Sunday, May 1, 2011
Shopping to Pack
As my suitcases lie open on the floor of my spare bedroom, I find myself asking 'what does one pack when one is going to be spending 4-months in Gaborone, Botswana, Africa?' The answer, I have come to conclude is 'I have no clue!' With less than a week until I leave, I called in the expertise of the one person whose advice and support I know I can always count on, my Mommy. Yes, I am 27-years old and I still need my Mommy. And, as you can see, I am not afraid to admit it. Before the April 30th winter storm hit Brandon (yes, that's right, April 30), my Mom made the drive to Brandon and we set out to shop to pack my suitcase. We entered the mall on a blustery rain-filled morning and exited on a blustery snow-filled afternoon. I feel the need to add, at this point, that it is currently 24 degrees Celsius in Gaborone. My very educated assumption is that there is absolutely NO snow there. We have about 2 feet here in Brandon. On the kind of bright side, it is set to be 9 degrees tomorrow (Monday) so it will all melt. The reason I say "kind of bright side" is that we definitely don't need the additional moisture. The Assiniboine River which runs right through our small city is already bursting and attempting, to no avail thanks to the diligent city crews, to spread itself out onto our main roads.
Of course, I digress so back to shopping and packing. I finally bought a carry-on that meets South African Airway's requirements. What I thought was a rather small bag, actually turns out to hold quite a bit of loot! I think I'll be fine if my other luggage happens to get a little side-tracked. I've been inventorying (I don't think that is actually a word) the contents of my luggage as I go along and I have to say I think I am set. I have no clue whether I'll have a washing machine in Gabs. My guess is that I won't and, therefore, I will be washing my clothes by hand. With that said, I have packed enough clothing to last me approximately 2-weeks, meaning I will, at the very least, have to do laundry that often. After a few hours of shopping, a nap break, and another hour or so of shopping, my suitcase of personal belongings is almost packed! I have a few more things to get, but all-in-all, it's looking pretty darn good. A few highlights: a super awesome multi-color-plaid-button-up-long-sleeved-tee, a colorfully striped Roots canvas purse complete with inner zippered pouch (a must when dealing with the pick pockets I have been warned about), and a signable photo frame which I hope to have signed by all of the students I will be working with in Bots!
My second suitcase (that I have yet to tackle) will contain supplies, course calendars for all of the colleges and universities that the Batswana students will be attending, along with school supplies for daycares, preschools, and youth programs that WUSC-Botswana partners with. As if going to Botswana for 4-months isn't exciting enough; I also get to shop for one of my most favorite things in the world...school supplies!