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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Gaborone, Botswana: R & R – that’s rest and reading day

I spent a good part of this morning cleaning house. It desperately needed a cleaning. After that was done, I went outside to wash the mop and spent another hour washing the outdoor furniture and the concrete. Most homes don’t have a lot of green space but I was told it’s because the weather can be quite hot in the summer (over 40C sometimes) and there is usually a scarcity of water in the dry season (which is now).
In the afternoon, I wanted to go to the bookstore but I found a book in the house on Nelson Mandela and got engrossed in it. I stayed outside and read for a god part of the afternoon (in the shade of course). The weather here takes some getting used to. The days can be quite warm – about 20-24C but the nights can be downright cold – about 6-8C. I thought about working on the website but the Mandela book was so interesting, that the website was put on the back burner for a bit. The book was interesting because I actually knew some of the places they were talking about, even the prison he spent time in. Also the stories that Mosie Moolla told us helped the book to make sense. He was such a good story teller that what he told us in about an hour and a half was told in the book in about 150 pages (with more detail of course). The book referred to Mandela spending some time in Bechuanaland (now Botswana) which at the time was a British Protectorate. That was new to me. It’s different from a colony but there are lots of similarities as well. Anyway, Mandela came though the border at Lobatse which is where we left from last week when we spent three hours at the border.
Later in the evening, I went over to Kathy’s for dinner and met her husband Geoff as well as another WUSC staff member Cindy who will be monitoring the Botswana students’ progress in Canada. We all chopped and diced and sliced our way to dinner. We had a nice visit – talking about the opportunities and challenges in development work. Geoff told me about the time he and Kathy’s former brother-in-law (who is Guyanese) gave her hot pepper to eat and didn’t tell her it was hot so of course she burned her mouth off.
We talked about their life in Zimbabwe and several of the other places they lived in – Newfoundland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Scotland, South Africa and now Botswana. It’s going to be hard to retire to Canada when they’ve had such interesting lives.
I got home about 10:30 and of course no work was done on the website. Maybe tomorrow. The Mandela book is beckoning especially since Mosie didn’t get to tell us the part beyond the late 1950’s.

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