Happy Holidays from John and Tracy! It is odd to think that Christmas is less than a week away. It is extremely hot and sunny. There is no snow and relatively little decorations. A few of the shops have decorations up and occasionally I hear Christmas music but it is nothing like the onslaught of “cheer” in the stores, on houses and at work in the US. Here most people travel to their home village for several weeks to be reunited with family, kids, spouses, and significant others. Since Hukuntsi is a govt town, it is clearing out fast while a few people are coming are returning here that live elsewhere. Work will be very quiet for the next several weeks, so I plan n spending this time working with some people in the office who are native to Hukuntsi on computer training. We are planning to go to Kang for a day or two to celebrate with a few other volunteers.
We are in our new house and have a refrigerator…yeah! It is nice not to have to go to the market every day especially when everything closes early. The house is a 1 bedroom with large rooms and a yard. Kabo (John) and I are hoping to plant a garden soon when it rains again. We also have room to kick the soccer ball around and practice a bit.
So I am finally getting around to posting some long overdue pictures. We have attended many events including an open day for government services, a departure party for the deputy Kgosi, and a community forum for the hospital to address any issues/questions/comments from the communities (all of Kgalagadi North). The biggest issue with these kinds of forums for the district is that once you go past Hukuntsi there are no tarred roads. One community has a gravel/sand road going to it that is only 30 km from here but all the rest have sand only and a 4 wheel drive vehicle is required. There is no public transport to these places. The farthest community is almost 200 km from here.
Most events here include a traditional dance group and a choir that sings and dances. Food is also supplied to all attendees (and expected) making events expensive. There is normally a central table with the VIPs and everyone who speaks is expected to follow the protocol of greeting all VIPS and honored guests. Kabo and I have had to stand up during introductions all in Setswana, so it is important to listen closely even if we do not know the language extremely well yet.
The posted pictures depict the amazingness of sunsets, bugs, and events here. There is also a picture of our temporary living space and 2 pictures from our swearing in ceremony. Once I get a picture of the house I will post it as well.