31 Oct 2016
Had a discussion with Henk about problems in Botswana yesterday.
30 Oct 2016
Took the day off yesterday.
29 Oct 2016
I have thought a lot yesterday on how to solve several problems in Botswana. A start has been made on the journal of the journey, the first day (30 August) has been placed on the website.
28 Oct 2016
Nothing special happened yesterday, neither did I do anything interesting.
27 Oct 2016
Got an order for a pair of knitted socks yesterday and have started knitting them.
26 Oct 2016
Sent some text messages and emails to Botswana yesterday, and received some. One was from someone who has got problems, tomorrow I shall look into them.
25 Oct 2016
In our daily newspaper there was an article about the UNFPA report on Sustainable Development goals 2030. I have translated this into English and sent it to the Education department of the Kweneng district council, Botswana.
Trouw, 20 October 2016. Ten year old girls as benchmark. Maaike Bezemer, editorial office Education and upbringing.
The UNFPA has published a report about the present situation of 10 year old girls all over the world, and how this can be improved so that in 2030, when the girls are women of 25 years old, their lives and living circumstances match the targets which are set for the sustainable development goals of that year. The reactions of four girls were published and the daily Dutch newspaper, Trouw. Brasil: “When I am 25 years old, I work as a nurse in a hospital.” Kenia: “As a doctor I can improve people’s health before they die.” Pakistan: “I do not want to talk about marriage. Yuck! In marriage I have to listen.” The Netherlands: “I sometimes have to fold the washed clothes, but I do not have to cook.”
Ten year old girls as bench mark. If ten year old girls are doing well, the whole world is doing well. In a report that worldwide is going to be distributed today (20 October 2016) UNFPA has made a list of how the present situation of ten year old girls can be improved. This can be done with providing education, stimulating equal rights for men and women, registering the age of 18 years as a minimum age for marriage. UNFPA suggests that all ten year old girls worldwide should have a medical checkup, and sex education at the beginning of puberty. If these cases are not arranged at that age, the chance that ten year old girls grow into independent and self-conscious women has gone. There are 60 million ten year old girls (and 65 million ten year old boys) worldwide. Nearly 90% of them live in a development country. More than half of them live in countries where women’s rights are subordinate. Half of the 10 year old girls live in Asia.
The UN organization is of the opinion that ten year old girls are a symbol for the future. They will be 25 years old in 2030, the year that the Sustainable Millennium Goals should be completed. The ideal is that the world in 2030 is free of hunger and poverty, that all children go to school, and there is health care for everybody. That is why ten year old girls are a good bench mark. From their development during the next 15 years we can see if the Millennium Goals have been reached. Or not.
The age of ten years also is a symbolic age. It is in between childhood and being a young woman. After the age of ten years important choices are going to be made. In The Netherlands there are endless possibilities for education and development. When a girl in the poorer parts of the world reaches puberty, all sorts of relatives and authorities appear and block her way to her future, according to UNFPA. Other people suddenly decide for her that she has to start working, that she should concentrate herself on housekeeping, or bearing children. Every year 17 million girls under the age of 18 are forced to get married. Girls in Bangladesh, Guatemala or Cameroun are already needed in the family at the age of ten. After school they look after their brothers or sisters and every day they help at least two hours with the household chores.
UNFPA not only reports on doom and gloom. During the past 20 years the number of girls that are attending primary school has grown. In two third of all the countries girls attend primary school just as often as boys. In countries where there are wars going on, like in South Soudan or Congo, only a third of the girls attend school. Secondary schooling still leaves much to be desired. In low income countries 100 boys and 80 girls attend secondary school. Only Latin America counts more girls than boys. Especially secondary schooling is important to be able to follow the economically flow. It leads to higher productivity and higher incomes- every extra year at school means 10% extra salary. If girls stay longer in education, child marriages go down. Girls in Bangladesh who received extra schooling, saw the chance to marry as a child reduced by a third. More education and sex education also means less infant mortality. Families become smaller and healthier. For example: each year extra education for girls in Botswana gives 8 % less chance of a hiv- infection.
24 Oct 2016
The Botswana newspaper Sunday Standard published yesterday an article about a Member of Parliament who had been working since last February on a law to support and protect disabled people. He had asked parliament to help him with this, which was refused because “it was not every Jack and Jill who were able to make laws”. The Member of Parliament was considering to ask help from outside Botswana. I have sent a reaction to the paper. That in the meantime the disabled people were left to their own devices. That there are different countries which have good laws to support and protect disabled people. And that Botswana only has to ask these countries for help to get it.
