April 19, 2012
My sector program officer has been very helpful and introduced me to two key people, National Coordinator of BOCAIP and the Uniterra long term volunteer recently placed with BOCAIP for a year. Today, I contacted the BOCAIP coordinator with lots of questions to get a better sense of what my mandate entails. This will help me clarify their program evaluation and monitoring needs and how I can help them in the 3 short weeks that I will have there. I have two options: 1. I can freak out thinking that I ONLY will have 3 weeks or 2. I can take it as a challenge and enjoy the ride. I decided to go for the latter. This is going to be a great challenge for me, so bring it on.
In the meantime, I have been looking for resources to take with me for program evaluation and monitoring purposes. Since I am planning to fly light, I am especially looking for electronic resources that I can download to my computer (yes, my computer is coming with me, I will be available to Skype depending on the availability of the internet). I found a couple of useful links already but if you are reading this and are aware of any program evaluation and monitoring resources, please send it to my way. I think my experience with the CREATE program evaluation that I am working with a colleague and a dear friend Jackie Stewart of UBC, Chemistry will be useful in this case and will give me a solid starting point towards planning. The researcher inside me is getting overly curious about different aspects of the BOCAIP program but then the evaluator inside me is insisting that this evaluation plan should reflect BOCAIP’s needs in evaluation. So, I plan to stick with what the evaluator is telling me.
On a more personal note, I have been looking for a useful website to help plan my weekends there since I intend to do quite a bit of sightseeing and I ran into this site: Botswana travel. I could not help look at a couple of safari trips. I learned that May through August is the best season for safari there and I am lucky that I will be there in May. I was also able to see a picture of the building that I will be staying in. It is called Motheo apartments. I will most probably be sharing an apartment unit with a shared kitchen with other volunteer(s). I think it will be a lot of fun.
I also borrowed the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency CDs from my local library and I watched the first episode with my husband. It happens in Botswana, somewhere close to Gaborone which is where I am going. I loved it. It is such a heart-warming story. I am yet to confirm if there is really a street called Zebra street there. What a cute name for a street even if it is imaginary!