July 2010

The Department of Political Science, with the assistance of the Division of International Studies & Programs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK), is pleased to introduce its Botswana Program - a unique joint partnership between TAMUK and the University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana.

The Program is being directed by Dr. Nirmal Goswami, Professor of Political Science, TAMUK, and co-directed by Dr. Leapetswe Malete and Dr. Maitseo Bolaane, University of Botswana.

The Program will include twelve students traveling to and staying in Botswana from July 7th through July 23rd, attending classes at the University of Botswana, and visiting multiple sites through field trips within Botswana. Areas of focus include history, politics, economics, culture, health, environmental policies, etc., with reference to both Botswana and Southern Africa.

This blog will document our experience. You are welcome to post comments.

You are all invited to cyber travel with us as we learn about the unique and beautiful country of Botswana!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The “Southern Hospitality” of Southern Africa

Enthusiastic “Dumelas!” (Setswana for “hello”) accompanied by warm smiles, have been common greetings since arriving in Botswana. From the moment we got off the plane, we've been shown exceptional kindness and generosity from the people we've met. From the student assistants in our program, Baluki and Malebogo; Univeristy of Botswana professors; university staff like Gift who works at the faculty cafeteria; cab drivers such as Happy and Dempo, who have cheerfully taken us around to various sites in the city; and fellow football fans watching the World Cup final with us. The people of Gaborone have been open to sharing their time, advice, opinions, experiences, culture, and language with us. Some, such as the family whose property we wandered upon after getting lost at Kgale Hill, have even opened their homes to us.

The experience so far in Botswana reminds me of a kind of hospitality not unlike the classic “southern hospitality” shown by people in towns across the American South. While many of the sights and sounds are exciting and new, Gaborone possesses a very familiar small town feel in regards to people's warmth and willingness to make us feel welcome. The welcoming nature of the people seems also to be reflected in the nation's role in the greater Southern African region. Whether it is to refugees from neighboring nations seeking safety or students from halfway across the world coming to experience its culture, Botswana seems to be a nation of welcoming and accepting people.

Aaron H.


  1. Hey, I made a comment here. But it got deleted. I'll try again.

    I'd like to join you all and enjoy some of that down home Botswana southern hospitality.

    Anxious to hear about your adventures.

  2. With 'adopted' names like Happy and Gift, they've got to have good attitudes!! Glad to see you all are having a great time.