Gaborone Teen Club: Teen Leaders Teambuilding Camp in Maun

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The following post is courtesy of the Teen Leaders for Gaborone Teen Club (the authors’ initials have been used to protect confidentiality):

Gaborone Teen Leaders embark on a teambuilding adventure in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana.

Gaborone Teen Club: Teen Leaders Teambuilding Camp in Maun

From 5th to 12th December, 9 Gaborone Teen Leaders took part in a Teambuilding Camp in Maun, Botswana, and the surrounding Okavango Delta.  The purpose of the camp was to empower the Teen Leaders through challenging outdoor activities, teambuilding exercises and educational lessons.  The Teen Leaders also had numerous opportunities to learn about the peoples, cultures, histories, and environments of the Kalahari and Okavango Delta regions of Botswana.  During the camp, the Teen Leaders kept daily journals.  The following are some excerpts from their journals:

Day 1: Saturday, 5th December 2009

“On the 5th of this month there was a Christmas party held at the Botswana-Baylor Clinic for the kids who receive

The water slide at the 2009 Botswana-Baylor COE Children's Christmas Party.

 medical assistance there. It was a day a person could never forget in their lives. Everyone had a fantastic day and there was a time when “Santa Claus” had to give out the gifts. Every child went home with a present to take home, not forgetting the lunch served by Nandos which left them happy and full. They were given bags from Sefalana with reading novels, playing cards and a bubble blowing toy shaped as ice cream.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

“I was the “MC”, me and one of the boy leaders, and I think I should do that more often because it develops my confidence. Then the rest of the Teen Leaders did a play with the theme of “Ngwana yo o sa utlweng molao wa batsadi, o utlwa wa manong”, a Setswana proverb which means “A child who doesn’t listen to his parents is easily led astray.” (KN, Female, 15yrs)

Day 2: Sunday, 6th December 2009

“Well, firstly, the trip from Gaborone to Ghanzi was exhausting. It was about 8 hours and I was sitting down all the

Visiting a San (Bushman) squatter camp in Ghanzi.

 way. Anyway, when we got to Ghanzi, we had nice delicious and crunchy sandwiches at the Kalahari Arms Hotel.” (BM, Male, 17yrs)

“We also went around Ghanzi to interact with the community members, mostly Basarwa. They taught us their language, Naro, which mostly consists of clicking sounds.” (TL, Male, 18yrs)

“After a few hours of waiting, we were picked up by a white combi written “Thakadu Safari Resort”, then picked up the cooks who were going to cook our dinner. We headed straight to Thakadu Camp where we slept in luxurious tents fitted with everything that could make a person not feel homesick. We had dinner then went to our specific tents to sleep. During the night a warthog was crying and my tentmate, KN, was scared so we had to share a bed. Then we slept like babies after we switched off the light and left the warthog outside.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

Day 3: Monday, 7th December 2009

“We were woken up from our good sleep at 5:00am to get ready to go to Maun. We were to catch an 8:30am bus to

Learning how to make ostrich-eggshell necklaces from an elderly San woman.

 Maun, so “eagerly” we got ready and prepared. We got to the Ghanzi bus rank to wait for the bus and we were an hour early, an hour! We got there, bought breakfast from Choppies, and ate. 8:00am came and there was no sign of the bus coming. I asked the conductor of another bus going to Gaborone if there was an 8:30am bus going to Maun and guess what she said: “Nnya rra, ga eo” (“No sir, there’s none!). “Whaaaat?!?!?” Then she further continued, “Key a 2:30pm! (It’s going at 2:30pm!). More reason for me to say, “WHAAAT!?!?!”. Imagine what time we woke up! (BM, Male, 17yrs)

“Then we to the Ghanzi Multipurpose Youth Centre to drop our luggage there since Ed, or “Kago” as people in Ghanzi called him, had some friends who worked there. Then we went to a nearby football pitch because there was a roadshow about youth, HIV and AIDS, etc.” (KN, Female, 15yrs)

