Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Summer Break Starts Today

Since Botswana is located in the southern hemisphere we are in the midst of summer right now.  It’s strange to Skype with friends and family back in the U.S. who mention ice storms and snow days while I am lathering myself with sunscreen and sweating through every last inch of clothing on my body before noon.  Last week the U.S. Embassy sent me north and put me up in a hotel for two nights.  It was the first time I slept in air conditioning since I arrived here.  It was heaven.

While the hot weather may be a little less than ideal at times, I am very happy to announce that summer break officially starts for me today!  Actually, it really began yesterday, but no need to be overly precise.  I am free and clear until classes begin again on January 20th.  I plan to take advantage of having the next few weeks off by travelling around Africa, writing blog posts and experiencing the sorts of things that make people want to invite me to dinner, “This is Kelly.  You should be friends.  Ask her about the time her elephant died in Las Vegas/she met Leonard di Caprio/she was arrested for walking with intent to cause a car accident.”
Speaking of interesting stories, I was scheduled to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro this week.  No, really, I was.  However, while I was in Uganda last month tracking gorillas I got sick and it took nearly three weeks for it to clear up.  I went to my doctor who ran some tests and told me my oxygen capacity was significantly lower than normal and too low for a good climb right now.  He recommended I postpone my climb for a couple of months to give me time to build back up my cardio endurance.  So, I will not be summiting Kilimanjaro on Christmas day after all.  Oh well.

But I am still taking full advantage of summer break.  On Sunday I flew from Gaborone to Johannesburg and on to Windhoek, Namibia.  Since Nelson Mandela’s funeral was the same day I was travelling I was afraid going through South Africa would be terrible, but it was only slightly more chaotic than usual.  I will be here in Namibia for the next two weeks.  I was supposed to be visiting my big house but less than 48 hours after I arrived we ended it.  Instead I am hanging out in Windhoek for the next two days, then I will be going on a 10 day tour around the country, so at least I will make the most of my time here.  After Namibia I go on to Mozambique for about a week, and then Johannesburg for a few days before returning home to Botswana.
Here is what I will NOT be doing this summer break:

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