Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving in Botswana

I spent the last week up in Maun in a language workshop with several other volunteers and two Peace Corps language trainers. It was great to get to see everyone again and it helped me get motivated to study more Setswana. The language training was intense but fun. We worked on language for about 8 hours a day and I have a few more phrases to use every day.

Maun is about 6 hours northwest of where I live and is a major tourist hub in Botswana. Most of the safari companies are based there and everywhere we went we saw tourists. It was quite a different experience. Aside from all of the tourists, Maun is beautiful. It is near the Okavango Delta and because of all the water, everything there is very green. It almost felt like we were in a different country.

On Thursday, we learned vocabulary about cooking and commands. I can now say things like "hand me that knife" or "hand me that cup over there." We also got to cook a full Thanksgiving meal. Our hosts found 2 frozen turkeys and we also made spinach souffle, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and had cranberry sauce. It was almost like being at home.

Before the meal, we all went around and said what we were thankful for. After I thought about it for a bit, I realized just how much has happened in the past year and how much I have to be thankful for. As hard as it is for all of us to be away from home around the holidays, being able to get together and eat a somewhat normal Thanksgiving meal was quite comforting.