Summer 2016 Issue I - Orientation Week!
As the University of Botswana semester comes to an end, CIEE Gaborone study center received 13 students to their campus to begin their Summer Semester. Our first week together was an exciting one as we got to make new friends, share our culture and traditions with our new friends. Here's what's in this issue:
On 30th May 2016 we welcomed 12 girls and 1 boy to our University campus! They flew in from all comers of the US and settled in our little town of Gaborone. Our home stay students were greeted at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport by their host families and whisked away to their new homes. Similarly, the 6 dorm students were met by our delightful volunteers who helped them settle into their dorms after the long flights to Botswana. The dorm students spent their first night relaxing and enjoyed a wholesome dinner with the Resident Director at a nearby restaurant, whilst the home stay students spent their first night with their new families. It was on that note, Orientation Week was officially off to a good start!
The second day of orientation was the real start to the week. Our Resident Director led a workshop on how to manage living in a home stay. She elaborated on cultural norms and gender roles that are often displayed in the typical Tswana household, and expectations whilst in the home stay. Following, the dorm students joined the home stay students where they received a welcome message and introductions.
University of Botswana Campus Tour
The week was filled with other relevant lectures and seminars on Health, Safety and Security, Customs, Community Interactions and how to get involved, Culture Shock Adjustment and a Bystander Intervention that included our student volunteers for a local perspective. The students also had a Setswana lesson led by Phono Magosi to help them understand general greetings, direction and introductions.
Despite the heavy content Orientation Week is most times comprised of, the Gaborone Program ensures that they also enjoy the exciting aspects of being in Botswana. As is commonly known, dance and music contribute greatly to culture and tradition throughout the African diaspora; the students enjoyed a Traditional Music lesson at Thapong Visual Arts Centre.
Keyandra and Eunice having a great time playing Marimba at Thapong Visual Arts Centre
Additionally, the students had the chance to enjoy cuisine native to Botswana throughout this week. We enjoyed a wholesome relaxed lunch at Botswana Craft Courtyard Restaurant that is specific to traditional cuisine.
Our week also comprised of a workshop demonstrating the Significance of Dance in Botswana Culture and Dance in Botswana, as well as a importance of music and dance to Botswana's Culture!
After learning music and tasting traditional Tswana Cuisine, it was time to explore the city just as the locals do. The students had the opportunity to explore the city in small groups led by our amazing student volunteers. They each rode public transport and got see the various tourist locations in the city with locals and did all this whilst racing for the ultimate prize of the Amazing Race Combi Safari Summer 2016 winner! They met members of staff at various standpoints, collected clues and took intersting photo as they trecked along, take a look at their experiences:
Team Red on the Amazing Race : Combi Safari at the Three Chief Monument
As orientation week came to an end, we closed the week with a wonderful candle lit dinner at Savutti Grill of Avani Restaurant located in the heart of Gaborone. The menu was delightful, it comprised of Indian dishes, stirfrys, a huge selection of meats, deserts and many more. It was exciting to see the students, volunteers and staff in a relaxed setting, where could share stories of their first week in Botswana, their home stays, and most importantly wind down from the stressful week that was.
With Orientation Week behind us, we look forward to the exciting semester ahead, till next time Sala Sentle (Stay Well)!