I was awakened this morning at 9:30 am (after already having been awakened the usual daily 10 times starting at 4:00 am by giant roosters 10 feet from our windows) by Carol screaming for help! I jumped out of bed into ½ inch of water. The only words I could heard her yell were flood, electrocution and help. Panic ensued. She eventually got out enough information to me that I figured our brand new washing machine was malfunctioning and the whole house was under water. I got the water shut off and then we grabbed brooms and spent the next 3 hours brooming water from all rooms in our house. We finally managed to get all the water out with minimal damage, and we now have a squeaky clean floor. Unfortunately, with the resident bugs, it won’t last more than a couple hours, and unhooking the 220 volt power supplies from the walls while standing in ½ inch of water was a bit un-nerving. Anyway, it was our first emergency here in Africa and at least we now have an Action Plan for disconnecting the Electricity if it ever happens again! (We determined the malfunction was a user error).
We have a four day weekend for each of the Christmas and NYE weekends. It’s quite nice and a chance to catch up on stuff at home and just get organized for the coming exciting weeks.
Carol’s school opens next week and we are hoping we can finally really start her work at the school. She has been in limbo for the last months while the schools were closed but has found several interesting jobs outside the school. She has not had a chance to dig into her “real” assigned job yet.
Also, in a few weeks all 35 of us PCVs get to travel to the capital city of Gaborone for a 10 day workshop called In Service Training (IST). We will review our language skills, catch up with other PCVs, hear about their stories and experiences and get more training on issues. It is historically a fun time for all of us since we have been three months in service and most of us have had little contact with the others. The PC is putting us all up in a really nice lodge in the city that will have hot showers and great food and that is what I am looking forward to! Also, this IST marks the end of our “lock down” period where we were not allowed to travel over night outside our home villages. Now we will be considered real grownups and allowed to do what ever we want (with reason and legality and as long as the PC is updated with our where abouts at all times).
Many people are already making plans for traveling to neighboring countries and other fun spots within Botswana. There are several very attractive destinations, all just 15 to 20 hours drive on a hot, stuffed, noisy old bus. Carol and I are looking into airfares and other options. A long weekend to Johannesburg, South Africa, a huge city of 3-4 Million people or so is on our list. There is also a famous pottery town just 45 minutes from here too. Namibia claims awesome sand dunes, sky diving, beaches and other touristy attractions, while Mozambique is said to be a fun different cultural experience and Victoria Falls between Zambia and Zimbabwe is one of the seven wonders of the world. Kasane, right here in the north of Botswana, is said to be the best safaris in the world. So, we will be very busy planning as much fun and excitement over the next 23 months as we possibly can!
Ok, back to our home. Here are some local scenes from near our home and some local neighbors who love to come over daily for
Carol’s English lessons or her “village famous” baking!
Cows and Goats and Chickens are everywhere. They don’t seem to care one bit about people or cars.
Some of Carols’ students for English and Bake
Goats resting on one of many giant termite hills
under some shade.
(Carol in the Kgotla picture) Each village has a
Kgotla (Coat la). It is a meeting place where a ward
Kgosi (chief) or headman holds public meetings in
the ward to discuss issues and resolve local
disputes, a sort of mini local non official government.
This is a typical Kgotla in rural villages. It always has a fence to mark the boundaries and a tree for some tiny relief from the relentless sun.
Finally, we made arrangements to take over the care of Binks, a nice black one year old cat that a PCV who is leaving in 5 months needs a home for. Carol is hoping this will reduce my desires for a baby goat.
Not sure yet….
I do want to thank the people who told Carol I should have a goat.