olde USA.

But that's the future, we're on the past now.

Last week classes ended, which we celebrated with 3 exams in Setswana. Thursday was quite long because of that, with 1 written and 2 oral exams. However, I am now completely done with Setswana, as well as my history course, for which we had a take home essay for an exam.

Saturday morning we had presentations for the research projects we had been doing all semester for our CIEE study abroad class. It was very long, but Rebecca and I's project was definitely the best, as no one can beat researching the animal myths and folktales of Botswana.

On that note, here's a myth (myths involve some sort of divinity while folktales do not) that I found interesting.

The Moon, it is said, sent once an Insect to Men, saying: “Go thou to Men, and tell them, ‘As I die, and dying live, so ye shall also die, and dying live.’” The Insect started with the message, but whilst on his way was overtaken by the Hare, who asked: “On what errand art thou bound?” The Insect answered: “I am sent by the Moon to Men, to tell them that as she dies, and dying lives, they also shall die, and dying live.” The Hare said, “As thou art an awkward runner, let me go.” With these words he ran off, and when he reached Men, he said, “I am send by the Moon to tell you: As I die and dying perish, in the same manner ye shall also die and come wholly to an end.’” Then the Hare returned to the Moon, and told her what he had said to Men. The moon reproached him angrily, saying, “Darest thou tell the people a thing which I have not said?” With these words she took up a piece of wood, and struck him on the nose. Since that day the hare’s nose is slit.

In many African religions, the presence of natural phenemona, like water, fire, and death, are explained through such myths. Because of the folly of the hare, humans, instead of rising again like the moon, now die.

After our presentations, a group of us traveled to Molepolole to watch Gaborone United play. The Botswana Premier League is not a very strong football (soccer) league, but the game was very fun. We bought some Gabs United gear, and after pulling it on, we caused all the Gabs fans to cheer very loudly for us. Gabs United won 5-0 and we got on TV. (I will put up some pictures soon, but I don't have them in my possession right now)

Well, I have a final in a few hours, so I'm going to procrastinate and perhaps study a bit.

There will be one last post before I depart this continent and it will be most splendid, so come back at least one more time, or more if you want to relive my semester through bloggery.