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31 posts categorized "Gaborone Global"

Go Siame! (Goodbye)

 Thank you for a great experience students! Here is our final slideshow to help you remember all the adventures!

-Alaina and Jing <3

Re tsile go go tlhwafalela Botswana!

**We'll miss you Botswana! 

We have had an incredible trip, from host families to taking mokoros through the Okavango Delta. Through our knowledgable teachers and others we met along the way (conservation specialists, cheetah conservation, and multiple guid es), we learned about wildlife conservation in Botswana and created final cumulative presentations. One farewell dinner to go, and we board the plane tomorrow! Thank you for sharing your culture and wildlife with us Botswana, it's been an unforgettable experience!

Final Presentations

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Elephant Migration
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Hunting Ban
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Endangered Species

Farewell Dinner  

Everyone with their host siblings!
Saying goodbye to Meipelo & KB
Watching the end of session slideshow

-Jing & Alaina 


Beautiful Botswana, Beautiful Delta...

Been a busy week so far!

First Stop: Khama Rhino Sanctuary in Serowe (about 5 hours from Gaborone). We went on two game drives and were able to see impala, giraffe, buffalo, warthogs, wildebeests, zebra and countless birds!

White Rhinos

IMG_7624Second Stop: We visited SOS village, an orphanage located in Maun. There we listened to kids play in marimba – some of us gave it a try while others played games, soccer & taught kids the Macarena.


Playing soccer
Touring SOS homes


Still in Maun... we took a boat cruise along with Thamalakane River.


Third Stop: Oddballs Camp! Days consisted of nature walks, mokoro rides, relaxing watching the sunset and hearing the hippos and elephants around our tents!

Elephant in our campsite (top right)!!


• Visited the local village where most of the Oddball guides live, they had crafts and shared traditional dances with us.


• Went swimming in the Delta


• Worked on final group projects and incorporated the guides insights


We're nearing the end of our time here in Botswana. Tomorrow is final presentations and the farewell dinner, then Saturday we head home! We'll do one final blog post tomorrow night!

-Jing & Alaina 

Mokolodi Nature Reserve

Mokolodi Nature Reserve!

We've had a busy few days--traveled about 15 kilometers south of the city to Mokolodi Nature Reserve!

Upon arrival we were met by guides and taken on a two-hour nature walk in “the bush.” Students walked to the picnic spot for a traditional lunch and then we had our first game drive!

We saw impala, giraffes, kudu, zebra, warthog, ostrich, wildebeests (& visited the cheetahs)! 

Headed back to the campsite afterwards, had a braii and youth were able to ask Glen, the conservation manager at Mokolodi, questions for their final projects. Then off to bed!


Day two woke up and had a morning  game drive just after the sunrise. Students were then split into groups to help out with some animal feeding around the reserve. Feeding consisted of a mixture of hay and chicken manure. 

Getting all the chicken manure loaded into the truckIMG_7540IMG_7540IMG_7540

After feeding the animals, we all ate, attended a lecture on the human-wildlife conflicts within Botswana and took a tour of the reptile park. 

Glen holding a python that's about to be re-released into the wild

We spent our last morning at Mokolodi eating some breakfast, then off to the cultural village of Bahurutshe!

On the way we stopped by the David Livingstone Memorial, a missionary who assisted in the creation of the first church in Botswana in 1847. 

While there students also walked along the Kolobeng river and found some good rocks to climb on.


From there we headed to the cultural village of Bahurutshe where students ate lunch and were able to participate in a few activities...

  • Helped to stamp corn
  • Learned more about how to create mud walls out of cow manure
  • Donkey ride to the cattle field
  • Feeding the goats


From there we drove back to UB where our host families met us!

**This may be the last post until the end of next week. Friday morning (July 21) were off to…..

  • Serowe to visit the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (and do  a few more game drives)
  • Maun (this is where we’ll catch a flight into the Okavango Delta)
  • Oddballs campsite in the Delta (nature walks, picnics in the bush, riding around in mokoros)

We’ll be returning the night of July 27th. We’ll have limited Wi-Fi throughout the week so communication will be sparse!

-Jing & Alaina

Ke ithuta Setswana!

*which means “I am learning Setswana.”

Today started off with a quick coffee! File_004Then we were headed off to visit the Gaborone Dam built in 1963 that supplies water to the all of the city!

Stairs leading up to the top of the dam

File_004Grabbed lunch at River Walk then headed back to the University. Students had some time to talk about their final projects and come up with questions to ask the wildlife sanctuary guides at Mokolodi (the nature reserve we are heading to on Monday).

Final Group Project Topics:

1.     Endangered species

2.     Elephant migration

3.     Hunting ban

After some brainstorming students got a little creative decided to do some hair styling!


The final product

Students then had their first Setswana class with Phono!


Coming up, this weekend students are off with their host families doing a variety of different activities!

  • Visiting local villages and meeting extended host family members
  • Family wedding 
  • Fashion show
  • Church on Sunday 
  • Climbing Kgale Hill at sunrise 

Monday morning we are headed straight to the Mokolodi Nature Reserve about 30 minutes outside of the city. We will be camping there for 2 nights, returning to our home stays on Wednesday night (July 19th). Students and leaders will not have access to wifi so don't be alarmed if blog posts become a little less frequent and students are not able to be in contact with you. Again, we'll be back Wednesday night! Until then! 

