It has been a couple of days since I arrived back to Canada and it just does not seem real. I wake up every morning and still think I am back in Gaborone. This has been one of the most rewarding and genuine experiences of my life and I could not be more thankful for doing it.
Four months ago, I did not think I would have been so sad to leave Botswana. I honestly thought I would be counting down the days before I could return home. I was so sad leaving the amazing friends I met and the country I fell in love in with. Everything about Botswana made me feel right at home. The amazing food, warm sun, and lovely locals all added to the experience. While there are many glaring differences between suburban Toronto and Gaborone, it still made me feel like I was at home. I was really worried that I would struggle to find friends and would be rather lonely, but I was very wrong about that. The people of Botswana are so welcoming, friendly and personable. They are always looking to offer a helping hand and never looked for anything in return.
While going through university many professors and teaching assistants spoke about how valuable international experience was and I never saw the value in what they were saying. It was part of the reason why I never even thought of applying for the Queen Elizabeth Scholars Initiative. I always thought that work experience was work experience. The country that you were in should not change that. I could not have been more wrong about that. Working in Botswana I learned just how different the rest of the world is compared to Canada. I learned how valuable international experience is and why it is so heralded.
Four years ago, if you told me that I would be spending my final semester of university in Botswana I would have followed with a series of sad laughs. I think about how naïve I was and how thankful I am that I took the plunge and applied to be a Queen Elizabeth Scholar. The past four months have been some of the best months of my life and I would not have experienced them if it were not for this internship.
Many thanks to Commonwealth Games Canada, Brock University and The Botswana National Olympic Committee. This is will be last blog post and all I can say is it has been a pleasure. I will never forget this chapter in my life and hope the rest of them are this great.