from a snowy walk in the Rattlesnake, Missoula, Montana

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Parents in Botswana

 My parents came to visit me in Botswana! We had to make the most of it! Hand washing clothes, water outages, power outages, driving in a country where traffic laws are suggestions! 
First arriving in Gabs! 
We spent a night at the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan 

My Botswana parents and my real parents! 

My dad--hand washing his clothes! 

Just sitting in Chapmans Baobab, this tree was once used as navigation as well as a postal box! Its only 3000-5000 years old! 

My parents on the Lehututu salt pan! 

Greens Baobab 

My mom and I have an obsession with baobab trees! 


Bot Fly

Every day in the world of a PCV brings a different host of challenges. Coming into the Peace Corps, I assumed that I would have all sorts of wonderful stories about my intestinal conditions (aka me shitting myself) alas.....the only intestinal conditions I have gotten have been food poisoning or drinking unsafe water. I don’t have any pooping my pants stories. Sigh. And I haven’t lost a bunch of weight due to parasites in my gut....sigh.

What a let down.

But I did for a hot minute have larvae growing in me neck. That makes me a bad ass right?

I was bit by a bot fly. Yes. A bot fly. Please,  if you are not familiar just do a quick google search (

I was bit on a Monday.....I didn’t think too much of it, until my bite started growing....and growing. You see, a Botfly uses a human or animal as a host. DO YOU GET WHERE I AM GOING?!?!

Long story short. It was pretty traumatic, the only way to safely rid yourself of your new friend  is to let it grow then you hope to pop it out (like a zit).

Well, lets put it this way. I couldn’t bring myself to let it keep growing. You could feel it wriggling around in you (especially after putting anti-itch cream on it).

After a few mini melt downs (it was mentally stressful) I knew I couldn’t handle it any more. So I aborted it. I squeezed it enough times I killed the larvae. And what do you know?!? Then I ran a fever for two days and my body was trying to digest what was going on.

Now I feel that I have a little fly PTSD going on...In all seriousness. Bugs don’t bother me, well, they didn’ every time a fly flies around me....I get all anxious and girly.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Matters of the Earth

Since time is wrapping up at LJSS I wanted to a bigger more tangible project to leave behind--so we are painting a mural of the world! Its the World Map Project that most PCVs are familiar with. Its dawned on me over and over again that the students that I work with--and even many of the teachers don’t have a grasp on world geography. This is nothing different than America, I have a feeling that many Americans don’t have a solid grasp on world geography.  For some reason, the apparent lack of understanding of the world around them is more striking in my everyday life now. It is as if Batswana ran before they could walk. People are exposed to big news items (mainly celebrities and Obama) in the American media, but with little awareness of the happenings in South Africa or Zimbabwe.

I have always been rather fond of maps and geography, so doing this mural seems rather fitting. I started working with the art teacher and several art students in creating our mural. As of right now (school is on break) we have the grid and aaaallllll the countries drawn. I just purchased paint and we are ready to paint come June!
One of the students that I am closer to came to visit me after we started the map, she looked at me very thoughtfully and asked “what time is it in America?” I explained that the part of America where I come from it is about 8 hours behind Botswana. She was a little puzzled, so I explained time zones. Still, she was a little confused so I found tennis ball and a flashlight and drew an X on Botswana and an X on America. I then rotated the tennis ball trying to explain time zones and the sun. The light of understanding flashed in her eyes. As every good learner she of course had more questions! Then asked “do you sleep when its dark in America or in Botswana” I think thats a pretty dang good question (showing some budding critical thinking skills)! Since I am American, why would I not be on an American schedule!

More pictures of our mural will come!