Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Youth Exchange (Part Deux)

As I mentioned yesterday, back in December I worked with the U.S. Embassy on a youth exchange program.  If you haven’t heard about it you can read here about the portion which took place in Botswana.  After the two days in Botswana were completed we all crossed the border into Zimbabwe.  There is nothing more chaotic than trying to take 30 high school students, 12 high school teacher chaperones, about a dozen U.S. Embassy staffers (half from the Botswana embassy, half from the Zimbabwe embassy), two Ambassadors and a Deputy Secretary of State through a border crossing (two actually).  I think it took about three hours to get processed out of Botswana and into Zimbabwe.

Once we got to Zimbabwe we went to the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo where another Fulbright Professor gave a talk on water conservation.  I actually learned a lot.  For instance, did you know that the average human utilizes between 1,000 and 6,000 liters of water per day?  That’s right, here’s his powerpoint slide which states it:
We also visited the Natural History Museum which had a TON of specimens on display, the Khami Ruins, and Matobo National Park and Rhino Reserve where I learned that if you are suspected of being a poacher you will be “shot on sight, no questions asked.”

During our game drive in Matobo as I was sitting in the back of the vehicle I peered through the back windshield and saw this:
YES! A messy dashboard.  No! Not that!  Look closer.  It is a Texas Tech University baseball cap.  Apparently a group of students from Tech were at the National Park over Thanksgiving break.  I forget which department they were from, either an animal or science based department obviously, but they had been there for a week to study the rhinos.

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