“Before we had lunch we met with an old Mosarwa woman who taught us how to make sebaga (necklaces) out of ostrich eggshells.” (RK, Female, 15yrs)

“We then talked to a woman named Resego who works for the Ghanzi District Youth Council about establishing a Teen Club here in Ghanzi. Later in the day we talked to peer educators from True Love Waits who educate their peers on abstinence and have a project called “Break the Chain”. They taught us the importance of abstaining from having many sexual partners and why they promote abstinence with the single people and faithfulness with married couples. We got lunch at Choppies then boarded thus bus to Maun. We arrived at the Love Botswana Mission late at night and called it a day.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

Day 4: Tuesday, 8th December 2009

“Today was fantastic! I’ve rated it the best of all the days already even though we haven’t done the other activities yet.

A relaxing mokoro (canoe) trip through the Okavangao Delta.

 Today started with an early wake-up: 6:30am to be exact. A bus took us to the Old Bridge Backpackers in the Okavango Delta. We first had a nice breakfast: egg and bacon in rolls. They were delicious! Then we had a boat take us to the “mokoro (canoe) rank” as I call it. The boat was extremely exciting and the funny thing was that I wasn’t scared, even though I had sworn never to get on a boat. The boat took us to the mekoro (canoes) where I had the ride of a lifetime! We saw purple herons and skwaekwae herons. We enjoyed the beautiful view of the water and the water lilies. We then went to an island and took an adventurous walk through the wilderness. We saw palm trees, elephant droppings (they’re huge!) and the holes made by a thakadu (aardvark).” (BM, Male, 17yrs)

“We were taken by mekoro into one of the tributaries of the delta. As we drove along the river we were told how Maun people eat “tswii” (water lilies) which is the staple food around here and how and when it is ready to be eaten. Our guide told us that most animals are seen during the winter season and that there will be a lot of water. The tswii (water lilies) stands six days above the water level after pollination then it lowers into the water for the fruit to ripen, which is then used as food. People can also use the leaves as medicine. The leaves are used to treat burns on people’s bodies. The leaves are smashed into powder then mixed with honey to prevent the skin from tightening and too lesson the person’s pain. Our guide then taught us how to make a water lily necklace. Later we had a quick lunch then went into the water for a little swim. After tons of fun swimming we went back to the Old Bridge Backpackers and then went back to the Okavango International School where we were staying. We ate dinner then went to sleep after a few hours of talking and laughing.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

Day 5: Wednesday, 9th December 2009

“Today we went to a Christmas Party at the All Nations Village Church. It was magical! We were asked to do a play and

Some big crocs at the Sitatunga Camp Crocodile Farm!

 we didn’t want to do the one we did at the Baylor Christmas Party so we made up a new one in the morning. At first I was scared – I guess I had stage fright. But when I got on the stage I started flowing like a river.” (KN, Female, 15yrs)

“The event went well and we performed in front of over 600 people. There were mainly small children at the Christmas Party, from about one year old to 14 years old.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

“It was amazing to see my mates doing such a good job because it was the first time for some of them to perform in front of a large group. After our drama there were many other performances such as a traditional dance troupe from Shashe and a puppeteering group called Sound Off. It was amazing!” (TM, Male, 18yrs)

“After the Christmas Party, we took a drive to the Sitatunga Camp Crocodile Farm. There we saw all the stages of growth that a crocodile goes through. First we saw the smallest crocodiles which are later moved to different cages according to their age. Then we saw the largest, fattest and oldest crocodiles in the land. They were frozen still as if they were put into cold water. We were told not to get close to the fence because there was a high chance of being grabbed by the crocodiles and being feasted on in the blink of an eye.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

“We came back home to go swimming and when we were swimming some cute boys came. I froze a little and the boys were looking at me. Then they finished their lesson and left and we went home to cook.” (DK, Female, 16yrs)

“Dinner was perfect mainly because we had a lot of green veggies. We then did a teambuilding activity where we had to share different feelings like times when we were sad, embarrassed, angry, or happy based on the colors of jelly beans we were given. We had a lot of fun and laughed a lot.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

