Botswana, Africa

Botswana, Africa
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this blog are our personal views and are not representative of the Peace Corps or the U.S. government in anyway.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pictures and stuff....

I wanted to post some more pictures of things we have been doing lately. We went to a cultural fair and saw some traditional dancers who were awesome! I have a video too, but my internet connection is too slow right now to upload it.

I also took some pictures of some of the children who attend our orphan support group on Saturday's. They are so cute! These kids don't speak any English and our Setswana is not very good, but we are trying to get to know them and they love to play the games that we teach them. The support group is by far the best thing we have going on right now and hopefully we will be able to do a lot of fun stuff with the kids over the next two years. I think it would be really cool to arrange a field trip with them and go camping somewhere like in Chobe National Park here in Botswana. Botswana actually has some of the best places in Africa for safari's and seeing wildlife (so come and visit!), but most of these kids have never been able to see these great things in their own country! It's just a dream right now, but we will see how things go! Anyways, hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. We are doing well and will post another update soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another year older!!

I celebrated my birthday on Sunday (27th) here in Botswana. We didn't do a lot because not much is open here on Sunday's but it was still nice. We were able to make a great dinner too. You wouldn't believe it but we made chicken with thai green curry and brownie's! The amazing thing, besides from finding thai curry paste in Botswana, was that we made it all without a stove! That's all for now....sorry for the short post but not much has been going on lately!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Everyday life.

We have this little dog that comes to visit us. I have affectionately named it flea. You can take a guess at why. So this little dog comes to visit us on a regular basis and yes quite often she sneaks inside. I have no idea why! We have been staying busy meeting all of the right people lately, in the hopes that something great will come out of it. Right now we are just happy to be received well. I think great things will happen it's just that it seems that not a lot is happening right now. I think we are having a tremendous impact on our community because we take these long walks (4-5 miles) out through town, which means hilly dirt paths dispersed between barely standing houses. The reception that we receive is incredible. People literally run out of their houses to say hello or at least get a glimpse of the Lakoa (Englishman or white person). It is our understanding that most people have seen a Lakoa. We get that but, what is unique is that we are walking past there house which is most often a tiny shack in the middle of the African desert and to go one step further we are genuinely happy to see them and greet them happily. Whether or not this means anything, you be the judge, but the smiles on the faces that I see are priceless.

My assignment consists of working at a Pre-school inorder to build up the administration to better serve the needs of those children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS... It is a long story and I am still figuring it out my self. I have a pretty good idea of what I am doing here. It is just a matter of sorting out the most important ideas. Literally there are a hundred of ideas running through my head everyday. Some of the best are support groups for youth (already started), community movie nights, the use of drama clubs to influence teen behavior, buisness plan workshops, mens softball club, male circumcision education, and talks about drug and alcohol abuse. All of these have some way of reducing or preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDs. It wouldn't seem like it but any of these simple ideas are quite large steps for this community and would take a considerable amount of community support to even get started. I certainly have my work cut out for me. Lindsey will have to talk about what she is doing, but I can tell you that she is looking into a big brothers big sisters program for Mmadinare. For right now we are happy to be intigrating into the community and I think our presence alone is helping to change the minds of some of the people here in Mmadinare.

The garden was planted this weekend! Tomatoes, eggplant, chili pepper, green beans, broccoli, and beets. We also put down a few flower beds in front of the house for wildflowers. Right know all I can think about is keeping the neigbors chickens out long enough for things to sprout up. I find myself dreaming about it in the early morning and then at the first sound of baby chicks I am up and out of bed like a flash to check out the window and make sure those damn chicks aren't eating all of my seeds.

I hope you like the pictures. Mark

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Is that Mark or Lindsey?

You might think that Mark and I could never wear the same pants, but then you would be mistaken. Today we were so bored that Mark bet me he could put on a pair of my jeans. Naturally, I said, "Go ahead, but there is no way you are going to fit into my pants!" (I was secretly hoping he would do it and rip them so I would have an excuse to buy a new pair.) So anyway here is the proof that he actually was able to not only put them on but say that they were "comfortable" and "a little loose"!!!

As for me I have become addicted to these treats that are literally called 'fat cakes' and are nothing more than fried balls of dough!! They are monate thata (very tasty)! Mark says that once my pants don't fit me anymore he will take them! Haha, so nice of him right?!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4 bags of sh*t kind of fun!

Tonight I am waiting on a man to come from the country with four bags of manure for our garden... I know pretty exciting right? Well get off my back, I have been looking forward to this for some time now. I have spent the last few days preparing the plot where we plan to grow tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, and green beans.

This is a picture of mans best friend! Murphy. He is a complete junk yard dog but we love him all the same. We have found that with just a little affection any dog will soon become your loyal companion, well maybe not the loyal part. Each morning Lindsey and I work very hard to try to keep Murphy in his yard but on ocasion he has had a mind of his own. Either he follows Lindsey to work and literally lays in the middle of the door way to her office or he follows me all the way to my school. We really haven't had to worry about any one breaking in to our house because Murphy usually lays across our doorstep and he is not shy when it comes to barking away trouble (refer to my previous post).

Finally here is pinkies, the local general store that we do most of our grocery shopping at. They don't have a whole lot but you can generally find most dry goods like flour, sugar, salt and so on. They have a small shelf with a few different canned goods, a small freezer full of meat (I have no interest in this seeing that I made friends with the local butcher today), and lastly they have a small table for produce. The produce usually consists of potatoes, tomatoes, and onions. So at least we aren't starving.

Things are good here.. at little slow at times, but good. We have hobbies to keep us busy, all of the conveniences we need just down the street, and the best friend anyone could ask for just at our doorstep.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Howling at the moon!

It's 2am and every dog within 2 square miles has been howling at something in the night and because I live in a small concrete box with no front door I can hear everything that goes on. I'm not sure if I'm the only one effected by this or not but I was pretty enraged because this is not the first night I have been awakened in the middle of the night by screaming dogs! As a matter of fact this night is pretty common and probably takes place more often than not... at any rate tonight was new and interesting in that I am now awake, I am angry at these dogs in my yard yelling at something, and there is nothing between me and quieting these dogs except for bars on every window and door in the place. If you have every seen a monkey in a zoo... you can imagine the sight and as I slowly realized that rattling my cage was only exciting my furry friends I soon calmed down and ohhh about a half an hour later the dogs finally quit yelling at each other.

There is something going on out there. I can hear cow bells ringing similar to when a donkey cart goes by but these bells are stationary. I think there may be some type of something happening... I don't know what. Maybe a baby born way of in the distance or something, but you can rest assured that sooner or later I will find a key to my cage and venture off into the night to discover exactly what is going on. Perhaps tomorrow night when this same thing happens??