Page 4 of Shoshana in Asia Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone June 12th 2012

Today I begin my transit in one of those long days, with the hour dropping back as I cross time zones heading east. This makes for an interminable single day that doesn't look bad on paper until you add the extra hours to the apparent flight time. One last bowl of hot sorghum cereal, then I make my way back to the land of decent coffee.... read more

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone June 11th 2012

Today was our last seminar, on women's health rights. We then made a last trip to a craft store (and I again had seswaa and sorghum, but tried the spicy morogo with peanuts instead). We tried to visit Gaborone Dam, but it appears that now there is an admission fee that can't be paid on site, so we bagged it. Tonight is our farewell dinner, in theory to be attended by some of our speakers and program managers. And maybe the chief, so on again with the skirt. One participant has already left; one leaves before the crack of dawn tomorrow, and a few are staying for awhile. If I weren't headed straight home, I'd fly to Maun and drive out from there with the anthropologist, who is going to try to locate people (or their ... read more
My desktop
But is it art?
South Africa

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 » South Africa » North West June 8th 2012

More tomorrow, but for today, I want to say that this afternoon a group of us drove to South Africa's Madikwe Game Reserve. I also want to say that I love my binoculars. Thanks, Nancy.... read more
African elephant
Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

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
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

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

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