Blogs from Botswana, Africa - page 8

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Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone June 10th 2012

Today we had two morning presentations, one on psychiatry and mental health, the second on some statistics associated with health and aging. We then headed out for the official game drive in Mokolodi. After the game tour (with a good female guide), we had a large campfire and a very nice brai with beef, beef sausage, chicken, salad, bean salad, coleslaw, and mealie meal with a tomato sauce. I'm sorry to say that Africa has some fantastic simple starches. We had excellent views of the southern hemisphere constellations. My clothing smells of woodsmoke, so I'm off to start laundering. Birds both M and I have seen on this trip thus far: White-breasted cormorant Reed cormorant African darter Egyptian goose White-faced duck African jacana Common moorhen Cattle egret African spoonbill African sacred ibis B... read more
Male ostrich
A cautionary message

Africa » Botswana » South-East June 9th 2012

Yesterday morning we visited the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence. I was very impressed with their research, programs for HIV+ children and adolescents, and other services. I'd like to get a field placement set up there. It looks like an excellent place to be helpful, learn, and participate in community service. I've been pleased to find that my HIV knowledge is reasonably up to date and the reading I've done to prepare for the trip was sufficiently extensive and accurate. Because this is an interest of mine, I was able to answer some questions about mother-to-child transmission for a medical doctor in our delegation who has previously answered some of mine. I asked our presenter at Batswana-Baylor some questions and, contrary to a small but strident set of unpleasant and racist reviews of Tinderbox on ... read more
Detail of wall painting at the museum
View from the museum
Rock dassie

Africa » Botswana » South-East June 7th 2012

55. Little sparowhawk 56. Amethyst sunbird 57. White-bellied sunbird 58. Southern double-collared sunbird 59. Cape sparrow 60. Golden-tailed woodpecker 61. White-backed mousebird 62. South African cliff swallow 63. ?? Southern boubou My birding colleague and I decided not to wait for the shuttle to the university, and instead went out to the road and caught a combi, which is a shared van-taxi (if you've been in Israel, it's pretty much a sherut), to the unicersity instead. We'd been told not to walk. The combi cost us 3.3 pula each, or under a dollar for both. We birded around the university for a little over an hour. It was nice to walk on campus, not to have a big group, and to make decisions for ourselves. * Today's seminars were on youth substance abuse and community home-based ... read more

Africa » Botswana » South-East June 6th 2012

The bird count for today is still pending due to collegial disputes about raptors and sunbirds. I am in my nerd element here as one colleague checks to see whether hummingbird leks differ from insect leks, another asks a biomedical ethics question, and another wonders whether the two words "mosaic" come from a common root. Today's lecture was on sociocultural factors in the spread of HIV in Botswana. I was familiar with most of the content, but it's wonderful to have my impressions confirmed by local experts. The speaker also raised issues about how HIV affects development in Botswana, which is important to consider as well. In the afternoon, we first ate a traditional Setswana lunch. I had seswaa, which is pounded meat (I presume beef) with sorghum and greens (vegetable tops?) cooked with tomatoes and ... read more
Seswaa
Vendors on the Main Mall

Africa » Botswana » South-East June 5th 2012

First, let's get the bird update out of the way. We got some good views of birds we had already seen, such as a crested barbet up close and two African holy ibises in flight. I added four new birds today, two at the hotel before 7:30 AM, two at an outdoor mall/market after the seminar in late afternoon: 51. Common swift 52. Pied crow 53. Speckled pigeon (a malevolent-looking creature with big red eye orbits) 54. Red-winged starling. Our seminar today began with a visit to Chief Charles Koitsiwe of Old Naledi village in Gabarone. In the past, the chief (kgosi) would have been the one to store the harvest for community use, preside over initiation ceremonies, and resolve disputes or try cases in the village court, or kgotla). These days, an urban chief oversees ... read more
Yes, I wore a skirt
The chief and our program director
UB bookstore: Sorry, the DSM is what's used