23 Oct 2016
Discussed yesterday with Henk how to improve my teaching at Nampol next year. We had good ideas, but Botswana is not the same as The Netherlands, things that go smoothly here, are difficult to realize there. We will have to keep on thinking for a while before plans can be made definitive, in order to be able to implement them successfully. For September 2016 I brought 30 different coloring in plates to be copied in Botswana for the graduates, for them to use when they had become a teacher, to copy for their pupils. It was thought 25 sets would be enough, but there were 45 graduates. The copies were to be kept together with a plastic band, but there were only 15 bands for sale. I have kept them for next year. It was very frustrating, as I had spent quite some time collecting them.
22 Oct 2016
Yesterday I have written what happened during the past few days and have placed it on the “Yesterday” page on the SEMK website. I hope to catch up with the backlog soon, so that a start can be made with the report of the journey. This will be placed on the data that the journey took place, between 31 August and 12 October 2016.
21 Oct 2016
Yesterday we received a request from a young man who I know to sponsor him for a course to become a nature guide. We had to refuse, although I think he deserves it to be sponsored. The UNFPA has published a report about the present situation of 10 year old girls all over the world, and how this can be improved so that in 2030, when the girls are women of 25 years old, their lives and living circumstances match the targets which are set for the sustainable development goals of that year. The reactions of four girls were published and the daily Dutch newspaper, Trouw. Brasil: “When I am 25 years old, I work as a nurse in a hospital.” Kenia: “As a doctor I can improve people’s health before they die.” Pakistan: “I do not want to talk about marriage. Yuck! In marriage I have to listen.” The Netherlands: “I sometimes have to fold the washed clothes, but I do not have to cook.”
20 Oct 2016
Have heard yesterday that my thyroid gland now works as it should do. That is one problem less. Have sent an email to the woman to ask what the problem was with her boyfriend. No answer. We received a request to buy one of the students at Nampol an electric kettle. Just before I left this request was also made. I had asked what they wanted it for. It was for heating water to have a bath. I said we did not have money for that, and, if you have a bath in the afternoon, the “cold” water would be warm enough. The matter seemed to have been settled with that comment. This time I have answered that I shall ask the director what to do about it. I have sent her an email, no answer. She called later, to say there was no network because it was raining.
19 Oct 2016
Again not done much yesterday. School holidays 2017 in Botswana are not known yet, but the schools probably will be open in August until 22 September. This is a good period for me to go to Botswana. There was an email from a woman I know in which she asked me to call her boyfriend, as he was having serious problems. Phone calls to Botswana are rather expensive, and the line is usually bad. So I sent him a text message, but there was no answer.
18 Oct 2016
Continued unpacking the suitcases yesterday. Sent text messages to people in Botswana and emails. Still feeling tired.
17 Oct 2016
Had a holiday yesterday.
16 Oct 2016
Still not done much yesterday.
15 Oct 2016
Only unpacked a few things yesterday, felt very hungry. Had a lot to tell Henk.
14 Oct 2016
Returned yesterday at 11.45 am. I spent a very successful, though very exhausting time in Botswana. The students have learned a lot and I made a few new contacts.
12 Oct 2016
The Nampol directors were going to pick me up at 4.15 am to take me to the busstation in Gaborone. At 4.35 I called them, they were nearly leaving. The car came at 4.45, first we had to go to their house to pick up a few people. We had to wait again. I suggested to leave them behind which was not possible because they would go on to South Africa after having dropped me. (Which meant that again they were not going to take the student to the social worker.) In case the bus had left already, they would take me to the airport in Johannesburg.
We arrived in time, 5.30, there was no bus neither people to be seen. The director and I run though the adjacent deserted shopping mall to find the office of the bus company, which we found. There was a telephone number on the window, but our call was not answered. We met a security guard, he told us that every morning he saw the bus coming at 6 am. I went over to the parked car to report what we had discovered. Someone asked where my bag was because they were hungry. I said if I gave them my food, I would be hungry later on. Several cars arrived, people with bags and suitcases got out.
The bus arrived indeed at 6 am and left five minute later. At the borderpost this time my suitcases had to be scanned. The bus hostess wanted to help me to take them to the scanner, which I did not think was necessary. After having crossed a road I was going to lift the suitcases onto the pavement when a car stopped behind me. The driver got out and asked if he was allowed to do it for me. The security guard lifted the suitcases on the scanner. Another one took them out and brought them to the waiting bus. When seated in the bus I noticed a truck with a trailer on which were large crates filled with something woolly. It were white chickens, crammed together. And that in the hot sunshine. Maybe they would be roasted when they arrived at the destination.
