Skip to main content
Health Sciences
SFU Co-op Student

empty
Kaleigh sitting on a cliff staring out to the wilderness
The chalet was beautiful. It overlooked the watering hole and we could sit on the porch watching the animals drink from it at night.

For her Spring 2009 Co-op work term, Kaleigh Banister is working in Gabarone, Botswana with the Cancer Association of Botswana.

On Saturday January 31st, I attended a cultural event called Son of the Soil. When I first arrived I was offered breakfast that consisted of chicken necks, chicken feet and “magwinya”, also known as a fat cake. Wondering what a fat cake is? It is like a doughnut, a sweet deep fried batter, the only difference being that there is no icing and no hole in the middle. While we were eating breakfast, all the women began dancing and singing as a truck began backing in with two large barrels in the back. We asked what was in the barrels and, well, it was a reason to celebrate as the barrels were filled with the local homemade beer called “shake shake”.

Kaliegh cooking

After breakfast I got right into helping. Most of the girls helped wash the dishes but I found something WAY more exciting to help with. What did I do? I helped kill, skin, gut, cut up and cook a goat! I know some of you are sitting there ready to vomit but that is the way of life in the villages here and it’s basically how all you meat eaters get your dinner. The main difference is that at home everyone wants the best cut of meat but here nothing is wasted - most of the innards and all the meat is eaten. I had first hand experience of this when I was given the still warm liver of the goat and asked to cook it. Well, I am not a fan of liver and I must say that I did not try the finished product.

Around lunch time the “shake shake” was being served so I decided to give it a shot. It smelled not so good, tasted sour and was warm. The rest of the day was spent playing games, watching traditional dancing, eating and listening to a choir competition.

The following weekend was one of the volunteers’ 21st birthday and to make it special we rented a chalet at the local game reserve, Mokolodi. The chalet was beautiful. It overlooked the watering hole and we could sit on the porch watching the animals drink from it at night.

Kaleigh posing with a giraffe in the background

On Saturday, we hiked a mountain in the reserve called Magic Mountain. It was a tiring six hour hike but the view was worth it! When we finished the hike we were walking to the ‘road’ so a safari jeep could pick us up and as we were coming out of the bush we saw a giraffe standing right there! It was one of the coolest experiences ever we stood there for twenty minutes just watching him and he was just watching us!

Stay tuned for future entries in Kaleigh’s Work Term in Gabarone series.

 

SFU Co-op Student

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

person with their head in a book
Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

You Might Like These... Working

Open laptop on the centre of wooden table, in between a notebook and pencil, a cell phone, and a cup of coffee
3 Reasons to Consider an 8-Month Co-op

In the process of searching for a Co-op job, you may be thinking “an 8-month co-op seems so long, so a 4-month position is probably the way to go”. Read on for Marilyn's reasons why an 8-month Co-op can be so much more rewarding. 

Picture of Vanessa Clarke
Working with Weebly One Day and WordPress the Next

Things move fast in a Co-op. One day you could be working with your favorite application, completely comfortable, and the next, you'll be tasked with learning an entirely new application. This is what happened to Vanessa in her Co-op, and here's how her first placement went, as well as her favorite things about both Wordpress and Weebly - two applications you may also find yourself using in a Communication Co-op.

the author with his team at CDRD
Find your Voice: Insights into Designing your Co-op

Every experience provides the opportunity to go above and beyond. Here, Beedie Business student Jared Chiu shares how he seized the opportunity to grow his role, and how you can too.