-Jing & Alaina 

Water and Rainbow School

Good Afternoon,

We had an exciting day yesterday, another busy adventure. The morning began with a lecture from our professor Keabile (KB) on Water Resources. After discussing water challenges in an arid environment, such as Botswana, we tested samples for pH, turbidity, and oxygen saturation. IMG_2440


We ate lunch at the mall called Game City and ordered from Mugg & Bean and Nandos. After, we went straight to Rainbow School again. Each Wednesday the school has an afternoon assembly and yesterday we celebrated Bastille Day, the French National Day. Rainbow students read poems in French and English, explained some French history, and had a fashion show to celebrate France's high fashion.


To finish out the day we played a basketball game against Rainbow school, and won! Luckily we had a couple students who are basketball players. Many more of our students play soccer, so we transitioned to a game of football (as it's called in Botswana).


To round out the day we stayed for the play at Rainbow, which was The Crucible this year. Thank you so much for hosting us Rainbow, our students enjoyed sharing the day and getting to know you!

-Alaina & Jing

Day 3 in Gaborone!

 July 11,2017  

In the morning we finished up orientation and learned a little bit more about the academic portion of the trip, some program rules and setting up everyone’s cellphones!

We then headed to the Rainbow High School and students got to sit in on some classes (Physics, Chemistry, English and Computer Science)!

Chemistry Class - Form 4
Different Schools, Same Rules

We visited Form 4 classes, meaning they are one year away from attending University (that is, if they pass their year end exams).

Overview of Botswana Education System (if you’re interested):

Students begin with Standard 1-7 (the equivalent to grades in the US) starting at age 7. This is known as primary school. 

  • At the end of Standard 7, students are given a cumulative exam (Standard 1-7). It is pass/ fail and determines if you move onto
  • Form 1-3 (known as Junior Secondary School).  
    • You get one chance to pass it, if you fail, you do not continue on in your education, instead you are sent to vocational school to learn a craft and go into the workforce. (Talk about some pressure!) They used to allow you to take it twice, but not anymore. 
  • If you pass the standard 7 exam, you move onto Form 1-3. At the end of each year there is another cumulative exam, and again, if you fail you don't move on. 
  • Form 3-5 are called Senior Secondary School. 
  • If you pass form 5, you are able to attend the University of Botswana!

After the high school visit, we went to lunch at the Riverwalk, the local mall close to the University. We split into groups and some ate thai food at Simply Asia, chicken and wraps at Nando’s, burgers and salads at Mugg & Bean!

**(Jon met a student at the high school whose dad owns Nando’s)!

After lunch we did a CIEE version of the Amazing Race! Students were split into 4 groups, given clues around the city and asked to race to the finish line!




One of the challenges was to eat a mopane  worm and talk with a local person about the significance of the bug. Below is a picture of all the brave souls who tried some!


And the first to cross the finishing line….

Official "winners" but everyone had fun and learned a lot!

Afterwards we had a quick stop at the Three Dikgosi Monument which depicts three tribal chiefs in Botswana who played important roles in Botswana gaining its independence. 


Right next to the monument, there are additional statues with different Setswana words. The plagues explain their meanings and when the words were created. 



Long day...

-Jing & Alaina 

Good Morning from University of Botswana

Good morning! Yesterday was a busy and informative time. We learned about cultural differences and how to engage with our host families (who have been great so far). We also discussed safety and culture shock. Each morning we gather on the steps at the University of Botswana (UB) to begin the day!


We ate lunch at Botswana Craft, trying out traditional food: phaleche, morogo, and seswaa. Yum! In the afternoon we returned to UB for a Dance class. Thabang taught us some traditional Tswana dance moves.


He also choreographed a dance battle between the students!


Here are some of our moves: https://youtu.be/qx_xHfjIH4o -

https://youtu.be/WpuloFxGWjo -

Until tomorrow!

-Jing & Alaina


We Made It!

Hi Everyone!

We made it safely to Gaborone! Our group flight flew in about 1pm (and everyone else made it later in the afternoon). We were met at the airport by our host families and whisked away! Everyone had a different evening: some families ate out, others ate traditional food at home. Some students played sports or watched the international net ball tournament here. And of course we caught up on some much needed sleep!


We are starting orientation at the University of Botswana (UB) this morning. Hello to all our friends and family back home!


-Alaina & Jing (Program Leaders)

Meet Your Session 2 Program Leader: Alaina George

Hi! I'm Alaina George, one of the co-leaders for the Wildlife Conservation Global Discovery trip to Botswana (session 2). It sounds like session 1 was a blast, and I'm looking forward to starting out session 2 in less than a week.

A bit about myself: I currently live in Lake Tapps, Washington, and work as a substitute teacher. I'm looking forward to this trip, especially before starting medical school this August at Washington State University in Spokane, WA. I studied abroad with CIEE in Botswana during my time in college and fell in love with the country. This will be my second time leading this trip and IT'S AWESOME! I'm so excited to meet all of you and be back in Botswana!FullSizeRender (1)

See you soon.