Firstly, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DAD!!! I’m really sorry I couldn't be at home to have a beer with you on this important day! Either way, hope the weather was good and you found time to enjoy it.
I’ve been REALLY busy lately and haven’t found time to blog about what I’m doing, so here’s a brief list of some interesting things I’ve noticed in Botswana:
Ø Stop signs don’t necessarily mean STOP... most people think they mean “if you have time to slow down, give it try... otherwise shut your eyes and hope for the best”
Ø People show a lot of physical affection! When you greet someone, you shake the person hand (which is a combination of three different types of handshake) and then hold the persons hand for upwards of 2 minutes while you talk, regardless the age or sex of the other person
Ø Have you ever looked at those huge termite mounds and thought “mmm that looks tasty”?... well apparently they are rich in nutrients and are a nice snack in the afternoon. I think I’ll pass.
Ø In Mochudi, you say hello to everyone you pass and ask them how they are:
1. “Dumela mma/rra” (Hello ma’am/sir)
2. “Dumela mma/rra. Le chi?” (Hello ma’am/sir. How is it?)
1. “Ke teng, mma/rra. Otsu helay jang?” (I’m fine ma’am/sir. And how are you today?)
2. “Ke teng, mma/rra.” (I’m fine ma’am/sir)
Ø When you’re washing your laundry by hand, changing your underwear/socks everyday doesn’t seem as crucial... gross right?
Ø Would you like a meal with you salt and MSG? These are two huge ingredients in almost all food here! Unfortunately the MSG has been giving me some serious migraines so I have to start watching what I eat.
Ø Here, the term ‘dusty’ takes on a whole new meaning. My house lies on a dirt road and while I am walking to/from home, I am often forced off the road, crouched down with my coat over my body to hide from the dust stirred up from cars or the wind.
Ø With all the chickens, roosters, turkeys, donkeys, goats, dogs and cats wondering around, there is most definitely no need to buy an alarm clock. These guys will never let you down.
Ø When eating meat, there is no need for using forks or knives. EVERYTHING around the bone is edible, so you might as well just grab it with your hands and suck every last inch off of the bone. Either that or you quickly eat the meat you can find and throw the fat in the garbage before anyone notices.
Ø Tea breaks at work are equally, if not more, important than the actual work or meeting itself
Ø Expect the unexpected! (As a true BigBrother fan would say) EVERY day brings a new surprise and with almost every decision or questions comes an uncertainty that the person you are with actually understands what you’ve said.
Ø The ability to roll down your window in your car is a MUST. Otherwise, the fumes that somehow leak into the cars will quickly put you to sleep!
Ø A bus is NEVER full enough and there is no use trying to protect your personal space.
Ø Women have the ability to carry ANYTHING on their heads. I’ve seen heavy bags of rice and maize, bunches of bananas and even suitcases. The most impressive so far, though, was a large bundle of fire wood.