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.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lesego's Gang

Since I haven't written a blog in a while I thought I would write a short one today. On my walk to and from work I pass by an elementary school, Thapelakoma Primary School, where I have started to volunteer one day a week at an after school club. Whenever I walk by the children all yell out my name "Lesego" (pronouned Lay-say-ho) and then giggle and run away. For some reason today was apparently the day to do away with that shyness! About 15 kids, probably ages 6-8, basically mobbed me and walked with me all the way home. The whole time they were petting me, fighting to hold my hands, hugging me, and touching my hair. It was like they had been patiently waiting for 4 months to be able to work up this kind of courage. They chatted away in Setswana to me. Let me tell you, it is hard enough for me to understand an adult who is speaking Setswana slowly to me, but 15 giggling children....I didn't get a word!! But this did not seem to bother them because they clapped and cheered when all I could say was "Ga ke itse" which means I don't know or I don't understand. So I guess my quiet walk to and from work will now be a little bit less quiet, but that is alright with me. They brightened up my day and that is all I can really ask for. I wish everyone could have this kind of experience at least once. You get to feel like a rock star or more likely a Disney Chanel star for a while! Come and visit us and I promise you I can arrange it!

-Lindsey aka Lesego

Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrating our 2nd aniversery in Africa.

This past weekend we set out for a night of camping at Letsibogo Dam, a reservoir about 3 miles west from our house. We packed our back packs full and set out through town like a couple of backpackers who had just rolled into town. What a spectacle we made as we hiked through the village. People came out to see us as we went by and were happy to see that they knew us. On the edge of town three boys met up with us on our trek and joined us all the way to the waters edge. When I told them that I was carrying a boat in my backpack they looked at me like I was crazy, but in no time I could see their excitement as they helped fill the boat with air. So by the time it was full, the three boys and me all piled in for a ride out on the water. We made it not more than 20 feet from shore before they asked if we could turn back. Needless to say these boys had a great experience out on their first ever boat ride and I am sure the next time we are out that way it will be hard to deny the village kids a ride in our boat. After paddling across the lake and settling down at a nice camp site we quickly decided to go for a swim. I have to say that we are very blessed to have such a great body of water right in our back yard, especially when it is 100 degrees outside. After some time I broke out the cheap childrens fishing pole that I had. One cast, One fish (yep I'm that good)! Well this fish quickly broke my reel and so I decided that he would have to be dinner or I might not get another chance. When I made it back to shore there was a group of boys that had gathered to see what was going on and Lindsey quickly promised her share of fish to these boys. So one of the boys lite a fire as I cleaned the fish and in no time we were all sitting around sharing lunch. Our one fish fed all six of us, but the boys were eager to get out there and try their hand at fishing. I gave a fishing lesson and Lindsey gave a swimming lesson.... no one came away from the day knowing how to fish or swim, but it was fun anyway. In true Botswana style we were never alone for our anniversary and we had a great time. The next morning we made the trek back into town, but I think it is a camping trip for the books.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sleeping under the African night sky.

I had to make another post just because I am to much of an optimist to end on a bad note. So, last weekend we went up north to the Makgadikgadi salt pans and it was one hell of a time. There is nothing to really see or do. Just a big dried up lake the size of Portugal. They say in the rainy season it is one of the best places to go and see birds, however we went during the dry season just before the rains so we really didn't see much. I should disclaimer that by saying that we saw a handfull of flamingos, a few hippo tracks and something that could have either been wildabeast or a grouping of bushes... so pretty exciting. Anyway we went out had a brai and a big bonfire. It was great to finally get the old tent out and put it to good use. Without the rainfly it is just like sleeping outside and I have to say when you are out in the middle of nowhere in the middle nowhere the stars are really something else and they were that night. I think we all had a great time and I hope we can do it again very soon. We only spent one night out on the pans but by the time we made it back to the lodge we were all covered in about 3 inches of salt and dust.

Oh yeah, on the bus ride back south we had to stand for the entire time (2 1/2 hours)! At one point I had someone touching me from every angle. At one point I seriously contemplated just laying across the laps of the passengers sitting down. All in all I kind of think it was a cool experience... not one that I want to have again anytime soon, but in a weird way it was cool to experience how many Africans travel everyday.


The day I became a murderer... or almost.

What a mess. Today was one of those days that starts out bad and just gets worse. At school today I had the distinct pleasure of balancing the books which have only been in existence for one month... you will have to use your imagination to get a picture at how incredibly $*#@ed they were. Starting out we were in the hole several hundred, then up several hundred, and finally only in the hole by 5 pula. This was a long process of scrounging the office for receipts in every nook and cranny. I think by the end of the ordeal each and every person had at one time or another gotten up just to get away from it for a few minutes. After hours of pouring over the books I thought I would lighten the mood by showing everyone the proposal I had just submitted. This proposal took me 4 days to write and I am very proud of it. There is even a good chance that we will actually receive some funding because of it. The feeling wasn't mutual... They spent 45 minutes complaining about it in Setswana while I sat there wishing they would have expressed there concerns last week when I asked. Needless to say I left the office a little upset. From there three school boys were excited to see me, however they were not going to just let me say hello and move on. They continued to follow me and ask questions so that they could hear me talk. In the best way I could I tried to tell them I had a bad day and wanted to be left alone... this of course is not the Motswana way (to let someone be alone). So they followed me nearly all the way home picking on me the whole way. They made the mistake of letting me know where they lived, so I went to their house and turned them over to there mother, who scolded them for being rude and I was on my way. I am sad to say that getting some 10 year old boys in trouble was the highlight of my day. This brings me to the attempted murder.... of a chicken. These little bastereds are eating all of my plants! I can't have any flowers because of them and they even eat whatever parts of my vegetable that poke through the chicken wire. So this evening I was sitting on the stoop watching the sunset when one of the culprits comes strutting across the yard like he owns the place so I picked up a rock and threw it... never before in my life have I had such precision. I pegged it right in the head and it keald over knocked out. I had to pick it up and go explain to my neighbor what I had done which quickly became a major event for the whole neighborhood. Every one was concerned and I was incredibly embarrassed. I was soon let off the hook when they decided dinner might be a little better tonight. Regardless the little guy soon came to and as far as I know she will be back again tomorrow. Let this serve as a warning to pre-school teachers, 10 year olds, and chickens everywhere.... Don't mess with me tomorrow!