We have quickly come to realize that life in Gaborone is very different than life in the United States. One of our biggest struggles has been the way business is conducted. However, after a few days, we are gaining more familiarity with business customs in Botswana. Much to our delight, the local food is both tasty and affordable. Finally, the country itself is very unique with natural resources that we have been able to enjoy.
The way in which life and business is approached in Botswana is much more laid back than what the team has grown accustomed to while working in the United States. Our days begin at 8am and the schedule is quite fluid. The colleagues we have met (mostly from Botswana and South Africa) have all welcomed us with open arms and most seem genuinely interested in improving the processes at the bank.
The food has been the highlight of the trip (so far)! The office is set in a ‘central business district’ which is still under construction and also the home to grazing cows, donkeys and dozens of food ‘caravans’ or ‘mochachos’. These food truck-like establishments offer the traditional staple papa (a maze based starch similar to mashed potatoes) as well as beef steaks, chicken, and side salads with vegetables. The food is great, and the prices are very reasonable (less than $3 for lunch and $10 for dinner).
We’ve been able to get out of the office and housing to enjoy some of the country. There is a mountain hike which is near enough for us to hike to from our housing. The mountain is the highest peak in Gaborone and provides great views of the city, the dam and the surrounding areas. We plan on heading out to local game reserves over the weekend to take advantage of viewing the local animals.