I am excited for my 2 years in Nata. The ceremony on how we found out was full of pomp and circumstance. They had a large map of botswana at the front of the room. Under our chairs were numbers. we had to come up in order of those numbers. Then when it was my turn there was an envelope with my name and a number- 35 and then I had to find 35 on the map. I had heard about Nata during shadowing and I was hoping to be placed in the northern part of Botswana, anyway. These were the things I knew about Nata befre I went for a visit:
- a village 180 K on the road from francistown to kasane and maun (both major tourist destinations)
- about 6000 residents, about 75% of the people are baswara which are the indigenous people to the area of southern africa. They speak seswara- which has clicking in it- maybe you have seen “The Gods Must Be Crazy”
- It is on the edge of a major salt pan, which is the major breeding ground of flamingoes
- There is a high HIV prevelance rate
Last week I went for a site visit. Luckily, the volunteer I am replacing was still there. He greet me at my new house which has a wonderful kitchen, two bedrooms, electricity and running water. I’ll admit, not what I expected when I hit the submit button at the end of my application but I will take it. But of course nothing is as I expected even when I tried to have no expectations! There is still a lot to learn and know (setswana!) about Nata. It will be tough to fill the shoes of previous volunteers.
I am back in Moleps and I only have week left of training! Next thursday I will swear in as a volunteer and then on friday they will send me off to Nata for two years to do my thing, whatever that is.
Go siame. Write me!