Monday, October 8, 2012

GLOWing and growing! Developing strong leaders for tomorrow...

We discussed many topics including HIV/AIDS, STIs, alcohol & substance abuse, relationships and peer pressure, communication skills, health and nutrition, importance of volunteering, money management, and gender roles....just to name a few. 
In between, there was plenty of time for fun (including but not limited to) campfire, dancing, jump rope, movie night, s'mores, and arts and crafts.

We were so active at the beginning of camp that some girls said they wanted to rest because when camp was over they would have to go back home and work, doing their normal chores and daily schedules. We eventually found a balance between fun, leisure, and relaxation. For a group of kids who have limited resources in terms of materials and time, they had the opportunity to really experience the magic of camp life. 
Julia teaching a session

meal time!

Britt leading an awesome condom demonstration. She let me help! You might be thinking, wow, these kids are young to get condom demonstrations. Let me assure you, this is some of the most valuable pieces of information they received. You'd be surprised how many people don't know how to use a condom and how many people are not willing to teach others. 

Craft time!

My group of girls from Mosielele Primary on the first night of camp, after their introductory performance. Apparently they decided to all wear heels for the occasion?!

Making friendship bracelets. You share a bead with someone as you exchange a piece of information about yourself. 

The shirts before tie-dye.

Enjoying those latex gloves for tie-dye

Rachel and Theresa were troopers, outside all day facilitating this.

Paper mache piggy banks! (partnered with a session on money management)

The last night of camp a few Volunteers made an "American" meal- haha, spaghetti...

...and served each of the campers. This is a rare occasion where the female youth is served first.

One of my girls, Boiketlo, after making her necklace with Mothers for All

Happy girls

The last day of camp before departing.

All the PCVs that made it happen!

Dancing and prep 

S'MORES! They LOVED them!

Snack time, and the apples were the LARGEST things I've seen since America.

Camper loving on Bontle, middle with braids, one of the Mostwana counterparts present at the camp. She is an amazing woman, volunteering in her community and being an excellent role model to the girls

More paper mache piggy banks...and Che Guevara 

Do you see the pig?

Diligently working with her beads during the time with Mothers for All

Probably taking a post test so we can evaluate what they learned

The lovely ladies serving biscuits and chocolates for MOVIE NIGHT! 

One of the Mothers doing helping with beads

They LOVE photos!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the craziness that was GLOW Camp! It was an amazing experience to foster an atmosphere where these few girls could learn such important information and discover learning can be FUN!   They tried new things like s'mores, taught us a few dances and even schooled us in jump rope. To see them so engaged and making new friends throughout the camp was such a beautiful experience for me. To see this project through to fruition and witness the sadness in departing as a testament to their good was worth every second. 

Many of these photos are from different Volunteers involved with the event so I cannot give proper credit. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

the bus rank

...smells rank. the back corner serves as a barber shop and strangely enough reeks of urine. you can buy pretty much anything at the rank including tonight's dinner, clothes, shoes, sunglasses, dogs. you can play a little pool, get your hair done, have some ice cream, get your shoes resoled, recharge your phone, and make new friends if you take the time to do so. 

i'll include a few photos from my most recent photo excursion with my friend, Carolynn. Batswana love to have their photo taken. Many ask you to print it for them as though you’ll magically produce a photo printer on site.

She asked to have her photo taken. She is cooking "russians" on a grill of sorts powered by a propane tank. These "russians" a.k.a. hot dogs are a staple bus rank cuisine.

As you will see, there is little variation in the products sold at the rank and there is a tendency to park themselves next to each other, selling the very same things. We'll call it friendly competition.

You can get your shoes repaired as well as buy a used pair, just after you've snacked on a hotdog.

The plethora of trash in the background contributes to the "rank smell." BUT you can get some delicious veggies. In just a few months mangoes will be in season and you can buy them by the truckload at this very location!

She asked that I take her photo. She is selling "airtime" (phone minutes), "disweets" (candies) all the while enjoying her lunch of beetroot, rice, and fried chicken (and probably a spoonful of butternut in there as well).

Again, the grouping of stalls, selling almost identical products...give or take...a roll of toilet paper :)

These guys. The RASSSSTA MON! much to say, much to withhold.

Probably one of my favorite aspects of the bus rank, the scattered pool tables. Sometimes you can wait for over an hour for a bus to depart, hence the need for all these activities and dining facilities. Why not play a game of pool while you wait. I never see women playing so I'm not sure if it's because of disinterest, but I've wanted to play once or twice. Also, they often occupy the width of the sidewalk and you really have to watch out for their poolsticks. 

Just a few of the many food stalls at rank. In the mornings they sell "dipapatha" (baked bread) or "magwinya" (fried bread- a donut from hell...all the fat and no sugar). In the afternoons they sell little trays of fried chicken and french fries. Coca Cola abounds. 

He asked for his photo, taking a break from his lunch. 

Sweet lady cutting up some rape (spinach-like). The bags of mixed veggies with potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers sells for about 10 pula (about $1.25 USD). A bag of chopped rape is P5. 


I'm also including a few other photos from life otherwise...

In Kopong, "dikoko diteng" literally translates to the chickens are your chicken here!

photos from a farmers' market of sorts a few months back in Moshupa. 

these women are selling dried beans and mophane worms and other goodies

selling beans pops (succors). they don't look too happy. the smile in photographs hasn't caught on much yet.

This lovely woman sold me some black eyed peas and then asked that I buy her some too?

Dinner party in Gabs. good times.

These next few photos are from an artist living in Kopong, Botswana, discovered by my friend, Celia. She is trying to get him a show in Gaborone. He paints from his bedroom and you can see his palette just next to his wardrobe. I recently bought one of his paintings, a portrait of a women. He didn't mind that I took the next photos, and I was so interested to see all the works that he's done all from his own bedroom. What a dedicated and talented fellow.

He took out a few of his paintings to show us. He paints from photos of traditional baskets and pottery. Many wildlife scenes and images of village life.
This is one of his newer pieces of waterlilies in the delta in northern Botswana.

He stores the canvases above his wardrobe. He buys some prefabricated frames and gessoed canvas, but he also makes many of his own.

I hope you enjoyed a little photographic update of things here. The GLOW Camp is happening (!) next week! I feel like most everything is prepared and organized so hopefully I can participate in the fun without stressing on the details. You know there will be pictures to come. 

Until then, take care.