Reflection on 2 months at site

partial rainbow

  1. Feels like we have been here at least a year- this is not a positive or a negative- just an observation
  2. 100 degrees without AC is not fun.
  3. Thankful we have a fan and a freezer (and a fridge)- see number 2
  4. Water- thankful we have 11 days storage and thankful when it comes on in less than that.
  5. Hurry up and wait so quit hurrying up. Teresa is trying- goes against her nature so learning patience is a process. Requested replacement gas 7 weeks ago from office responsible for our housing. . Quotations were rejected by approving agency above that office so back to square one.  Hope gas and electricity don’t give out at the same time. Just in case, we are collecting firewood. Be prepared! (update- gas arrived today due to someone’s generosity in donating the cylinder)
  6. Batswana are beautiful people- literally and figuratively. (except the person who stole the shovel from our backyard).  Literal: About 85% of the people we meet could be models- no exaggeration (we aren’t supposed to post pictures of kids but sure wish we could.) Figurative Example: Long story but we were at Pelegano Craft Village with an appointment for one of the shops to open up for us. While waiting we went into a nearby pottery store. We debated about buying a teapot and mugs (so we can serve tea to visitors- a tradition here) but didn’t want to deal with carrying it home (it’s about an hour walk from our house and Teresa is a klutz). The potter gave us a ride home and we feel like we made a new friend.
  7. Amazing music! Have danced more than in the past 30 years. Went to listen to Ndingo Johwa (look him up) last night at a local establishment. Quite the experience- a lot of drinking and very noisy so it was hard to hear the music but I did dance with my new friend Lorraine.
  8. Laughter- not taking it personally but as a sign of friendship. Laughing with us not at us. Delusional, maybe. Naive, maybe but makes us happy, so there.
  9. Spiders- two steps forward and an occasional half step back but coping. Two favorites are now Amaryllus and Euphorbia. Did finally see Amaryllus, Begonia and Chrysthanemum at the same time so have canceled split personality meds for Amaryllus.  But Euphorbia decided to rent out condo space to two friends by the toilet/tub. Not sure her lease allows for subletting but tolerance is another virtue worth cultivating. More bugs in general than one could ever imagine which is why the spiders are so necessary. Seems like bugs like to come into the house and die.  Lizards too- people here hate them and kill them but we welcome them. Saved a teeny tiny one in the bathtub the other day- no idea how it got there. Had another attack of termite wings all over the kitchen floor after a rain-would be pretty if termites weren’t so disgusting. They look like gossamer wings.
  10. Food- can’t say we like paletshe but spices are more available and in use than we thought. Love Peri-Peri sauce. Great chutneys.  Getting used to meat has been challenging but coping.  Have made and shared cookies- going to start a cooking class! This was dinner at the place we went to hear the music- this is braii and paletshe- you get the meat raw and then cook it yourself on a big grill. This is beef and boroso  (beef sausage)- both are nicely spiced but we still would have killed for some mustard and sauerkraut and maybe a bun. Paletshe speaks for itself- we shared one serving. BTW- meat was P20 each which is about $2. (Warning to Alisha- you might want to skip these pictures- at least I spared you the raw version) Yes, Teresa ate the meat! And yes, paletshe is eaten with one’s fingers, as is the meat.

11. Setswana- and Teresa thought Chinese was hard!

12. The work- not sure how meaningful yet but there is time and results may not be apparent until long after we are gone. We’re ok with that. Getting back to basics is refreshing when it isn’t frustrating but there is always a way.

13. Animals- not why we came. We didn’t even ask for Botswana. But, we’ll take them as a reward and bonus. Looking forward to seeing them. (see #20)

14. Handwashing clothes- do miss the washing machine but line drying is pretty nice and we hope we can keep it up when we return.  We adhere to the philosophy, if it smells ok and no visible stains then it is CLEAN. Would prefer to do laundry at an hour other than 3 am but beggars can’t be choosers.

15. Family and friends- do miss people but more because we want to share our experiences so come visit.

16. Getting good exercise walking into town. Will be better when it isn’t so hot. If the scale at the PC office is to be believed, Gary has lost about 25 pounds and Teresa about 10.

17. Love the chickens, goats, donkeys and cows walking around. Never have been big on caging animals. Learned the difference between Setswana and English chickens. The former have better meat and the latter have better eggs. According to my great neighbor and friend, Tumelo- eggs from Setswana chickens smell funny. Eggs from the store are so fresh they don’t need refrigerating.

18. Amazing storms and sunsets. (see above and below- single partial rainbow is at top- out our front door. Love the way it appears to shoot straight up from the hill. Below- technically- double rainbow- squint- you’ll see it). Maybe next storm we will remember to put out a bucket to catch rain water- yeah- we’re a little slow

19. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Went to our neighbor’s for a birthday party for a 4 year old. Ate a huge amount, danced, sang. No presents, no visits from Spider man, no jumping castle. We all had fun anyway.

20. Biggest problem- Definitely a First World Problem (that is biggest besides when our water will come next- truly a 3rd world problem)- figuring out which trips to take- balancing expiring miles, time share points that have to be used and free IHG hotel nights- Jane and Kevin- we need you! (Not very Peace Corpsy but hey- we aren’t spring chickens anymore)

partial double rainbow


One thought on “Reflection on 2 months at site

  1. Your Dad said you were ” brought up in New Rochelle, and where you are now is not quite the same”.
    We’re getting older but not too much wiser. Glad you are enjoying so much of the scenery and animals. Thank you for the Birthday wishes. Time goes much faster that now than when we were younger. Wish we could Skype you but that seems not to work. Love to you both and be safe and well. Also, great Christmas and New Year. Love, Selma & Dad


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