It seems crazy to think that I have been in Botswana for almost two months, time feels like it is flying by as I have started to settle in here in Gaborone.
I am getting a feel for the city and the culture, from the food, some Setswana phrases and local slang, I think its safe to say that I am fully settled in here in Gaborone.
Since my last post, Aleia and I have made some major strides with our projects. We are currently working with the Botswana Badminton Association (BBA). We met with Godwin Mathumo who is the Technical Director of the BBA and a former high-performance badminton athlete. He was very excited to have us working with the BBA as he is extremely passionate about growing the sport of badminton here in Botswana. He communicated all the things he hopes for us to have in our framework for the BBA and we have begun to work on it. I was lucky enough to attend the BBA’s Special General Meeting in Jwaneng (about 2 hours away from Gaborone) where I got to meet with some of the badminton clubs in Botswana. I conducted some interviews with them and got some valuable insight on what they thought we could contribute. Jwaneng is a mining town in Botswana so we attempted to see the diamond mines but we were turned away unfortunately.
At the BNOC office, we have been quite busy with Olympic Day being this past weekend. The BNOC is doing 3 Olympic Day celebrations so we have been out and about. We started with a 10km walk at a school in Molepolole (about 90 minutes away from Gaborone) on the 21st followed by a small festival at the school that had a ton of cultural dances and customs there. On the 23rd we had the big celebration here in Gaborone, which included another 10km with music and dancing after. The last celebration is on the 28th at a school in Mahalapye (about 2 hours away from the Gaborone). Between out LTAD framework and the Olympic Day Celebration we have definitely been keeping busy.
Outside of the office we have really started to see the beauty of Gaborone. I’ve made two separate visits to Mokolodi, Gaborone’s famous nature reserve. One weekend we went on a game drive where we saw some zebras, kudu, and a giraffe. The following weekend I went mountain biking which was really tiring but I was able to get a lot closer to the animals in the reserve. We were also finally able to conquer Kgale Hill. Some of our friends guided us through the mountain and it was a much more reasonable climb from when we attempted to do it ourselves.
I am about halfway through my journey here in Gaborone and I am already sad thinking about leaving. This place is amazing, and I have made some great friends along the way. That is all for now, thanks for reading!