Pula literally means “rain” in Setswana. It’s the name of the currency, it’s on the coat of arms and when people celebrate, they yell PULA! People wish for pula and it’s a great blessing when it rains. As I wrap up my last day in Botswana, I am celebrating. I’m cheering PULA for the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been and my entire Fulbright experience.
This last week was one of the craziest and busiest weeks of my time here. I set a lofty goal of finishing my summative report (20 pages–yikes) and curriculum guide before I return home to Minnesota. I think I underestimated how much work I really had but I’m proud to report that I’m done. I submitted my items to the Fulbright office and will soon join an esteemed club of Fulbright alumni (oooo lala!) Here’s a bit of what my last week look liked:
Monday: Spent a solid eight hours working on the curriculum guide.
Tuesday: Spent another solid eight hours working on the curriculum guide. Also spent a few hours observing a history education course at the University of Botswana. Soon-to-be teachers were giving their final presentations and I was able to participate in their lessons. Being on a college campus made me miss college. #AUGSBURG4LYFE
After a full day, I celebrated my last ladies dinner with my two favorites in Gaborone. We spent our night at one of the most beautiful rooftop restaurants, drinking wine, eating lasagna and appreciating the twinkling of Gaborone’s lights from the 28th floor.
Wednesday: Spent another solid eight hours working on the curriculum guide. I also finished up at UB. (Are you sensing a theme here? Snoooooze)
Thursday: I got a pedicure! And then, I spent probably 10 hours working on the curriculum guide.
Friday: I gave my final presentation to the Ministry of Education (I’M GOING TO MISS MY PEEPS AT MOE), squeezed in four more hours of working on the curriculum guide and then dined at the most beautiful Italian restaurant in Gaborone with some of favorite friends. (Why was I so obsessed with Italian this week?) Following dinner, we may or may not have celebrated with wine (PULA!) and watched Netflix (we are 30, duh).
Today: I FINALLY FINISHED THE CURRICULUM GUIDE!!!!!!! OMGOMGOOMGOMGOMGOMG. I thought the time would never come. After submitting my work and letting my brain rest, I packed up my apartment and am going to say my last goodbyes to my friends in Gabs. Tomorrow, I head to Namibia where I meet up with two of my best friends and begin a three-week journey around southern Africa.
Gratitude is something I think about a lot. It’s important to recognize the things (and people) you are thankful for. I have no words (I know that’s ironic, given I’m literally writing words) to describe the gratitude I have for this experience. It has challenged me in ways I never anticipated. It fulfilled the wanderlust pumping through my veins and I know it won’t be the last time for either (being challenged and packing up to go somewhere).
So, to everyone who’s been with me on this journey, thanks. Thanks for the positive vibes, thoughts and most importantly, for reading this stinkin’ blog. I know at times it was downright boring (trust me, my sister informed me) and for that, extra thanks. I have enjoyed writing it. This will be the last post for Blogswana. Over and out. PULA!
Although my time in Botswana comes to a close, my journey of Africa still continues. As mentioned, two of my best friends, Neili and Amanda, are meeting me in Namibia on Monday. We will then rent a jeep and roadtrip it around the country (Yes, we are staying in roof tents, yes, I am driving and yes, my parents have said “be careful” probably a million times). From Namibia, we meet up with the fourth and final member, Ash, in Cape Town. We’re doing the tourist bit, hitting up the penguins on Boulder Beach and seeing where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. You can’t go to South Africa and NOT see the winelands, so we’ve built that important piece into our trip as well. Our final destination takes us to a tiny island on the other side of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Soaking up the sun and doing some snorkeling in Mauritius is the perfect way to cap off this dream trip. Follow along on my instagram (located at the bottom of this blog!) for the intense spamming of our adventures.