The journey went without problems. The only thing which is worthwhile mentioning happened in Paris. For the transfer there was about an hour, but the distance to the departure gate was long, in spite of going by shuttle the first part. The hand luggage cheking at entering Europe was slow and for the passport control there was a long queu. I told the man who was supervising that I appriciated France, but that my husband wanted me to come home and I was anxious to miss my plane. He let me go straight to the passport official, nobody protested. Out of breath I reached the gate, where there still was a queue waiting.
11 Oct 2016
The bus route to Gaborone went past Nampol, but I was told to take a taxi to the busstation, seven kilometrs in the other direction, to get on the bus. The advantage was that there would be more chance to get a seat. Left Nampol at 7.45 am. Instead of turning into the station, the taxi made a sharp return. This was because the bus had just left and the next one would leave 20 minutes later. The taxi overtook the bus and indicated it to stop so I could get on. What a service from both the drivers. The bus made regular stops, that often that the conductor remained in the opend door. At every stop he announced loudly where the bus was going. When we had left Molepolole he closed the door and came to collect the fare.
I asked him to warn me when we approached Mogoditshane. The yong woman seated beside me had to get of there too. I told her where I was going. The conductor told me to follow her, she was going to take a taxi. It did not make any difference that I said I knew the way, so I followed her. I was happy that she helped me to cross the busy, in my eyes dangerous road, which again I would not have succeeded in doing alone. The woman went to school in Gaborone because in her village there were no adequate schools. She followed a course on journalisme. I asked which paper she wanted to work for. She said she was going to set up an online newspaper. Arriving at Big 5 I sent the officer an sms, no reaction came. After 15 minutes I called her, the phone was engaged. After having tried a few times with the same result I looked in the telephone directory at Big 5 under education departments but the correct address was not there. Then I gave up and walked back to the busstop. I went into the Supa Save foodstore to to buy something for tomorrow's breakfast. There was not much choice, bought a Chelsea bun with a few raisins in it. It took some time before the bus turned up. A few times I was invited to take a taxi. I expected these to be more expensive than a bus, but it turned out to be cheaper. The police check point which also had been there earlier in the day was still there. I was told cars and lorries were checked on road safety. Later I understood they were probably looking for illegal immigrants.
In the Nampol office I was given a list of a wholesaler with prices of paper, glue, pencils etc. so I could decide what to bring next time and what could be bought in Botswana. When I was in my room the official rang. She had been waiting for me and had even been to the Big 5. It turned out that I had not copied the telephone number correctly. I apologized and told her I was very sorry not to have met her. She sent me her email address by sms and I sent her mine. I imagined to have lost all sort of things, my Dutch railway payment card, pen, and more, but found everything. Except the knitted socks. The cook came to show me the overall which I had brought for him. A taylor had made it to fit because it had been far too wide. He was proud of it and wanted a picture taken.
The director had been looking for a 5 kilo bag of sorghum for me. She mentioned that there were no 5 kilo bags in the shop, there was a 2 kilo one. That would have been fine, there was no place for the 5 kilo in the suitcase anyway. The advantage is that now everything fitted more easily in the suitcases. It was a queer day, I wanted to leave and I wanted to stay. All the evening students were present. We chatted, sung songs which I had taught them, they danced. No one was really enthousiastic, until I participated in the dancing. Then they had a laughing fit. Supper: porridge, red spinach, gravy. Took leave of the boarders.
10 Oct 2016
This morning I found that the speech did not make much sense. I succeeded in bringing a logical order in it and what I wanted to say. The cook was present again. I had to ask for the milk, he brought a small packet. Told him this was not my milk. After he had another look in the fridge he admitted to have overlooked the bottle of milk. He refused to make tea for the students with my tea packet, because according to him no one wanted tea. When I asked some wanted tea, some coffee. I gave the packet of tea to one of the students to use for the ones that wanted it and Pula 20 to buy more when it was finished.
In Monday's report I mentioned that marks had been given for the handicraft works. This was not correct, on the certificate is a list of the works they have made. Colored paper had been ordered for the certificates, but the stationer's did not have enough of one colour so they provided two colors. The students who made all the works will get the one color, the others who made less the other. The farewell party was to start at 9 am, it was postponed to 9.30 am. The principal came to my room and we walked to the office where I was persuaded to get into a white car to be taken on a ride of 400 meters to the new office. On the way I waved like a queen to the students who had to walk along the dusty sand road. At entering the room there was an ear splitting "ulule" from the students and I had to put my hands over my ears. While it made my ears ache, it warmed my heart.
