Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dumela from Botswana! The high's and low's

I wish I were writing with better news, but it's the afternoon and I have calmed down a bit. My stuff has been stolen... I'll save the chilling details. After spending all morning filing a police report and breathing deep, emailing people, and crying some more, I'm still here. In Gaborone, in Botswana.

Besides this incident, life in the dusty Gaborone winter is great. I live in the Penn flats with other Penn med students working in various hospitals. Zumba in the evenings, "seswaa" (braised beef in traditional Gaborone style) with South African wine, running in the dirt trails at the completely dried-out yacht club, having "sundowners" watching the sunset then the stars... Sometimes we don't have electricity or power in the evenings but even this I try to see as a unique experience (baby wipe showers, anyone?).

During the weekdays as part of my Penn dental externship, I work at Princess Marina Hospital, a government hospital in Gaborone 15 minutes walk away from our flats. I follow the oral surgeons on our rounds, and go into surgery in the "operating theatre". There is currently no dental school in Botswana so all our dentists have been trained abroad. I saw my first cleft lip repair in my first week!

English is the official language of Botswana so people speak English albeit using British terms such as "chips" for French fries. It's winter here but during the daytime, sun feels amazing even in shorts and a T-shirt. If I had my phone I'd have a photo here.

Anyway, just wanted to peek in and say hello so my blog isn't completely abandoned. I love that dentistry is relevant in all corners of the world. Meeting others interested in global healthcare and specifically Africa has been amazing. I've had tons of time to think, relax, eat good food... all in all I'm doing great, considering. (Did I really write that? Because two hours ago I was a mess.)


  1. Yesle, I am so sorry to hear what happened, but absolutely in awe of the grace, optimism, and strength with which you are handling it right now. I have been following your blog for a while now, but something about the elegance in this entry inspired me to poke out of my shell. Keep being the awesome, kick-ass you! I love that you are finding beauty and positivity in spite of the hardships, and I am confident you will get through this episode a stronger version of yourself. I'm rooting for you!!!


  2. Yesle, you've always been an inspiration to me (and to a lot of other people too, I suspect).
    You are strong, resilient, and your optimism is indeed catching. We're all rooting for you back home.
    As always, you can contact me for anything.


  3. So sorry that happened, Yesle! Hang in there, sounds like you're doing amazing things! Can't wait to talk to you when you get back!

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  6. :D this wasn't that long ago but I feel that time has flown!!!

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