Peace Corps Botswana

Once upon a time, I decided to follow my heart and join the Peace Corps. After a very long 16 month application process, I packed my bags, said my good-byes, and headed off to Botswana!
Bags packed and ready to go after my going away party!
As an HIV/AIDS Health Sector Volunteer, I received eight weeks of training before being assigned to work in a rural clinic in Botswana for two years. During our training, we learned about the culture in Botswana, the factors contributing the the spread of HIV, and how to speak the local language (Setswana).
Swearing in ceremony after pre-service training
After training, I left my fellow volunteers to move to my new village. I was assigned to work at a local clinic and my primary role was to help with health education and local health campaigns. Topics addressed included HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention, stigma and discrimination, safe male circumcision, gender-based violence, family planning, and nutrition. Outside of my work in the clinic, I focused on youth development at local schools and organizations to further develop students’ decision-making skills, emotional health, and self-identity.

GLOW (Girls/Guys Leading Our World) camps and working at a local OVC (orphans and vulnerable children) center

PACT (peer approach to counseling by teens) clubs at local schools, teaching biology, local school health visits, Grassroots Soccer program

I also organized workshops for women called: Let’s Talk About It: Leadership & Empowerment for the next generation. We taught women how to discuss sex and HIV with their children, since these discussions are not happening. We helped show them how to approach these difficult topics while still respecting cultural norms.

Let’s Talk About It Workshops
And besides worrying about work and my mandate to be in Botswana… I fell in love with my new home. I made new friends, enjoyed the peace & quiet, and cherished each and every sunset.

Bits of life in Botswana
I lived on a family compound – meaning that I had a whole new family outside my door. In the yard connected to mine, I had a beautiful family who welcomed me in and taught me a whole new meaning of love. My family now extends beyond any country borders and these lovely family members will always be a part of my life. Take a look at the photos below… what’s not to love?
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Oh, and let’s not forget all the wonderful traveling opportunities I took advantage of! I had the chance to enjoy the Okavango Delta, beautiful national parks filled with all the amazing African animals you dream of, and neighboring countries.
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Soaking up all the beauty Botswana has to offer!
Lucky for me, I was able to travel a lot with my parents, M, and K who all took the time to come and visit me! We had a wonderful time touring around the southern Africa region.
Adventures to Victoria falls, the Tuli block, and the Okavango Delta
Needless to say, it was a difficult transition for me to leave this chapter of my life. I am forever changed and forever grateful for the two years I spent in Botswana. 

Saying goodbye to my dear friends and colleagues

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