Thursday, 5 May 2011

It's the Final Countdown!!!

Dumela blog followers! O tsogile jang? (How are you?)

I'm Isabelle and (like Faisal) this is my first blog post ever, but I hope to be writing a lot over the next few months as we work our way through a summer in Botswana! In September I'll be going into my 3rd year as a Global Development Studies major at Queen's University. I spent my first year at the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle in England, which was an absolutely amazing experience and taught me a lot about living as a student abroad. This summer I will be working at True Men Trust in Francistown with Faisal.

The theme of our first posts is "Countdown to Botswana", and I am here to tell you that the official countdown is only 34 DAYS until we fly out and start making our way to Botswana!!! Its pretty hard to describe exactly how excited I am to actually get going and start our real summer. Last week (on April 30th) we had our final all cooperant training day. It was definitely a surreal experience to say goodbye to the cooperants and site directors who will be working in Nunavut and Ghana, and almost felt like we were all headed to the airport right then and there. Finally it feels like this is really happening. I have been counting down since I received the phone call from Davina saying I would be going to Botswana way back in the fall, but it has just started to feel real.

I'll be spending the next month getting everything ready (most likely repacking a couple of times) and preparing for the experience of working in a country and culture which I have never lived in before. Although I know that we will face challenges when we are adjusting to the work and the lifestyle, I could not be more excited to meet our host family, explore Francistown, and start working! I am sure that this summer will be a life changing experience, and I can't wait to get started!

Sala sentle (stay well)!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Dumela World,
This will be my first blog post ever so please bear with me. Im Faisal and, as mentioned in the "Welcome" blog post, Im a second year (3rd now) chemical engineering student here at Queen's University. The theme of this blog post is supposed to be "countdown to Botswana", and let me just tell you, the countdown is UNBEARABLE. There is a little over a month left and I cannot stop thinking about what this summer holds in store. Im just waiting on my visa to arrive but apart from that, Im ready to go. The only thing I do need to work on is mentally preparing for the challenges that we may come up against in Botswana but all this really entails is reading about possible challenges faced while working at an NGO and sitting down and contemplating the complexities of the work. I've travelled extensively before but this will be the first time Ill be completely immersing myself in the Batswana culture and I'm incredibly excited. Im going to cut this blog short but hopefully Ill keep posting throughout the summer as to my whereabouts and the activities of the QPID Botswana cooperants. Stay tuned and have a greaattt summer.