• McBride, 84 others, will learn about Botswana, culture
• Will write MDP column from abroad
• McBride left Montrose today
After almost 30 years, Montrose’s Amy McBride will return to Africa.
McBride, who spent a semester in Nigeria during her junior year of college, will travel to Botswana in Southern Africa for a two-year commitment with the Peace Corps.
The former Montrose Rotary Club president said after spending time in the continent, she always wanted to go back.
“I fell in love with Africa and I have wanted to return,” McBride said. “The opportunity presented itself, so I said, ‘I’m going back to Africa.’”
She also said she decided to go because her two sons are both now in college. McBride noted she plans to have her boys fly out to Botswana next year after she has been in the country for six months. She has to wait half a year to host guests, per Peace Corps policy.
McBride said during her time as a volunteer she will work with non-governmental organizations to serve the high number of HIV and AIDS patients in Botswana. She noted one in four adults in the country are HIV positive.
“All of the Peace Corps volunteers in Botswana are focused on eliminating HIV and AIDS in the country,” McBride said.
As the health and HIV capacity building specialist: civil society for the peace corps, McBride said her goal is to develop plans and fundraising to help prevent the epidemic from spreading.
She added she has experience working for numerous nonprofits and organizations. McBride helped with fundraisers at the Montrose Regional Library for 10 years.
“I’m really excited to see what it’s like working for a nonprofit in Botswana,” McBride said. “I’m eager to see what’s the same and what’s the difference.”
People who know McBride said they were not shocked she joined the Peace Corps, a volunteer program run by the United States government.
Fellow Montrose resident and friend Linda Gann noted McBride is a good candidate to help people in Botswana.
“When I heard about it, I wasn’t the least bit surprised,” Gann said. “She’s committed to public service and they are lucky to have her. I’m sure she will receive a rich reward out of her experience there.”
That award will happen soon for McBride. She said her travel begins this morning and she’ll make multiple stops before arriving to the capital of Botswana, Gaborone.
After landing, McBride added, she and the other 84 Peace Corps volunteers will travel to the City of Molepolole. During this time she and the others will have a family to educate them on the language, Setswana, and the country.
“It’s the host family’s job to feed us, help us with the language and then teach us about the Botswana culture,” McBride said.
After she becomes familiar with the county, she will depart from Molepolole to an as-yet-undetermined location in Botswana.
“I don’t know where I’m going to be, but I’m excited to find out,” McBride said.
Gann said she believes McBride will succeed anywhere she goes.
“She’ll embrace the culture and she will be a good ambassador for the United States in that part of the world,” Gann said.
Although McBride said she is thrilled to be living and volunteering abroad, she noted she will miss her two boys.
“I’m not nervous, I’m excited,” McBride said. “I think the biggest thing is I’m going to miss my sons and family. That’s what’s most on my mind right now.’
During her time in Africa, McBride said she will have a blog detailing her experiences, as well as a column in the Montrose Daily Press. To read further updates about McBride’s time in Botswana, visit amyinbotswana.com.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ education/sports reporter.