I’m alive!

Per request of my sister (who demands I blog twice a week….HELP US ALL), I thought I’d inform everyone that I have indeed made it to my new home, Gaborone. It’s everything I imagined and more. While there are literally a million different things I could write about, I thought I’d make this easier on everyone and just create a giant list of some of the big (and not so big) things that have occurred in the last few days.

-Delta almost didn’t let me fly due to Visa issues
-Almost fought Delta
-Loved Delta after they let me fly
-Loved Delta even more when they let me check TWO BAGS and they weighed under the limit!!
-Realized I am a packing goddess
-After 24 hours, arrived in Botswana
-Had some tasty beef jerky on the plane from Jo-burg to Gaborone
-I love beef jerky
-Arrived with no luggage
-NOOOOOOO, not this again

[Teeny tiny tangent: Nine years ago, my dad told me to pack “smart” things in my carry-on…normal clothes, undergarments, etc. just in case I lost my luggage. Silly Dad, I had never lost luggage before (that was before I ever traveled through Heathrow–ERGH). I obviously did not take my dad’s advice. When I arrived in Barcelona with no luggage, no people and no idea where I was going….I cried. Like, not a little wimper, I’m talking a level nine meltdown, people. For the first four days of my trip, I only had swimsuits, scarves and high heels. You can’t get far on those things in Spain…in January. Ahhhhhh, lesson learned.]

-Thanks Dad
-Airport crew (including our two Botswana Fulbright friends) to greet us
-After a long journey it was nice to see familiar faces
-Apartment is cute and adequate…and has a pool!
-Apartment also has wifi #winning
-Apartment also has air conditioning
-Maya, the other Fulbrighter, is staying here as well
-We’ve been running around Gaborone, it’s been great to be a sidekick
-My bag came on Monday (Thanks again, universe)
-I’ve been shopping
-I’ve been shopping, ALOT
-There are literally 15 malls in Gaborone

[One more teeny tiny tangent: Arriving in Gaborone affirmed what I had been thinking (and reading  about) prior to coming here. This is a modern, flourishing, urban city. I don’t think people at home realize this. I don’t think I fully expected this. This is not the Africa everyone assumes at home (ie: violence, death & disease, extreme poverty, war, etc.) Why wouldn’t we assume these things? Our media portrays very little on Africa in the first place, let alone something positive. Anything I need from the US, I can get here. In fact, I’d like everyone to think about a few things: Willow (where I live in MN) is 300+ inhabitants, Gaborone is 200,000+ inhabitants. My water in Willow is brown and I don’t drink it, my water is clear and tastes like water should taste in Gaborone. My water pressure is poor in Willow, my water pressure is AH-MAZING in Gaborone. I go to the gym in Moose Lake for $35 a month plus a class package, I now go to an even bigger gym in Gaborone for the same price…and classes are included! Willow has winter, Gaborone has INFINITE SUNSHINE AND WARM TEMPS. A prisoner tried to get into my house in Willow, no one has attacked me in Gaborone. Okkokokok, so maybe I exaggerated a bit on that last one but being here makes me want to shout from the heavens that Africa is a large and complex continent. No two countries are the same. Just as there are differences between urban and rural living in Minnesota, there are definitely differences between urban and rural living here. But, that’s the beauty of travel. It breaks any pre-conceived ideas and stereotypes we have. Trust me, it would certainly break yours.]

-I’ve ate at Nando’s (A South African chicken restaurant) three times
-I saw “The United Kingdom” and cried (I promise, I don’t really cry as much as I write about)
-The movie was about Botswana’s first president and his marriage to a white woman, it was the perfect movie to begin my stay here
-I still have my cell phone, but with a Botswana number
-I can text iPhones for free!
-Technology really makes life easier
-I live in a beautiful neighborhood, close to the University, even closer to a mall (yikes!)
-I can walk to the gym
-I joined a gym!
-I’m going to my first class at the gym tomorrow
-I’m enamored with the weather (and this is their “awful” season)
-I hate North American winters
-I hate winter driving
-I really hate winter
-The sun makes me so happy
-The sun in Botswana burns human skin fairly quickly
-I may be burnt
-I met a friend at the grocery store, she lives two blocks from me!
-She’s invited me over for a BBQ
-I’ve already received three BBQ invites
-BBQ is a big thing here
-I went to the embassy and had a security briefing meeting
-Don’t worry MOM, it’s fine
-I finally bought some wine
-I love wine
-Especially tasty, cheap, red wine from South Africa
-Tomorrow I have a meeting with the Ministry of Education to begin prepping for my project!

Well, there you have it. A not-so-quick-synopsis of my time here thus far. I can’t describe my excitement for the next four months!  Thanks for coming along with me on this journey.

P.S. This is the link for my Google Photos: check it out for an assortment of OMG-YOU-JUST-LANDED-IN-AFRICA pics.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. raylene says:

    Wait what your luggage was under weight?!?! You mean to tell me you didn’t have to put extra layers on in the middle of the airport to be within the weight limit?!?! 🙂 Glade you made it there safely can’t wait to hear more about your adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it’s shocking Ray. You’ve experienced this packing mess firsthand. I should have included another tangent related to that story!


  2. Dale Jackson says:

    Awesome post Beckie! Love you,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dane Froiland says:

    I love this entry! I can hear your voice in a very humorous way describing things. Looking forward to updates.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dane–good to hear from you!


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