Sunday, May 20, 2012

Site announcement!

I've discovered where I will be living for the next two years!

Gobojango is my home from now on =)

Below is a picture of my own, one-bedroom house that I will have allllllll to myself! (it is the house on the left)

I'm about 15 km from Zimbabwe and very close to the Northern Tuli Game Preserve/Safari Area. 

I will definitely update later when I have more time, but for now, here is a navigable link of my future home village.

Thinking about you all always!
<3 Nina


  1. Ms. Walker's ClassMay 21, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    Hey Nina,
    Your mom told me about the 'squirrel/baboon' story. I thought I would die laughing. I told my kids to visualize a tourist taking pictures of squirrels in the park and imagine how silly we thought they would be. I would be just like you though, since we only see baboons in the zoo. Wouldn't it be hilarious if their zoo had squirrels in it? Do they even have zoos?

    I'm checking out the Skype situation today and I'll let you know as soon as I can. We're really excited about talking to you.

    1. What do you miss the most about home, except for your family because I know that's what you'll say? (Faith)

    2. Do they have stores? How do you shop? (Gage)

    3. Your mom says you get a puppy! Tell us all about that? Boy/girl? Picture? Name?

    4. Does your new house have water and electricity? It looks pretty modern. (Mine)

    5.Does your house have a living room? (Gage)

    6. Tell us about the first person you help in the village. (Seth)

    7. What is your least favorite part of Botswana? (Susan)

    8. Tell us about your neighbors. (Tristan)

    9. What can you do for fun? (Faith)

    10. Do you get to explore around you when you have free time? (Ashley)

    11. Tell us about the clinic you will be running. (Gage)

    12. What is your favorite thing to say in their language? (Faith)

    Nina, I'll try to post a picture of my class so you can put faces to names. Will it be alright if I give your website information to my 'kidlets' so they can follow you over the summer?

    1. Hi Tia,

      The baboons here are hilarious! That would be pretty ridiculous if the squirrels were in the zoo…there are no zoo’s here, though there are nature preserves where the animals are able to roam freely. In fact, where I’m moving is only a handful of kilometers away from a nature preserve called the Tuli Block where there are elephants and cheetahs!

      That would be so much fun if we could skype! 8-9am your time would be ideal for me since that’s around when I get out of training.
      1. Hi Faith, how did you know I would say my family?! Haha, besides that, I mostly just miss a nice warm shower. If you all get the chance tonight to go home, just take a nice, long hot shower for me. Some houses have bathtubs, and water to heat up on the stove or over a fire…but it’s just not the same as a warm, steamy shower.
      2. Gage, luckily for me right now, the village where I’m staying (Kanye) is a pretty populous one (16,000), so therefore we have at least four shopping marts around this area. There is SaveRite, Choppies, Shoppers, and ShopRIte. They are all chains of South African companies, but they all specialize in something different. When I move to Gobojango, I will not have a market in my village, and will therefore have to travel to the next village over called Bobonong where there is a Choppies. Some volunteers will have to travel as far as 4 hours to be able to get their food! Since I only travel about 45 minutes, I am more able to have access to cold food, and may possibly go shopping more often, probably once a month.
      3. In terms of the puppy, I’m working out the logistics now, but I’ve just discovered that I will be able to have a dog at my site! They actually recommend it for safety purposes since we won’t be alone with a pet. My friend’s host mother’s dog just had puppies, so I’m hoping she’ll give one to me. Once I have more information, I’ll be sure to let you know and to upload pictures.

  2. 4. Tia, my new house will not only have water but HOT water AND electricity! Can you believe it?! They say that the water situation isn’t as reliable, since it shuts off randomly for days, weeks, even months. So I’m going to have to learn to hoarde water in my house.

    5. Gage, I’m actually one of the more fortunate volunteers. My future house not only has a living room, but a dining room, bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom! I will show you more pictures once I move in in June =)

  3. 6. Seth, this is a pretty difficult question. I have not yet directly helped anyone since I am still in training but I do love sitting and speaking to all types of people: from my 102 year old host grandmother to the 4 year olds that wait for me at my house. In fact, when we arrive to our village we are encouraged to conduct a “needs assessment” to see how we can begin to help our community. So when I start helping individuals within my community, I’ll keep you posted.

    7. Susan, this is a good question. Since it is so easy to get caught up in all the bad things, I’ve been mostly focusing on the good things about Botswana. One thing I have had a hard time getting over is the gender differences. In the United States, I am extremely vocal when it comes to gender equality and I find it hard trying to strike a balance between being culturally respective and standing for what I believe in. It’s not terrible, just to the point where it’s enough to bother me. Other than that though, Susan, everything here is very nice and besides the distance from home and my family, I’m very happy.

    8. Tristan, I’m currently staying with a host family. So on my compound, I live with a woman and her 102 year old mother, and in the house in the back lives her neice. Other than that, there are a whole bunch of neighborhood children who wait for me when I come home. When I move, I will live on my own compound and I do not yet know my neighbors.

    9. Thanks for all the great questions, Faith. For fun, I usually like to read or walk around my neighborhood. I even have some movies on my computer that I like to watch. In fact, on Sunday, I was bored after doing laundry, so I decided to take a walk to a part of my village that I have not yet been. The sun was shining brightly and I was in such a good mood. Something funny about being away from America is how much you appreciate the little things (like taking a walk) that much more.

    10. Ashley, I do get to explore! And I love to explore! The streets here don’t have names, so I love asking people for directions and just trying to find my way. It’s pretty enjoyable =) In fact, they encourage that when we move to our site that we spend the majority of the first two weeks just exploring. How cool is that?

    11. Gage, my clinic is in the village of Gobojango. There are 6 workers (including two nurses, two drivers, one sanitation clerk, and one health education supervisor). I have not yet seen what it looks like, but I know it does have two computers and Air Conditioning! When I arrive, I’ll let you know more about it.

    12. Faith, Setswana is a fun language! The G’s sound like H’s, the R’s are rolled like in Spanish, and my favorite phrase to say is: sengwe le sengwe le mongwe le mongwe (everything and everyone). When we are able to skype, I’ll be sure to speak some Setswana for you.

    Please give my information to all of the children and their parents! I will even answer personal emails if they want to! I can’t wait to see a picture!

    Talk to you soon =)