5. The size. One of the things I thought I would be missing out on by coming to Botswana was the ‘traditional Peace Corps Experience’ that most volunteers have worldwide. Many volunteers in Botswana are placed in more urban settings, working in offices or the like so I was anticipating this to be the case for me. Turns out, I still get to live in rural Botswana and work out in the community, living in a village where most people know who I am (even if I have no clue if I have met them before or not). About a week after I was introduced in the Kgotla (where meetings with the chief and other community leaders happen), all of these kids suddenly knew my Setswana name. I’ll walk by and they will either scream it “Loooooorrrrrrraato!” or they’ll whisper “Lorato,” just to see if I’ll really respond to it. Then I’ll look at them and say hi and about half will laugh and run away. I just wouldn’t get that in bigger villages.
4. The house. I may never get my bathroom sink fixed, who knows when the rest of my furniture is coming, and I’ll have lizards, bats, and semi-posionous spiders until I leave here, but my house is pretty plush. I have running water and electricity, and two bedrooms! And besides all of that great stuff, I have a cute little breakfast nook (chicken wire windows to be replaced) that looks onto a flood lake, at least for a little while longer, and into an awesomely traditional and beautiful compound with the best opportunities to people watch. They’re building a reed hut now, and pounding sorghum. It’s awesome.
2. The Arts. For every event I have been to in Etsha 13at least one if not several traditional dance groups show up and perform, and each style is different and each dance tells a story. There are also usually musicians that come along with the performances. Most of all, I’m in the basket weaving capital of Botswana! I’m working with some wonderful women to get the basket crafts a little further off the ground and they’re going to teach me how to weave. It’s a crafters paradise!
1. The Combo. The fact that all of these things are combined into one site is awesome. I get to live in a small village in a rural part of the peaceful country of Botswana, yet I still have running water, electricity, access to public transportation, and cell phone service. Plus, people here make beautiful crafts and still carry on with many of the traditional aspects of life and because it is so underserved, there is a lot that I can do directly with the health education aspects of HIV/AIDS is amazing.