RIP: John’s favourite chicken was dinner for the boys next door last night. John started yelling at the boys for chasing the chicken and grabbing him by its feet and carrying it upside down. They told him they were going to kill it for dinner that night. John looked stricken. I told him we could trade that chicken for the frozen bag of chicken in the freezer and the kids would be happy and he could keep his favourite rooster – but John let it go. (Maybe less morning crowing).
The next morning there were a bunch of chicken feathers on the porch with a note saying. “We know you liked that chicken and we are giving you these feathers to remember him. Sorry we had to eat him.”
The irony: John has made friends with them during evening sunset feedings. Before we started feeding them – they were all to skinny to eat. He can’t give us the feedings!
Gasoline: Everyone in this country drives with no more than 1/8th of a tank of gas. We have heard from three different drivers that they do that in case someone steals the car the thief will not be able to get that far.
Beatings: One of the teachers at school regularly brings 20 kids at a time into the teacher’s lounge. They get whipped with the stick because they have not done their homework or have failed in their homework assignment. One of girls told me she got beat even though she got a 73% (40% is failing). I asked the teacher if that was true and she said she also beats the students who she knows could have done better.
Another teacher told me she punches the kids right in the face if they don’t do their homework – so the ones getting beat with the stick are spoiled.
Geometry and Science: I am now helping the students who get the beatings do their homework. I am so relieved I can still do 9th grade geometry and Science – it fact – it is sort of easy for me. (It seemed hard when I was in the 9th grade).
More Tutoring: I have been tutoring kids on the sidewalk outside the science lab during lunch and study halls because there are no class rooms available. Today I asked the librarian if I could bring the students in to study and she said no. She said the library is for teachers (who are mostly reading newspapers).
School Aid: I wrote a grant request to get funds for a school newspaper the kids were very interested about creating. The grant request was sent to the Ministry of Education under the Life Skills develop grants. I was told students are really a part of the community and the grants are really for teachers. They suggested I apply to the Ministry of Local Government since the students are more a part of the community than a part of the Ministry of Education.
Church: I found out how to get children to beg to go to church. If you leave them every night and every weekend to go to church– they will start begging to go to church too. Thankfully, their mom took them to a weekend retreat with her this weekend. The boys were all smiles when they got home.
Priceless: While walking across campus today I got three hugs and four “I love you’s” from good students who adore me. They were also EXTREMELY excited to learn about the use of flashcards in studying.
Different Meanings of English words in Botswana:
Auntie – any women older than your child that you are friends with (I am several children’s auntie here)
Chips – Fries
Finished – you have used something up. Example: The vinegar is finished
Geezer – hot water heater
General Dealer – small grocery store
eyeish – (accent on the Eye part) a sound made instead of cussing (They almost never cuss or use vulgarity here)
JoJo – large container that collects rain water and is used when clean drinking water is not available.
Late – died. Example – My dad is late.
Learner – student
Now – any time in the near future within the next week
Now now – now
Pit Latrine – outhouse
Pressed – having to pee real bad
Rubber – eraser. I was quite amused the first time a learner asked me for a rubber in school.
Shabeen – a nasty concrete block bar that hundreds of men and maybe two women go to drink nasty cheap beer all day long starting at 7:30 AM
Sorry – something you say if someone falls or trips or hurts themselves – perhaps show sympathy. (You would never use this word, or any word to apologize for anything)
That side – it is the only direction provided to everywhere you ask directions
What what – yada yada (shout out to Sienfield)