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Published: August 10th 2007
The waterhole is this way Dwight
Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Two of the many zebras we saw quite up close.
It has been a few weeks since our last entry and a lot has been happening here. We have had our adventures, both in the city and outside of it and enjoying it along the way.
First of all, we have finally moved into our house. It's a small turquoise house on a street that I cannot pronounce or spell but looks something like this: Motshawartasela. People don't know or use street names here and in fact, when asking a local Gabaronian which street to turn on, they can't tell you it's name. We don't use our street when giving out our address, just what they call the plot number. How morose. Every house in town and in fact in the country has its own unique plot number. Good thing there aren't that many people in this country as the numbers can get quite large otherwise. So, with that said, we moved into plot 5520, the partial (our neighbourhood), Gaborone and have begun to get settled.
I have posted a few pictures of the outside of the house that I took the other day, and will add some of the inside, once we have some furniture
Red Basker Dragonfly
Amazing dragonfly that seems to love when you play in the pool. It flies around you everytime you swim and then lands and watches you. Not actually 6 feet tall as the picture implies. Have discovered the zoom button.
in there as there is nothing glamorous about looking at pictures of empty rooms. As you can see, and much to Anj's delight, we have our own pool and lolwapa (grass hut) to relax by, as well as quite a large garden. I spent a day trying to figure out how to clean the pool, which included fishing one quarter of a frog out of the filter system. My folks will see the irony in me dealing with frogs in pools in Africa as I had an episode with one once in SA when I was very young.
The move was last Friday, so we have been in for a week. Last night we fell asleep to the screamings of a local reverend and his assistant and his band at a nearby church service. Jesus is here! He screamed over and over and over again so loudly that we were sure the church was in our yard. Not quite sure if this is a regular Thursday thing or an Easter thing, but lets hope the latter. Otherwise, our neighbourhood is quite nice, lots of trees and pretty quiet.
Anj has also been settling in quite well at her
Our new home
Outside shot of the pool and our turquoise house, to match the pool.
job and finding out that things move at a different pace here in Botswana than they did back in Canada. First of all, are the work hours - quite long at first glance as they stretch from 8-5, and if you add the commute, can be a full day. But please also take into consideration the "break" that everyone takes at 10 each day for anywhere between 15-45 minutes (repeated again in the afternoon) as well as the 1 hour lunch that is generally longer than one hour taken at 1pm. The hard worker Anj is, she prefers not to take the two breaks, which her coworkers usually use to watch Hong Kong action flicks (which to a deaf person I am sure are as interesting as to the rest of us) and cannot understand why she does not. All in all, the place is very beautiful (Anj will write a separate blog about this later with photos) and very quiet with all her deaf co-workers. But though it is quiet, their hands are always moving, gossiping throughout the day. Luckily, Anj has picked up some sign language, which I then learn from her at night. We even have been
Our front yard
Well at least i wont have to cut the grass. Most yards are like this, red sand and local desert plants. We have about a dozen nice large trees around our property though.
given our own sign language names. Änj is "stands with a fist" and I am "Dances with Donkeys - not really, but our real ones are a lot less interesting and these are funnier to envision.
Two weekends ago, before Easter and Passover, we drove out for a night's worth of camping at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, a drive which Anj expected to be 'about 2-2.5 hours long" but was actually 4 plus hours of driving on a one lane, highway of death - no shoulders, massive trucks coming at you at 120kmph and the ever present occasional cow or donkey straying into your path. As I am writing this, I have lived to tell the tale, but many have not and I will prefer to walk next time; i left nail marks in the steering wheel.
We spent 2 days and one night camping at Khama, which was beautiful. Our campsite was large enough for 5 tents at least and I tried my hand at the traditional braii methods, burning enough wood for a while to make hot embers, which we grilled porterhouse steaks over - perfect. We slept on the ground in our tent and were
Much like the Mexican palapa, but bigger, taller and in our yard. Keeps us cool and dry.
not bothered by any wild animals that night, though I had no urges for midnight bathroom breaks to test the surroundings.
We went on a game drive the next morning, but didn't see any rhinos, apart from one in captivity that had social problems - the kind that include goring, so we were glad to see him locked away. Highlights included seeing giant herds of wild zebra metres away, seeing the elusive Kori Bustard, the world's heaviest flying bird and several herds of wildebeest and other antelope like animals that all look alike to me. Anj seems to know them apart and I tend to get scornful looks when I say things like, "that's a kudu, right?" or, ''I know, it's gotta be a springbok'' when in fact i am pointing at a tree.
Eventually I will get better. We are getting quite good at spotting birds, identifying them and then noting them down in our book. Much better than our last trip to Africa as we now have binoculars. Birds are good to follow out in the bush as sometimes you won't get to see mammals, snakes and the big ticket items, but you can always see
Mom and newborn giraffes
A brand new baby giraffe we saw at Mokolodi nature reserve. Baby still had umbilical cord and could hardly walk.
birds. Plus, they're delicious.
Back in Gaborone, which by the way, is spelled wrongly by the city's own fire department on their trucks, I have a meeting to finalize the details of some work I may be doing in development and tourism - which will be a large improvement from my current job of utility department line filler. I have spent the worse part of 6 days waiting in lines to get power, water, security system and a bank account. Most of the time, I wait, get to the front of the line, after being budded about 5-6 times on average, meet the attendant, who sets up my account, tells me to pay a deposit after waiting in another line, and then come back and wait in his line again, to show him I have paid.
Some times, I even had the pleasure of having to repeat this process twice at the same department. The people at Botswana Power Corporation know me well and call me, as many do here, Mr. Bryan. Well, Mr. Bryan has taken a break from line waiting now, but will resume his duties shortly in order to get a phone line put in
The lone rhino
Khama Rhino Sanctuary - the only black rhino we saw - this one was in captivity though - comforting since we were camping out in the middle of the bush.
- should be a delight! I need to remind myself that I am in Africa, and though things here work quite well, on the surface, they still run at their own pace; breaks must be taken at 10, even if people are waiting, and if you don't like your position in line, well, just take another.
OK, this is a long blog - but there is was lot to catch up on. We did other things, like visit a local nature reserve, ate good Indian food, and watched Anj do yard work. Life here is good, 5+ weeks in. I am looking forward to working and Anj and I are planning some trips to celebrate her 30th b-day, our 3rd anniversary, and if there's time, we may squeeze in a small recognition of the day I was born, if there's time.
Love to all and come visit. We already have friends planning to come and all are welcome. We have two empty bedrooms with your names on it - just bring bedding, a mattress, box spring and bedside tables. Please.
Bry and Anj
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