Sorry for the lag in updates! I’ve been having such a hard time getting my internet to work.
Staging was pretty much a blur of emotions and exhaustion. It was really great to finally meet everyone and to have this big departure we’ve all been imagining for months become a reality.
A lot of what we did involved going over expectations and anxieties about training and moving to Botswana. I found it reassuring to see that most people had the same concerns and aspirations. We’re a diverse group of 75 and naturally, I’m still struggling to get everyone’s names. After we finished registrations and orientation, we had some time to walk around Philadelphia for a while to get one last dinner in the US. From what little I’ve seen, I’m a fan of Philly. I liked the architecture, the lively restaurant scene, and the artistic leanings of the city.
Anyway, at 2am we all crammed our bags into two buses and headed for JFK. Then, there was waiting. A lot of it. We were there long before we could even check in our bags. And after our 15 hour flight to Johannesburg we had another 5 hours to wait for our flight to Gaborone. Needless to say, we were a sleepy mess by the time we made it to our hotel.
Here’s a photo of the whole group in Gaborone!
We’ve had two days of Setswana lessons, history lessons, and cultural instruction. So tonight we’re just enjoying our last night of ample wifi, hot showers, and endless buffets for quite a while. Then tomorrow we’re taking a 5 hour drive to Serowe where we will be matched to our host families and begin our 10 weeks of training.