Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Not Your Typical Day

Everyone keeps asking what is my day like here in Botswana.  I didn't want to use my blog for these matters, but since you are all asking, here it goes.  At 5:45am I awake to a harmony of roosters telling me to get up and take the dreaded bucket bath.  Ok, early to bed, early to rise---I get it already!  They don't have to be so loud and demanding do they?  On this particular day though, I also awake to a donkey peering in my window.  It kind of brought fond memories of my cats peering at me the same time of day to eat, so in all goodness, I'll invite the donkey in the house and let it choose what to eat for breakfast.  Hmmm, maybe some left over cabbage so I don't have to take it for lunch!  I'll even name the donkey Nikko because he talks and acts like my smart big mouth cat Nikko!  He even has a nose like Nikko!  I hear mom say "Tshepo, what are doing?"  "Oh, I"m just feeding a donkey mom, it's all good!"  "Do all Americans do this Tshepo," "Sure mom, we all have donkey's peering through our windows in the morning in America."  This is, after all Africa, and anything goes, RIGHT?   Grandma is watching like I am a freak of nature!  After wondering if I'm in a bad dream, I meditate and pray that I don't get suckered in by the 5 new puppies on my way to Karla's house for 4 hours of language.  NO, I cannot take a puppy home, besides, I am a cat person aren't I?  On the 10 minute stroll down a dirt road, I am greeted by all that pass me, and the women in particular all stop, greet me in Setswana, and want to hear my progress with my language.  They are thrilled that I know how to say how did you sleep, and thank you!  Gee, I'm doing great according to their smiles, they don't realize that I'll probably flunk my language test this week because I only know how to speak to people on dirt roads.  It's easy to romanticize being on a dirt road with beautiful purple trees surrounding you and looking out over the hills of our village.  It's like the olden times, just like the Walton's walking to school!  Dumela rra John Boy!  So, after language we go off to the training center where I eat my left overs from the dinner last night that I made, while mom hovered over me to make sure I was cooking the African way.  We are all getting used to what each other is eating, but today Alex had pizza from Gaborone, and she was kind enough to let us all have a communal bite!  After my delicious whatever it was I ate,  I'll poop up a storm because something does not agree with me here, but the PC insists that I eat in a culturally acceptable way, so I'll lose yet another 2 pounds in a day.  After lunch and socializing, we sit for another 3 or so hours of "let's break into groups and discuss--------!"  I come home by taxi to Kesego eagerly thinking that I am her playmate, so I dutifully play with her, do my tai chi, do any chores mom has for me, cut up whatever for dinner----my cutting is getting really good, even mom said so!  Then I eat, then I poop, poop, poop from all the cabbage grown and eaten here, or whatever it is.  I go outside for a quiet moment to watch the bright orange red sun set over the purple hillside, and for that one moment the world goes away for me to have a personal thought!  But reality is waiting inside the home of this wonderful family, so in I go.  I have tried to teach Kesego to massage my aching back from all the chores, but she has learned that it feels soooooo good, that she has cleverly turned the tables, curls up on me as the family watches the news, and being the sucker I am, I rub her back and she falls asleep on my lap!  The family then says a little prayer to watch over us at night, I go into my room, do homework, read, play games on my i phone, go to sleep around 11 and dream that my whole class is speaking in Setswana,  and I am speaking Thai!  I wonder what the PC will do in my language test if I answer in Thai----will I still get points for speaking in another language?  Before the night is over though, I sneak outside to look at the magnificant sky filled with a million stars which are as bright as the likes that you have ever seen.  The southern cross reminds me that I am not on Waltons mountain, but it doesn't matter because it's in the stars where I will take refuge in to guide me in this amazing adventure!  Goodnight/Boroko!

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