Life Is a Journey, Plan for it by Dorian Angula

Everyone has goals and ambitions in life; my ambition was always one day to go abroad irrespective to which country, it was on the 6 December 2014 around 21:14 p.m. when I got a call from a guy called Sylver saying he works for a company called AIESC Namibia asking me if I am willing to go abroad to volunteer as Social Security Commission were willing to sponsor me. The first thing I told him was a big YES.

 On the 24 December 2014 I arrived in Gaborone (The capital city of Botswana) at 19: 37 p.m. I was picked up by the project coordinator Mr. Otlametse were he took me to a village called Mochudi about 50 kilometers from the capital city (Gaborone) were the project is based. I was introduced to my host family (Thekiso family) were I met 3 sisters (Ratanang, Banyana and Thabo) unfortunately the parents were not around I was told that they were at the lands but never the less I spoke with them on the phone and I met them on the 26 December 2014 and they welcomed me with open hands. They made me feel especially the mother who kept on inspiring me since the day I arrived until the end of my internship.

I worked on a project called Kick start Academy, on this project I had to give football training to young boys under the age of 16 at a soccer academy called Kgatleng Superstars Academy, I had to teach them football skills for them to become professional footballers in the future. Unfortunately on this project (Kick start Academy) I was the only intern but that didn’t disappoint me though, in fact it motivated me a lot to know myself better, what role I can play in society  and to give my best on the project. I didn’t start on the project in the first week as I expected, I found the schools already closed and the kids I had to work with were on holiday, so I had to wait until the 7 January 2015 for schools to re-open.

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CULTURE SHOCK

  • On 25 December 2014(Christmas day) Mr Otlametse took me to their lands were they hosted a Christmas party with he’s family and to my surprise I had to eat porridge with salad (beetroot, butternuts, carrots) and macaroni which I had never eaten or saw people eating that in my life and there was cooked meat but there was no soup and this surprised me a lot, since in my culture if one has to eat porridge then there must be soup and we don’t eat porridge with salad.

  • I had to taste a popular alcohol drink called Chibuku (shake shake) and what surprised me is that its alcohol volume is 3.5 % +, if a person drinks a chibuku that was produced 10 days ago that person is likely to get drunk quickly than a person who drinks a chibuku that was produced 4 days ago and this I was told by Mr. Otlametse.

  • What surprised me is that my host family cooked me Setswana chicken (koko) and they prepared it with water and salt only but in my culture we cook it with all ingredients such as spice, chilly, onions, tomatoes, salt etc… and the two kids ( Thabang and Fiky) I was staying with at the host family they were eating the thighs of the chicken while in my culture the thighs are eaten by the head of the house (man)

  • I attended a funeral at one of the neighbor’s house and what surprised me is that they conduct the funeral service early in the morning around 7:00.am and by 10:00am the funeral service was over, while in my culture we conduct the funeral service from 10:00 a.m. When we got back to the house of the deceased I was expecting to eat and drink cool drink, if not alcohol but to my surprise, all the mourners were given pounded meat (seswaa) and that was it, and these shocked me a lot in fact it made me angry since I was kind of thirsty and hungry. In my culture people eat and even drink alcohol at funerals.

  • It was my first time eating seswaa in my life, I have never heard or thought anywhere in Namibia people eat seswaa (pounded meat).

  • I ate a lot of traditional food at my host family’s house that they prepared for me such as dumpling’s, green vegetables (morogo) ,soft porridge(bogobe), Setswana chicken, samp (setampa) just to mention a few.

  • I had an opportunity to go to the lands that the host family own and milk the goats and cows. Something I never did in my life before.

  • What I have seen in this village( Mochudi) is that almost all the people living in Mochudi are not homeless in fact I like the way they name the locations in Mochudi,I was staying in a location called Makakatlela  meaning many stones and there were many stones around.

  • Since I am a football fan I didn’t expect my host family to have a DSTV or something but I expected if there are bars nearby I expected one to have at least a DSTV but to my surprise in makakatlela route 3 (where I was staying) all of them didn’t have a DSTV so I had to go watch football a bit far away from home.

  • The most culture shock I saw here in Botswana is that, people here most of the time they speak Setswana only, whenever I was approach by a person they always speak Setswana unlike in Namibia were people speak English first and in fact what I have realized among people in Botswana not all of them but most of them when a person speaks another language other than Setswana language people will be laughing at that person, for example my host family were always laughing at me when I used to speak my language with my family on the phone but I didn’t get offended though.

  • I was shocked to see young boys at the academy that I was training struggling to speak English and the small boy ( Thabang) I was staying with at the host family he’s in standard 2 but he could speak better English than them.

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Experience gained from the project

  • Leadership skills-this exchange gave me an opportunity to interact with different people from different backgrounds.

  • It gave me the opportunity to know myself better, what role I can play in society as an educated youth.

  • This project has improved my understanding of diverse cultures and has resulted into better abilities to work with people from different cultures which made me a better team player.

With no doubt, I recommend anyone out there to go do an internship abroad, like the one I did. It is a life changing opportunity and it makes you a better person.

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