23 Degrees South

Living and learning in Botswana during my two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. NOTE: This is a personal journal and does not necessarily represent the views of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government.

Highlights from the last couple weeks

Time is flying by as I near the end of me service! I have not had a chance to update this blog with all of the details, but wanted to take a few minutes to at least share some of my favorite recent endeavors.

  • Taking advantage of the long President’s day weekend to visit a friend in eastern Botswana
  • Spending the night in a tree fort in a national park and seeing elephants and hyenas! (Nothing quite like having a serious conversation about the likelihood of being eaten by a leopard…)
  • Attending my Close of Service Conference with my fellow 28 Bots 13 intake group
  • Playing Pula to Pula, a game invented by a few of my friends based loosely on the game Apples to Apples, but about being a PCV in Botswana
  • My ‘deep-sand-forest-runs’: Not everyone has the opportunity to live on the edge of the Kalahari Desert with its infinite sand, but this is definitely one of my favorite workouts!
  • Spending the lunch break in my office with students reading, coloring, and just chatting
  • Preparing for an expressive arts camp at the end of this week by making a crazy amount of paper beads for the session I am co-facilitating
  • Last night I started reading The Invisible Cure by Helen Epstein. I have only read the preface and first chapter but am already hooked. So far it seems to match my own impressions about why HIV has affected southern and eastern Africa so dramatically. I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about the cultural and social determinants of this epidemic, and why my job here is not an easy one.
  • Receiving a care package from my mom with a bag of espresso, just in time, as I have not been able to find real coffee in the grocery store here!
  • Buying my plane ticket, first to Mozambique, and then back home!
  • Rediscovering French toast! How did I manage without this treat for the past 2 years!?! Even better, last weekend I found strawberries at the store for CHEAP! Mmmm strawberry French toast!
I love the feeling of being completely surrounded by nature out here. Everything looks dead, but it's still strangely beautiful

I love the feeling of being completely surrounded by nature out here. Everything looks dead, but it’s still strangely beautiful

All in a days work. Paper beads for the upcoming arts camp.

All in a days work. Paper beads for the upcoming arts camp.

Our tree fort in Tuli!

Our tree fort in Tuli!


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2 thoughts on “Highlights from the last couple weeks

  1. I have some of the same feelings as you…..only because of you! The excitement of you coming home is one that has brought the edges of my lips up permanently. Thank you for sharing your stories and pictures!! I love you!

  2. Fantastic Jessica! Wonderful to hear and see your pictures too. Love and hugs to you. Auntie Pam

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