I arrived back on Canadian soil last Saturday, August 20. It’s the 26 today. I was told that reverse culture shock back in Canada would be much worse than the initial culture shock in Botswana. Let me tell you, everyone who told me that was completely right. I can’t really describe my emotions right now other than saying that I feel kind of numb. I am happy to be back close to my family and friends and I am excited to be starting my final year of my undergraduate degree, but I miss Botswana, the people, the place, like the deserts miss the rain (And I Miss You). I would go back to that incredible country in a second if given the chance.
I was lucky to be in Botswana long enough to see the group of ISM students leave the only home they have ever known, get on an airplane (some for the first time), and embark on an adventure that would shape their futures. I had to turn away many times to keep myself from crying as tears streamed down cheeks a midst last minute embraces between families and friends. As, one-by-one, the students made their way through the security check-point in the Gaborone airport, my heart gushed with pride and inspiration. Now, when I see a facebook update saying how much one of them is enjoying Canada, I can’t help but smile despite the emptiness in me where Botswana once was.
With that said, Botswana, its people, its culture, its beauty, will always be in my heart and I hope to make it back there someday. What I do know for sure is that this Students Without Borders placement will not be my last overseas volunteer adventure. Working as the ISM-SWB Program Assistant for four months was only the beginning for this girl!
Sala Sentle, Botswana