Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ke rata Botswana ka kagiso le thokgamo.

-I like Botswana for the peace and harmony. I use this when I'm either trying to suck up to someone and/or make them laughter.
I spend 80% of my day people watching, 10% reading, and 10% doing various other normal activities (baking, entertaining children on my patio, perfecting 'Oh! Susanna' on my harmonica, crying over my Setswana dictionary). I've concluded that I need no practice, I have watched enough mothers strap their children to their back with towels and blankets that I can do it. Store-bought, expensive, safety guaranteed, horn, air brakes, shocks, and 5 storage compartment stroller you say? No, thanks, I have a towel. I really wish I could post pictures to show the women rocking it, but it is probably exactly what you're picturing anyways. I've also decided this method of carrying children is awesome and if the, what I assume will be, unpleasant experience of motherhood is ever bestowed upon me, I will be toting my spawn via back towel. Just think of the back sweat that accompanies such a method! Yup.
The Batswana in general have some issues to work on in the hospitality department. I feel like I can say this without being offensive because I think it is common enough knowledge. When I am walking by a person, more often than not, they look kind of mean. Like someone you maybe do not want to talk to, but that is exactly what you should not do. When you do say 'dumela' to that person, often times something amazing happens! Their expression goes from utterly terrifying, to the kind face and warm smile of an old friend. It's frustrating a lot of times because it takes effort to say hello to someone who looks like they want to beat the crap out of me, but I do it, and I'm usually justly rewarded with friendliness. University of Botswana is graduating their first class of hospitality students, I think this year, which is awesome. Most store employees are also equally as friendly as the people on the street when you enter their store, it seems like an inconvenience that a shopper has entered, they have never been taught otherwise and are usually very friendly people once you speak to them. Botswana is trying to up their tourism game for 'when the diamonds run out', which is another huge question in the future of Botswana, and also one most people here never talk about. Fingers crossed that Botswana has magic lands that somehow continuously produces diamonds for thousands of years to come.
Batswana are proud that their country is known as peaceful and non-corrupt, and they will brag about it to foreigners. I think its great and I love them for that.
It has been about 1.5 months living without electricity and let me tell you, it's really really....not as bad as you think. It doesn't impair my life in any horrible way and if anything I'm gaining valuable life skills, right? The most frustrating thing is that I have to charge my computer and phone at the clinic during the day. All the PCVs here are given Nokia brick phones (T9 word anyone?) which are pretty great, the battery lasts forever! Ok, like a week, which is about a week longer than my stupid galaxy lasted in the states. It's quite a handy device for someone without power. I think it's probably good I don't have access to my computer all the time, or else I know I'd be watching shows and not socializing as much as I should. The second most frustrating thing is the fridge situation, man, I'd really like a fridge, if only for cold water. They keep telling me I will get it, still doubtful.
Gompieno ke letsatsi la matsalo wa me. Today is my birthday! I celebrated by walking all over the village telling everyone! Haha, not really....Kind of. Some awesome things happened today:
1. It was partially cloudy and the morning was cool enough to sleep with a blanket on! Score!
2. I got a free slice of pizza! So what if the sauce was 'tangy mayonnaise' and not red sauce? I'm not picky.
3. I watched THREE episodes of Friends. I saved my computer battery in preparation.
4. I found someone who will teach me basket weaving. She speaks no English so it'll be great.
5. Reptar ate the cockroach in my kitchen!! At least I think he did...
6. Prince, my 4 year old neighbor boy who may very well be the cutest thing ever, was wearing destroyed hot pink corduroy skinny jeans.