Thursday, May 30th – A day of Travel

Hello, Dumela and Hola! (That’s English, Setswana and Spanish, all three of which I will hopefully get to use on this wonderful trip). Speaking of wonderful trips, just so we’re all on the same page, allow me to briefly explain the who/what/when/where/why of what I’m doing this summer.

From June 1st to July 28th, I will be living and working at the Maru-a-Pula school, also known as MaP (maruapula.org) in Gaborone, Botswana. I’m part of a group of six Harvard interns spending the summer at MaP, and we will be helping out in different classes, tutoring in groups or one-on-one and assisting with the college preparation process with the MaP scholars for this year (about a dozen selected students who will go on to complete their senior year of High School and then hopefully college in America). I’ll also hopefully be helping out with some after school activities (soccer, dance and/or track?). Lastly, Alice, Daniel (two of the other interns) and I will head to Cape Town, South Africa from July 28th to August 1st.

Today I woke up (in Weston), went for a bike ride in the blistering heat, double-checked that I had everything packed, and ate lunch. Later, Lulu (my younger sister) came home from school and we had a nice cake and strawberry snack together. I should also mention that I had a lovely dinner/reunion with a bunch of my Weston friends on Tuesday, and then went to dance class later that night, and while I was gone, Lulu made a cake for me as a send-off present/surprise, complete with a mini American and Botswanan flag on toothpicks!  

Today was also a day of many mixed emotions. I felt sad to be leaving my family and friends for 2/3 of the summer, anxiety (since this is the first time I’ll be traveling solo internationally) and excitement for the adventure that lies ahead. But on top of that, there was also all the emotions that came with the graduation of Harvard’s seniors today, an inspiring and awesome group of role models that I will dearly miss. (And I would like to take this time to thank my mother for choosing to drive me to the airport instead of listen to Oprah speak at commencement…I guess you really do love me!)

Then it was off to the airport and now I am currently on flight one of three (this one goes from Boston to Amsterdam, then I have one from Amsterdam to Johannesburg, South Africa, where I will be spending the night, and the next morning I’ll fly off to Gaborone, Botswana, also called Gabs).

TGT: Every night before I go to bed, I like to briefly reflect upon the past day, and think of three good things (TGT) that have happened. This process allows me to remember all that I’ve done in the past day and also helps me go to bed happy (and hopefully in a relatively relaxed state, as well). My TGT for today would be: 1) going for a lovely bike ride all throughout Wellesley, especially stopping at a gorgeous waterfall 2) eating the leftover cake with Lu before my flight and 3) having my bags weigh less than 50 pounds (no baggage fees yay!)

Until next time
~JK  

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