Saturday, April 14, 2012


It has been good having Tracy back in Hukuntsi. As she mentioned we have had all kinds of visitors as of late. Dr. Yimmam stopped by and we made it out last weekend for a long run. I have not run for about 7 weeks so it was rough but certainly needed. I have a sneaking suspicion once Tracy gets her legs back we will be up to a full marathon distance in no time.

On Easter weekend, we went to the salt pan for sunset and to a braii with some friends and their daughter. They cooked up steak and chicken and I got a lesson on how to chop up a whole chicken. It is quite a bit easier than I would have imagined. One of the unexpected bits of knowledge I will pick up over here is picking out beef cuts and possibly learning to slaughter my own food. Fun fun. This leads me to a self-observation about myself and my wife (can I term an observation about Tracy as self-observation? Just did.): We never take our camera anywhere! Even when I do bring my camera I feel weird snapping pictures, I need to remember I am indeed still a tourist in some fundamental way. We will work on that.

The next day I noticed some people taking the fence around our yard down. It never kept the goats and cattle out anyway, so I found myself very relaxed about the whole thing. After an hour or so of them working we had a knock at the door and it was our landlady and her husband. They live in the capital city and were in Hukuntsi to celebrate their 2 year anniversary. They informed us that they were actually repairing the fence and not removing it. I am a bit conflicted about the fence repairs. We love looking out and seeing our yard full of livestock that eat up all the grass and weeds. (With long grass come scorpions and snakes) So now I will be raking the yard, but also have the option to grow a garden! I really miss the garden we had when we lived on Rufer Lane, so this may be a way to bring back something we miss from home.

That evening we made some cupcakes from a mix Tracy’s folks sent and put chocolate icing on top and trekked over to our neighbor’s house. (This seems a good a time as any: Tracy still has a big ol’ moonboot and is using two crutches. They are not the under the arm kind but the kind I tend to associate with polio. Anyhow she is able to move around on the sand quite well, but a bit slowly. We are hoping only 3 more weeks or so and then she can chuck those aside.) The neighbors had chairs arranged around a TV with a good sound system set up and a small, circular cake on a low table up front. After the obligatory prayer that accompanies all meetings, gatherings, and discussions they thanked everyone for coming in the local language and then in English for Tracy and I. Then they started the show. After the movie began they served traditional food and everyone was whooping and hollering when they saw someone they knew on the screen. Most of the people there were the ones who cooked for the event so they missed a lot of the stuff when it had happened two years ago. It was really sweet and they had a great time. After the 2nd DVD ended and everyone had eaten they wanted to cut the cake and have some desert. One thing I had noticed on the DVD was that they had identical cakes at the original ceremony. I nonchalantly mentioned this to Tracy and the edges of her mouth curled into that magnificent grin. She advised that they did not make a cake for this, but that cake was in fact from 2 years ago. About this time they began to cut and the knife was not making a dent past the icing. I looked back to Tracy and started to say “They forgot to defrost it.”, but thought that through. While refrigeration is found in many homes here in Botswana I soon decided that this cake was not frozen. It was stale. Two years stale in fact. The groom had finally made the first long incision along the diameter splitting the thing in two. I could see little beads of sweat on his forehead by this time. He was starting to look a bit tired and desperate. One of the ladies from inside was yelling and laughing, and then she came out to hand him something better to dissect the dessert. I recognized the implement from the fence work earlier in the day. They were in fact using a hacksaw to portion out the cake to the eager crowd. I tasted it and have lived to tell the tale, but I would not recommend it! We ended up having a great evening with lots of laughs and little kids running around. Once again we forgot our camera though.

The weekend ended with some coworkers, Dick and Mr. Rapholo, coming over to type up a CV. They also taught us a new Setswana word: babalase. It translates to hangover. They left to go sleep it off and Mr. Rapholo brought his wife and two daughters back over that evening. We finished up his typing and traded card games. They taught us a game very close to UNO using a standard deck and we taught them how to play GOLF. They loved it! Before we leave this country we may be able to get a real fad going!! I am still hopeful to get a card game night started at the school too. If anyone knows any simple games to play I would appreciate the instructions.

It was a great weekend and we got to talk with some folks back home too! We hope you all enjoyed your holiday. Go Siame!


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