Apparently our automatic post to Facebook wasn’t working so this never got posted. No worries- will update it with a picture of YOGA IN BOTSWANA IN WINTER. While many of our colleagues have been complaining of the cold for days now, today is the first we’ve felt truly cold… (and the slippers to the left went on partway through)
We haven’t blogged in a while but we are still here and doing well. Just haven’t had anything interesting to report.
Gary started English tutoring during school study time but only got a few sessions in when end of term exams started so he will go back at that come August.
We finished the first class of Grass Roots Soccer which is an HIV/AIDS prevention program for youth that uses soccer drills and terminology to talk about HIV/AIDS. We had about 30 kids sign up and 26 graduated (attended 7 or more of the 11 sessions). Tuesday is the party with certificates, cupcakes, and a some other goodies.
Teresa got a new Board of Directors with a new Chair who will be more involved than the last one so hopefully we can move forward on some of the systemic improvements we’ve been working on. The stove she is buying with a grant is delayed yet again (are we surprised?) so she can’t finish that grant just yet which is frustrating. So close….
We are experiencing a major ant infestation, primarily in our kitchen . We believe they are coming from under the sink as the counter is, shall we say, not much of a barrier. The landlord is supposed to replace the counter but she has been promising that since the last volunteer so we have to content ourselves with committing major genocide several times a day.
The termites are also eating our door frame (isn’t it nice of them to replace the wood with their “dirt” which traditionally is mixed with water and laid down for the “hut” floor because it is so durable like concrete and then they mix cow dung and water and put it on for the glaze for the floor. We don’t know if anybody still does either one or both with the advent of concrete but we wouldn’t be surprised because we are sure there are lots of dirt floors in the more rural villages). Also supposed to get fixed but the landlord claims the Ministry of Health has not paid our rent so she won’t buy the materials until she gets her rent. Speaking of the Ministry of Health- apparently our security service bill has not been paid for almost 2 years. Peace Corps intervened as they were going to cut us off. These are our major frustrations but nothing we can’t handle.
Today we met a group of US and British ex-pats who run what’s called a HASH. They get together every Sunday near someone’s house and walk 4-6 k or run 6-10k then eat and drink. It was a great mix of folks of all ages so we felt very comfortable. There is a couple in Gabane who are very involved and we went with them. We walked as you can guess- maybe Teresa will run someday but not today.
Weather is actually quite lovely- a bit cold at night and in the morning and with no heat, it means bundling up but the day time is high 70s and just very pleasant for walking and sitting outside. Teresa did break down and buy a traditional blanket as is worn by married women. If she has to go to a funeral and wear a skirt, the blanket will come in handy. This is usually given to the bride by her mother-in-law but that isn’t going to happen so she bought her own 🙂 Looks great with the orange day glow sweat pants- don’t you think?
Thursday is the last day of the term then we are both off the month of July with a trip up north planned for a week. Should have good pictures to share after that. In the meantime, here is a picture of Gary’s latest project- anyone surprised? He is going to put in a patio. Landlord gave us the bricks.
Next week will be our 11 month anniversary in country. The new group is scheduled to arrive August 1 with the group before us starting to leave already with October 14 as their last possible day. That makes us the senior class. Our group has started taking over the various committees, newsletter, etc. It is amazing how much we have learned this past year about Botswana language and culture and about ourselves.
We have learned how much our family and friends mean to us. Not being home for major life events that friends and family are experiencing is difficult but we are fortunate we are able to communicate via email, text, google chat,Facebook, etc. Would be so much harder without those tools. We still welcome any and all visitors and really enjoy hearing from folks- makes us feel much more connected although if Trump wins, bet many of you will want to come join us!
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Hello ole friends…update from Scotts Valley Rotary: We had our trivia challenge event which was successful and the Kiwanas won the cup…if you recall the first challenge we had 64 people this year we had 84…my goal for Feb. 2017 is 100 players, so keep your fingers crossed…Georgie and I just returned from Cambodia…I wrote a grant a year and a half ago for the Feeding Dreams Vocational Training Center and we went for the dedication and to see the fruits of their labor-feedingdreamscambodia.com…we also took in Myanmar while we were in that part of the world and Mandalay and Bagan were stunning. I will start my presidency July 11… so the club will be in for an eventful year! A few changes, we will have one night meeting a month and that will be more of a fellowship meeting…if you like I would be happy to send pics so you can keep in touch….I would also like to see if during a meeting you can Skype or FaceTime in…what do you think? We do miss you both and perhaps you can visit when you return, lets do keep in touch.
Just want to say hi and let you know how much I enjoy the blog posts. You guys are surviving your great adventure! How cool is that.
Mark recently celebrated his one-year post transplant. He’s doing really well. Hopefully at some point in the future we can visit with you in Phoenix and hear more about your time in Botwana.
All the best!
Amy in Santa Cruz