Monday, March 29, 2010

End of Classes

Two big milestones have happened in the past 3 days. Not only are we officially done with classes, but we also finished our last homestay of the program. We have our Setswana final today (oral exam) and then our comprehensive written final next week. This week begins prep for our Independent Research, which lucky for me, I have all figured out. I’m going back to Kasane to research Banded Mongoose and their foraging habits, which should be very fun and interesting.
It’s bitter sweet to be done with our last homestay. This last one was both the most challenging and the most rewarding. I def feel like I got the closest with my last family, especially my mom who I spent countless hours with. Some of the highlights of the homestay for me were: learning to milk a cow, including the process of getting it ready to be milked, like beating the calf off the udders, being asked to help castrate a donkey, to which I kindly declined, scaring a hippo away, trying the homemade traditional alcohol made by my homestay grandma, although it was not delicious, and having an adorable 2 year old sister who, although scared to death of me at first, loved me by the end.
On Friday we go on our last excursion to Nxai Pans (pronounced with a clicking noise instead of the x) and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the largest wilderness protection area in Africa. We will be bush camping, which means we will be sleeping in heavy duty tents to protect against any predators who might be hungry. It will be great to see a new part of the country, and sunsets in the Kalahari are said to be fantastic, along with there being good wildlife viewing.
I hope all is well back in the states! Today being the 29th, means in exactly two months I’ll be landing in Seattle. It’s hard to believe I’ve already been here 60 days, crazy! Let me know how everyone is doing!

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