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Africa » Botswana » South-East June 4th 2012

Several people told me that I wouldn't see any birds because it was winter. I saw two species from the window as my plane approached the gate in South Africa, some on the hotel grounds, some in Mokolodi, and some at the university. Here's what no birds looks like from June 2-4: White-breasted cormorant Reed cormorant African darter Egyptian goose White-faced whistling duck African jacana Common moorhen Cattle egret Black-headed heron African spoonbill African sacred ibis Black-winged stilt Crowned lapwing Blacksmith lapwing Crested frankolin Helmeted guineafowl African fish-eagle Rock dove Red-eyed dove Cape turtle-dove Laughing dove Grey laurie (Grey go-away bird) Coppery-tailed coucal Red-faced mousebird African black swift Pied kingfisher ... read more

Africa » Botswana » South-East June 3rd 2012

I got up early to bird around the hotel, which was quite successful. After breakfast, the 6 of us who arrived early took a 6.5 hour tour at Mokolodi Nature Preserve. After a brief rest, we then went to a long dinner with some faculty members of University of Botswana. The animals we saw at Mokolodi, excluding birds: Rhebok Giraffe Baboon Hippo Waterbuck Zebra Wildebeast Warthog Kudu Impala Red heart beast Water monitor Giant honking African rock python I've loaded my bird list twice and I keep having server errors, so I'll do the birds tomorrow. I will say that neither of the two serous birders saw the ostrich, but we're going back to Mokoldi later in the tour.... read more
Mokolodi 6/3
Mokolodi 6/3
Mokolodi 6/3

Africa » Botswana » South-East June 2nd 2012

I saw an osprey and a bald eagle among other birds on my drive to the airport. A pleasantly uneventful flight from Portland to JFK, flying in over the still-weird absence of the World Trade Center towers, which always looked so out of scale and out of place. I watched from my grandparents' apartment as they went up; now they're gone, and with them my college friend Jonathan. Certainly this trip makes me think of friends who have died, of AIDS or otherwise. I was unable to find the theoretical free wireless for JetBlue customers at JFK, so I read instead. I finished Tinderbox yesterday afternoon. I wanted to read it before the seminar and didn't want to schlepp a hardback to another continent. From home to just before landing I read Agent to the Stars, ... read more

Africa » Botswana May 24th 2012

Nejsou to škorpioni, pavouci, moskyti či termiti, hyeny, veverky, tříbarevná kočka z kempu Kwalope ani zimbabwský utečenec prodávající mosazné náramky v Maunu, koho bych se uchýlil označit za nejneodbytnější formu života na jihoafrickém subkontinentu. Prvenství v tomto ohledu drží všemi mastmi mazaná africká květena. Náš český lopuch se svými naivními knoflíky by mohl závidět vynalézavost, s jakou zdejší rostliny expedují své potomstvo na těla kolemjdoucích obětí. Některé ohleduplnější rostliny se obtěžují s lepítky a háčky, ale většina své semínko prostě zabodne do kůže jako špendlík. Člověk je degradován na přenašeče semínek. Dovolím si zde použít výstižný výrok slavného českého cestovatele - programátora: Když člověk překoná pár set metrů afrického křoví, je z něj křoví. (A... read more
Trans Kalahari, Botswana
Aleš Čapek
Chobe river, Botswana

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Maun May 24th 2012

What a lovely warm sunny day! Willem has invited us to visit the Crocodile Farm this morning, and to stop in to say hello to his wife Sally. They used to own the croc farm, and their home is on the other side of it on the Thamalakane River. So we go out to the road hoping to flag down a taxi. Alas, the ones going by are all full, so we asked the hotel to call one for us. Luckily, Omphile, who works at the hotel, says he is available for the day to take us to the Croc Farm which is 10 km out of town. It’s a chance for him to earn some extra cash. So we pile into his vehicle and set out. The morning is warm, and after some negotiating with ... read more




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