Catch-up

Two years now in Botswana:

On the 8th of December 2011 Sue and I crossed the South Africa/Botswana border for our new live here in Letlhakane.

The two years have flown. During this time we have seen some amazing places and have had so incredible experiences. We still love Botswana and hope we never have to go back to SA.

Christmas Party:

100_3154Some of the staff at the mine where Sue works decided to hold there own Christmas party to which we were invited.

The location was in the middle of the bush, just outside of our village, on a small hill which had the most amazing views for miles around and almost a 360 degree view.

It was a completely different party to what we have ever experienced and we got to learn what a Motswana party is all about.

We got to the party at 100_316218h00 as invited and not much was happening. Music was blaring out of a few of the guy’s cars and the drinks where on ice.

Soon a generator arrived, which was closely followed by a DJ. The music of local stars of Botswana was played at a volume that made one unable to hear somebody else talk. After a few beers there were some guys that got into the rhythm and showed off their moves.

Dinner was a braai (barbeque) and the serving 100_3173dishes were empty beer cases. We tried the meat we recognised and it was great. Botswana meat is definitely the best.

We excused ourselves around about 11 just as the party was gaining momentum.

Pearl-spotted Owlet:

OwletWe came across this cute little guy in Orapa Game Reserve. It was being bombarded by a starling and shrike which obviously had nests in the area.

This is the smallest of southern African “owls” and often will catch prey far larger than itself.

It also has two patches on the back of its head that look like eyes, so even when it has its head turned, it still looks as if it is watching you.

Sue’s a Winner

During our November monthly trip to Francistown we visited a departmental store. A security guard checked our invoice and found we had bought products that if you had, you can enter a competition. The guard made us enter them all.

I was getting a bit frustrated when the guard made Sue enter the Liqui Fruit (fruit juice) competition, but I went into patient mode – something you learn quickly to do up here.

A week later Sue got a call from the shop informing her that she had won first prize.

During this month’s trip we went to get her prize. A massive hamper of Liquifruit and she had to have her photo taken as the prize winner.

win me

The wedding:

Our neighbour’s son got married this last weekend and we were invited.

Weddings here happen in two parts. On the Thursday the couple goes to the courts, where the paper work is done, but they are only officially married in their culture when they have had a celebratory party. Some couples can live for years with just the paper work; not being able to afford the party and labolla is still customary.

The party is normally held on the Saturday after the court appearance and it was this part that we were invited to. This took place in a massive marquee on an empty plot of land between our house and the neighbour’s.

We were invited by the neighbour’s daughter, Pam, who is good friends of ours. She gave us call when she felt it was suitable for us to come over. Lots of people had already arrived and speeches had already started.

100_3212Every time a guest arrived the women  hulinated (spelling?). We were greeted like this as well when we entered the property.

Outside the marquee there were a few different groups of people sitting in the shade of trees. Food was being cooked in large metal pots over a fire, under a corrugated iron roof.

We were taken into the Marquee; the only route in was past the speaker, almost having to ask him to move to let us through. All eyes in the crowded tent were on us and of more interest for the crowd was the fact we were the only whites. The speaker, stopped talking and obviously asked everybody to greet us, a loud hulinating broke out.

The tent was decorated beautifully and the bride and groom looked very nice. A lot of the female guests were dressed in their brightly coloured traditional dresses.

100_3183

We obviously didn’t understand the speeches as they were all in Setswana, but certain people stood at certain times. Suddenly I heard a word in English – “stand” – the speaker was looking in our direction. I 100_3188looked at our friend Pam and she said – “STAND”. The speaker spoke a bit and then we were allowed to sit. Apparently we were being introduced to everybody.

After the speeches it was time for the bridal party to do a bit of a dance (see video below) and then lunch was served.

The food was absolutely delicious and it was hard to believe  that this had all been prepared under the corrugated iron roof. One thing that did surprise us was the massive servings that everybody got. Probably more food than I could eat in a week.

It was great to see and learn more about the culture of the people of Botswana.

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About PeteMorrie

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4 Responses to Catch-up

  1. vera says:

    I love reading your posts. Especially because i am going to Botswana at the end of january and i cant wait for it! Any reccomandation on where we can stay in Nxai Pan (campsites only, its a low budget trip,;-))? Thanks
    PS:Im surprise that bride nd groom didnt wear wedding gowns from their tradition!

    • PeteMorrie says:

      Hi Vera – glad you enjoy my posts and that you venturing up here.
      We haven’t actually been to Nxai Pan yet, but strangely I was thinking just last week that we must. It is quite a trip for us from here.
      There is a public campsite in Nxai Pan, called South Camp (got flushing toilets and cold showers) – for bookings try +267 318 0774.
      At that time of the year the roads, especially around the pan, are treacherous. Pete

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