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Moving to Botswana
I never thought my life could be drastically changed by one wish. And it wasn’t even mine. It must have been two years ago now, when I was in seventh grade, when my best friend Hannah’s Dad mentioned that he wanted to go to Botswana. I was over at her house, and we were sitting down to supper when her Dad said “So are you going to come visit us when we go to Botswana?’
“What?” I asked.
“Dad!”Hannah said, exasperated, as she usually says when her dad’s being annoying, which is almost always. “We’re not going to Botswana.”
“Yes, Jonathan, we haven’t talked about this at all, you can’t just go telling people about things that aren’t even set in stone.” Hannah’s mom chimed in.
Her dad, ignoring both of them, turned to me, “Well my sabbatical is coming up in a couple years, and I think it would be interesting to go to Botswana for my year long term.”
I was completely confused. I understood that what a sabbatical was, because four years before, Hannah and her family had gone to England for a year for her Dad’s sabbatical, and then when she came back is when we became best friends in school. A sabbatical was when the University paid for one of their professors to go to another country and work there, then bring back information that helps their department, and improve international relations through academics.
“Where is Botswana? What is this about a sabbatical?” I said skeptically.
Hannah rolled her eyes. “Dad wants us to all go to Africa for his sabbatical, but its not official yet.”
“I think it would be fun.” David, Hannah’s little brother piped in.
“Getting back to the point, Kathryn, would you come visit us if we went?” Hannah’s dad asked again.
“Um, I’ve never flown in a plane before, and I don’t think my parents would let me go to a different country without supervision.”
“Flying to Botswana would be a great first flight!” Now, this is where Mr. Rubin’s sarcasm plays in. He loves sarcasm, even if he actually means it.
“Jonathan,” Hannah’s mom said in a ‘now, really’ type of voice, “A sixteen hour flight is not how you start your flying experience.
“But still, I’m sure your parents would let you go, wouldn’t they?” Mr. Rubin asked me.
“Ha ha, your funny. I seriously doubt it.” I replied, laughing. “I don’t think they’ll just let me go for an extended period of time when I’ll be going to another continent, especially Africa.”
That’s really where the Botswana conversation ended that night. I remember Mr. Rubin saying something about that it would be during Hannah and my’s freshman year in high school, but it was so far off that I didn’t think much about it. That was the end of seventh grade.
I’m now a freshman in high school. That first conversation was the start of a whole roller coaster that led to where I am now. Hannah and her family is actually in Botswana. I’m here, trying to live without my best friend, and its not a fairy tale, its reality. This is our story, of real events that actually happened. How does it end? I’ll let you know when I find out.