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Author Topic: RPCV - Botswana 2012  (Read 2049 times)

Offline KenK

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    • One More Adventure
  • PC Status: RPCV
RPCV - Botswana 2012
« on: November 24, 2013, 12:14:16 PM »
My wife Anne and I served in Botswana from April 2013 to February 2013. Our service was cut short due to Anne's cancer diagnosis in January 2013. Naturally the PC shipped her home on a medivac status, while I returned to Tonota to close up the house, make some kind of transition in each of our work sites and try to say good bye to all the wonderful folks we met in Botswana.

We enjoyed our service and were disappointed we had to ET. Botswana is what I gather somewhat unusual for an African country. It is quite politically stable and corruption and crime is far less than one might find elsewhere. We lived in Tonota, a Village of 20K about 30 km from Francistown, the second largest city in Botswana. Our living conditions were quite nice: two bedroom house with running hot and cold water and an inside toilet. It was in a very quiet and safe neighborhood where everyone looked out for us. We never experienced an security concern, although we followed all the recommendations and didn't venture out after dark.

I worked at a District AIDS Coordinator Office and Anne was assigned to the District Health Management Team working with the program coordinator for the Prevention of Mother to Child Tranmission Program (PMTCT). I was able to also start a fair number of IT projects including an adult computer class at the local Senior Secondary School.

Our biggest challenge was not being fluent in the local language, Setswana. Maybe it was our age, but we both struggled to make any headway in learning it. While English is the official government language, the lack of proficiency meant I couldn't really be out in the more rural communities doing outreach and education. I was however able to play a role in improving the efficiency and productivity of the office and staff.

The obstacles to getting medically re-certified and continuing our PC service were too time consuming. As a result we elected to terminate our service and have since moved on to the next adventure in our lives. Our blog "onemoreadventure.com" documents our Botswana service and we have transitioned it as a forum to share our new adventures in our RV Motor Home.

Offline Admin

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Re: RPCV - Botswana 2012
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 03:21:23 PM »
Nice post Ken.  We loved getting to know you and your wife in Botswana and we're sorry you had to leave early.  You were doing good things there.  We enjoyed having you guys over for our 2nd (your 1st) Christmas in Botswana.  Be safe in the RV.  If you are anywhere near Denver, stop in.
...Administrator  (RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013)

Offline Philip Deutschle

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    • Searching for Nepal
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Re: RPCV - Botswana 2012
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 11:28:46 AM »
Dumela!

In the late 1980s, I spent four years teaching science in Mapoka, not that far from where you worked. I imagine that things have changed a lot.  In the village, I found that speaking Ikalanga was more useful than Setswana.  I actually wrote a book about my years there, Across African Sand, though lately, I'm working on a documentary about my PC service in Nepal in the late 1970s, Searching For Nepal,  http://kck.st/1iEuth2

I will try sending this to your email as well.

Sala sentle,
Philip Deutschle