Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Leg # 2

Quick update: We finally met up with Heather, our final group member. We also made safely to Francistown, where our vacation officially starts! After being in West Africa for 3 years, Francistown is like mini America. There are shopping malls, grocery stores, and people don’t sell things from the top of their heads, or go to a farmer’s market for their veggies.
Jan 27, 2012 (14)

Since there was no direct bus from Jo’Burgh to Francistown we had to stop in Gaborone. We arrived, EARLY, but at night, so we didn’t get to see much, since early the next morning we took off for Francistown. Since our arrival, we took a tour of the town, which is really nice. Francistown in the 2nd largest city in Botswana. It’s also halfway between Gaborone and Kasane, a large tourist city.
Since there isn’t a lot of touristy things to do, we have been doing things, that Heather participated in while a volunteer here. Friday morning we went to the Prison of Immigrants and played volleyball all mornings. People who illegally sneak into Botswana, and then get caught go to this prison, while waiting for a visa, or asylum seekers. Most people here have been denied asylum or a visa and are awaiting to be returned back to their country of origin. Heather got involved here and would do educational programs for the women, and recreational activities for the men, since this was her last time going, we decided to play volleyball. I felt we gave them a good run for their money. They were pretty competitive, but I was on the winning team!

Next leg:
Kasane-boat cruise
Livingstone- Fisherman’s village, Victoria Falls

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Leg #1

Burkina to Jo’Burgh (Leg 1) From the time we closed our service to when we actually arrived in Southern Africa

3/4 of the group @ the bus station in Burkina Faso.  Our bus left for Accra, Ghana at 9:30( only an hour late). The actual ride was great, we barely made any stops, no break downs, or major problems. We made it to Accra in about 20 hours. After sitting on a bus all night we arrived at 6:30am, and headed strait to the hostel. The Hostel is a nicely run place, that is home to a lot of British volunteers. We mostly laid around either in our room, or on the beach.  Our week of COS was super stressful, then to get directly on a 20 hour bus was even worse, so two full days of nothing, felt nice

Surprising the Accra Airport is really nice. We had to spend a few hours in the lobby, but when check in time came, it was efficient. The flight from Accra, Ghana to Jo’Burgh, South Africa was smooth. Air Namibia, was a good airline, even though their airport is super small. We left at 11pm on Monday night and arrived in Jo’Burgh at 9am, Tuesday. We stayed with one of my friends, aunt.  She lives in a nice area just north of the city. We spent the day getting ready for our long haul to Francistown, and the actual bulk of our trip.

Leg 2: Heading to Botswana to see Heather!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Southern Africa Trip!

Our Calendar is as follows:

5 countries in 40 days!

Chantal, Erik, and I start our trip Jan 20, by a long bus ride to Accra, Ghana. We are spending 3 days in the southern_africa_mapCapital, until our flight leaves.

Jan 24 Ghana
25th Jo’Burgh
26-28- Francistown, Botswana
29-30- Kasane, Botswana
31-3 Lusaka, Zambia
Feb- 4-5 Livingston, Zambia (Victoria Falls)
7-17- Windhoek and Swapamund, Namibia
18-27- Cape Town, South Africa
28- Qatar!

Will keep you updated along the way!!!

Good Bye Burkina!

I did it, I’m done!
Me and my children!!

Kipthy and I @ our house.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The final countdown….

Here it goes, I have 9 days left in village and 16 left in Burkina. For the last month I have been wishing away my days, so I could hurry up and leave. I spent Christmas in my old village of Nakaba. For three days I partied with friends, made promises to never forget them, and said my final good-byes. Christmas was a bitter sweet time to be saying good-bye, everyone was happy to be celebrating the birth of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, while I went from house to house to say “Au Revoir!” I tried to make it to every single house in Nakaba, but at the end of the day, it was way to much. I tired to keep a happy face, mostly because Burkinabe don’t like people who cry or are unhappy, but who knows if I will ever see these people again. My babies are going to grow up with out me. 
The hardest part was leave my faithful comrade, Benga. My old boss, finally got a job transfer to the main hospital in Koupela. He had spent 10 years in Nakaba, when most nurses only spend 2 years. He took his whole family, and even the family dog, he asked me what I thought was best for my dog, and I told him,Benga should stay in Nakaba. He now resides at the house of the new head. The day I showed up, I went to meet the new nurse and before I even finish saying hello, Benga comes running down the path way,and if he had been bigger, he would of tackled me to the ground. We spent 3 great days together, and saying good-bye to someone who doesn’t respond was really hard. I know my village will take care of my dog, and Benga will be a great keeper of the hospital.
(On Christmas, with all the women in my Family.)

Here is something I wrote about my village of Nakaba, which no matter how I phrase it, it’s true:
“At the end of my two years in Nakaba, I know I helped change my community. I showed them how to combat their problems, by identifying and using their local resources. I may have been the push they needed, but they did the work themselves. During my service, this community showed me what it is like to be an agent of change.” 
For what it is worth,Thank you Nakaba!
Now I’m in my other village, just hanging with the few friends I do have. These next weeks are going to go by so fast, I’m trying to savor everything. After I leave here, I’m in Ouaga for a week to finish up paper work,medical stuff, etc… which will be easy,since the hard part is already done!! 
I’ll update one last time before I leave, and also while I am on my AWESOME SOUTH AFRICAN VACATION!