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Published: June 11th 2012
Today was our last seminar, on women's health rights. We then made a last trip to a craft store (and I again had seswaa and sorghum, but tried the spicy morogo with peanuts instead). We tried to visit Gaborone Dam, but it appears that now there is an admission fee that can't be paid on site, so we bagged it. Tonight is our farewell dinner, in theory to be attended by some of our speakers and program managers. And maybe the chief, so on again with the skirt. One participant has already left; one leaves before the crack of dawn tomorrow, and a few are staying for awhile. If I weren't headed straight home, I'd fly to Maun and drive out from there with the anthropologist, who is going to try to locate people (or their children) in the community where she did field work in the 1980's.
Q: How far was it to the South African game park?
A: That's a little hard to answer because the driver got lost. It was around 20 km, but we had to cross the border, which took awhile, and we were on a dirt/gravel road for some time.
Widgets for time, currency conversion (both ways), and weather
does the money look like?
A: See my photo for representative bills and coins. The main unit of currency is the pula (which means rain) and its subdivisions, thebe. Some of the coins are polygons.
Q: What have you been eating?
A: A lot more beef than usual, vegetables, and starches such as samp (hominy), mealie meal (maize), and sorghum. The sorghum is especially fine, which probably means it's got lots of simple carbohydrates. Still, I may have to pick up a bag from Bob's Red Mill or a similar producer.
Q:How's the weather?
A: Dry and getting colder--down to freezing at night, though pleasantly in the 70's during the day. The water, I think, is drying my skin significantly, so I'm looking forward to a bath with some oil in it.
Q: Are you having any gastric upset?
A: No. I almost never do. The tap water here is potable, which helps (though I'm not drinking it, I worry less about ice cubes or brushing my teeth). I am, however, having some allergy trouble. The university library was sprayed with insecticide Saturday, which made for an unpleasant Sunday morning in the seminar
But is it art?
Untitled, anonymous, Botswana-Baylor
room. The air is increasingly filled with smoke, which is pleasant but not when it's pervasive. Today we saw kids not far from here dragging or carrying bundles of firewood from the nearby bush to their houses. Q: How many of those birds and animals have you seen before?
A: Virtually none. I've seen Asian elephants working at Angkor, and ostriches and such in zoos, but most of the ungulates and almost all of the birds are new species or variants. The bird books I have with me don't give Latin names, which is how I'd know for sure (since the taxonomic name will be the same even if the local, common name isn't). However, most are entirely new to me. Add "Black sparrowhawk" and magpie shrike to the list--I forgot to note them yesterday--as well as today's bird, the Booted eagle.
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