Botswana is currently facing a serious drought, in addition to it being one of the warmest years. The sun is much stronger here than back in the United States, so it may take some time to adjust to this new climate. Additionally, experiencing certain stages of culture shock may have you feeling frustrated and uncomfortable. Here are a few tips to help you stay cool and keep your cool in Botswana.
Some Tips for Keeping Cool:
1. Purchase a fan.
As part of the CIEE orientation, you will get the chance to go shopping for necessities. Do yourself a solid, purchase a fan.
2. Go to UB’s swimming pool.
This beautiful facility is open from 2pm-7pm every day. It is the perfect way to cool off after class! As an added bonus, the locker room showers have great water pressure. *The majority of females wear one-piece bathing suits. So if you have one, bring it with you!
3. Not a fan of chlorine??
Take a cold shower in the middle of the day. It will be your saving grace.
4. Do your homework in the air-conditioned buildings.
There are several of them on campus, including the International office (located in the Student Center) and the CIEE office (located in Block 247).
5. Freeze your water bottle at night.
If you are planning on living in the dorms, it is definitely a worthwhile investment to rent a fridge for the semester. Put your water bottle and a wet washcloth in the small freezer compartment and wake up to some cold water and a makeshift cold compress.
6. Wear light, breathable clothing.
This probably goes without saying, but be sure to leave your black, pleather bodysuit at home
Some Tips for Keeping Your Cool:
1. Be friendly and open to meeting new people.
You will most likely be approached by a lot of people during your stay in Botswana. At times, it may be overwhelming, but try your best to always remain friendly. People are just curious.
- Making local friends is a great way to get acquainted with the culture.
- If people are really bothering you, just politely excuse yourself and walk away.
*Helpful tip: Pay attention and remember people’s names. Chances are that you will probably see them again when you least expect it.
2. Try something new.
Mix up your typical routine; walk a different route to class, start exercising (or change up your exercise routine) or join a sports team, go out to dinner, and/or talk to new people. Changing up your routine will offer a new perspective and it will allow you to take your mind off of whatever is bothering you.
3. Confide in your friends.
4. Remind yourself why you chose this program.
Whether the reason is social, academic, spiritual, personal, cultural, etc., there is something about this program that attracted you. This personal reflection can be very rejuvenating throughout the semester.
5. Most importantly, LET IT GO.
Do not waste your energy dwelling on the negative. Things will happen that will be out of your control. You are in a new place to gain knowledge and understanding; do not let your negativity hinder this experience.
- If you are feeling extra adventurous, I invite you to find humor in these moments of frustration/confusion/anger. Have a good, deep belly laugh and move on!
Living and learning in Botswana is an incredible experience. Take advantage of the limited time you have in this amazing country. There is so much to explore; don’t let the heat and/or culture shock hold you back!