Day 6: Thursday, 10th December 2009

“We woke up this morning and the boys had to wash the dishes because they did not do it the day before. Then we

A bush walk at Motsentsela Tree Lodge in Maun.

 went to Motsentsela Tree Lodge to see the wild. We saw the different Meru tents and chalets they had there and they were very luxurious! They were definitely worth spending a night in!” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

“We enjoyed seeing the beautiful animals at Motsentsela Lodge such as zebras, ostriches, squirrels, elands and different kinds of birds. During our bush walk we also saw horses and giraffes.” (BM, Male, 17yrs)

“We then went to the Nhabe Museum in Maun where we got to see some artwork and learn about the cultures of the people who live here in Maun. We then went back to Love Botswana to do a bit of laundry then we all played indoor games because it was raining. After hours of playing we went to bed.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

Day 7: Friday, 11th December 2009

“On Friday morning we woke up very early to go to the Old Bridge Backpackers to watch birds along the Thamalakane

Horseback riding in the Okavango Delta!

 River. We managed to see only a few birds because the weather was rainy and we had to go back to the lodge.” (TP, Male, 17yrs)

“We had a chance to some “migrant” birds all the way from North and Central Africa! I saw doves, kingfishers, lilac-crested rollers and others.” (BM, Male, 17yrs)

“From there we went for basketweaving at Quality Baskets. We all got a chance to make our own baskets and this was a very difficult task for one to acquire as a skill. At first we were shown how to weave the reeds into a basket and then we had to weave our own. It was fantastic and tiring too, but it was good because I learned something new and maybe I can help my grandma weave her baskets now.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

“The third activity of the day was horse riding at the Wild Rides Horse Trails. This was the best moment for me this week because I managed to control the horse all by myself. The name of the horse I was riding was “Flint” and we got “position 2” and I only lost by a small margin, even though it wasn’t a race (we made the race ourselves).” (TL, Male, 18yrs)

“Our elders, Ed, B2 and Ags, told us we could stay up all night. Some of us leaders watched movies, some played cards and some of us fell asleep. I was chatting to a friend on the phone but it got boring. Then I tried to watch a movie and it also got boring. Then I thought, “what hobby do I have that I can do indoors?”. Then “click!” one came in a split second: eating! So, I ate breakfast at about 1:00am. Then I really got sleepy and around 2:00am, I fell asleep on the couch!” (BM, Male 17yrs)

Day 8: Saturday, 12th September 2009

“This morning we could wake up at any time we wished, but I woke up around 9am. At around 11am we did a

Thank you to Love Botswana Outreach Mission for providing us with accomodation for our Teambuilding Camp!

 personality survey (DISC Analysis) with Chippo from Love Botswana. This really helped me to realize what kind of person I am. After the survey we prepared for the braai (barbecue) which we were going to have in the evening. Then we went for a swim at the pool. There we played “water football” and my team got beaten. It was nothing to cry about because we were just having fun. After swimming, we started having our feast with all the people from Love Botswana and Okavango International School who accommodated us here for the whole camp.” (NM, Female, 16yrs)

“During the braai, we played cards and were even taught some new games from people from Love Botswana. Afterwards we took photos and people started leaving. One of the pastors from Love Botswana told us that he loves us very much.” (TK, Male, 17yrs)

“During the camp, we did many teambuilding activities like one with Ed in which we shared about our feelings using jelly beans, one with Agatha in which we had to work as a team to build a structure and one with B2 that required us to use our concentration and teamwork. Lastly, I would like to mention that the Love Botswana people gave us a place to stay this week for free so I thank them with all my heart and I hope that God will bless them all the time. They said we could come again!” (RK, Female, 15yrs)

“To Love Botswana: Words can’t really describe how thankful we are for everything you did to make this camp fun. You gave us accommodation and never asked for money. Pastor Sonny devoted his time to drive us any place we wanted. We swam and had fun. May the Lord bless you for everything you have done for us. Thank you!” (KN, Female, 15yrs)