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