OK, so it has been more than two months, but it certainly does not feel like it. Bellow is a report I submitted to the Rotary Foundation to prove a) I have been fulfilling my Ambassadorial duties b) Have not ran off with their money to Morocco.
Some of the stories will be familiar from this blog, but I tried to offer some insight and ideas I know I have not posted here yet. It is a long read for a blog post, but if you have some time try to scan it and see if anything catches your attention. Also, I am going to update my Flickr photos in the next couple of days, so check back there to see some visual representation of everything I talk about in this post.
This is the table where where William Wilberforce sat with fellow British Abolitionists to draft legislation to end the slave trade and later emancipate all bonded human beings held in the British Empire. This surprise find in a Cape Town museum is not something I will easily forget.
Rotary 2 Month Report
If a picture is worth a thousand words then an experience is worth at least a few typed single spaced pages. My experience in Botswana began before I arrived as I read Botswana newspapers and histories in an attempt to make myself somewhat versed in Batswana cultue. My perceptions of what I would find in southern Africa have been challenged, affirmed, and blown out of the water on a daily basis. This report should serve as a window not only into what I have been involved in, but also how my thought process has been shaped by experiences in university, Rotary, volunteering, and travel.
On Monday Rafael (another Rotary Scholar) and I went to early mass to meet up with Sister Abba. I rode my bike to the Cathedral and stopped off on the way there when I smelled a wood fire. See, I don’t smell wood fires here like I remember from Haiti. Botswana street vendors are almost all on propane, natural gas, or paraffin. So with this smell in my nose I rode my bike up to the “tack shop” (just four wood poles, 3 sides, and a tin roof, to see what was cookin’. I was determined to buy whatever it was just to support the traditional (if forest ruining) way of cooking. To my suspicions they were making up some fat cakes, basically big wads of oily dough deep fried in more oil until they fluff up. There are similar things in Haiti (and I imagine all over the world for that matter) but they are smaller and called “marinade.”
Anyway, after the stop over at the imagination and memory inspiring tack shop I continued on to the Cathedral. Rafa and I were meeting Sr. Abba to spend the day with her as she tended to a couple of groups of HIV/AIDS. Sr. Abba is one of those people who can do more than almost anyone else I know could with a shoestring budget and 16 hours of working in a day.