Thursday, August 03, 2006

Gaborone, Botswana: Finally some business cards

I found a flyer today and by coincidence, there was an advertisement for business cards. The price was very good – 50 pula (about $10) for 100. I then had to use a magnifying glass to read the small print which said “only for repeat orders”. I called anyway and the agent said the first 100 was 181 pula and each additional 100 would be 50 pula. I gave her a sob story and said that I already had the card designed and they would have no additional work to do to set it up. My sob story paid off. She offered me each 100 cards for 50 pula.

Thandi and I went down to the printing store and paid for 200. That should be enough for a while. I paid for it myself because there is really no money to do much and it seemed like such a small amount that will pay in dividends. By the time I’m done my internship here, not only will that cost me a whole bunch of money, but the little things I keep buying each day adds up too. I’ve decided not to add too much because it’s worth it.

After the printer, we went into a mall that sells craft items. I was looking for anything interesting or unusual that the fashion design students could be making to sell in quantities. We found a store that is selling custom quilts and they are charging about 2500 pula for a size that fits on a single bed. That’s a lot for Botswana. I could see our students making perhaps place mats or wall hangings to sell. There were also some beautiful cloth handbags that were made with Indian inspired and sari prints. I’m sure the students could also make those for sale for a lesser price and equally good quality. We mentioned it to Likeleli and she said she would take a look at them too. It gave me an idea that we could use the placemats in the Sedibeng restaurant and put a “For Purchase” sign on them too.

Today was a bit warmer than yesterday but not by very much but it could be that I dressed super warm today so I may not be feeling the cold as much.
We baked scones today to send as samples to the people that usually order the morning rolls. These were cinnamon scones and I’m hoping that if the usual customers like them, we can offer them once or twice a week instead of the bread. Today I had stewed soup bones to eat. Sounds odd but I saw the students eating it at lunch and asked if I could have a taste. It’s basically soup bones that’s made into a stew and eaten with rice or pap or boiled sorghum. Most poor people buy and cook the bones because they cannot afford meat. The bones have a lot of marrow and flavouring but no meat. I tried it and they thought it was great that I would even want to. They were cheering.

They call me Mama Sandra and spent several minutes explaining that Ma means Madam (which is how they address anyone in authority) and Mama means Mother which is even more respectful and affectionate than Ma. I even have a Motswana name – Boitumelo – which means Happiness. I like my Motswana name (that’s what a person from Botswana is called). Many Botswana people are called Batswana and the language of Botswana is Setswana. There’ll be a test on this when I get back home so make sure you’re making notes.
I’m done for now and it’s time to go home.

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