It was a pleasant party, with the ususal opening prayer, national anthem, blessing by a priest and many speeches. The Nampol choir performed a few times. My speech was a succes. One of the students gave me a large yellow vase made of papier-mâché (her name was Yellow). Nampol gave me a beautiful wood carving of a Bushman on a hunt. (In the report of 23 September it is stated that this had been given that day, this is not correct.) For Henk there was a foto collage of several graduation parties so he could see what it was all about. The certificates were handed out and the soft toys, which were very much appriciated. The students all wanted a picture taken with the certificate, soft toy, myself and themself. After lunch I put all the materials that were to stay at Nampol for next year in a large box and put it in the office on a table. In order to put one more thing in the box I climbed on a chair. I did not want to make the chair dirty so I took off my sandals. Through the with soft material covered seat a nail appeared which went into my foot. Luckily I had some toiletpaper with me which I put in my sandal to prevent it from being dirtied by blood. It turmed out that it had been placed upwards instead of downwards to hold the seat.
At 5.15 pm I quickly walked to the stall along the road to buy airtime, it just would be possible before darkness set in. I met two evening students and realized that tonight and tomorrow night I still had to teach them. I gave them the key of the classroom and continued quickly. When I reurned I realized not having given them a certificate. While they placed their work on the tables it turned out that again things had disappeared. They had made everyting, except the peep show box. They will get a complete certificate on condition that they make the box. I gave them materials so they could make the lost work for themselves. And a knitted mouse to lessen the hurt of their work having disappeared. To pass away the lesson hour they taught me a new dance. After supper there was a dancing session with the boarders. The cook, who limped because he had hurt his knee which needed an operation, participated enthousistically. One student did not want to participate beause he had a stomach ache. When te dancing was finished I gave them an apple, except the student with the stomach ache although he wanted one. I told him if one has a stomach ache you cannot eat an apple. Gave the the things I did not want to take with me (washing powder, biscuits, shampoo, jewelry) to a student, for all of them to use.
9 Oct 2016
Got up at 5.45 am. Washed some clothes and packed a few things. At breakfast my plastic bottle of milk was standing on the table to be poured over the porridge. The milk was frozen because according to the cleaner the fridge was not working properly so she had put the milk in the freezer. And forgot to take it out in time. If the fridge was too warm for the milk, it was not suitable for the other food in it either. At 1 pm the bottle was in the fridge again, not much was defrosted. The temperature in the fridge probably was correct. Luncheon: rice, chicken, cabbage salad, beetroot and a bit of gravy. I wrote part of my speech for Monday. I noticed that it was rather negative. I shall change this because on the whole pleasant things have happened during my stay. What is bothering me is exhaustion and it is time to go home. In the house of the director I boiled the eggs and mashed them for the egg salad. There was no mayonaisse so I continued preparing it in the diner, as there was mayonaisse. Mixed it and put it in the fridge. Sliced the tomatoes and put it on the plates with the egg salad. The cleaner added fried cabbage and carrots. As a sweet there were three biscuits each. The students thanked me for the lovely meal. I gave our student his first pocket money. He told me he now had a pen and paper, but these were his own. Sometimes I do not understand things at all and just leave them as they are. I was told that there are students who pay for having their handicraft works done by other people. In this way a diploma could be of little value.
8 Oct 2016
Woke up at 5.45. Ate a banana, an apple, and some bites from the tin of Texan Beef, but this was so disgusting that I threw away the remaining, and tea. Later I heard that the Botswana Meat Board also sells tinned beef, which tasts better. The director's secretary and the cleaner were making tea and porridge for breakfast. I contributed a packet of tea, milk and four tins of Texan beef to the larder. Maybe it tasts better when it is heated. The cleaner was given a lesson in dish washing. At 8.30 am the director was supposed to pick me up so we could buy the food for tomorrow's visit.At 9.50 am she called to let me know she did not have transport. On my way to her I met the secretary with the list of payments for pocketmoney for our student. Only, she had not added that payment should be done on the first day of each month, or the first working day thereafter.
When I arrived at the director's place we had to wait until their driver came with the car. He took us to the shops. In consultation with the director I bought the food. At the check out there were a few children with a trolley laden with large bags of flour, rice and cabbages. I would have liked to give them some fruit and meat, but because I did not know why they only bought these things, I did not do it. After having paid we had to wait again because the driver had gone off on an errand. There were two girls who caught my attention. One said quietly hello to me, the other looked like she was a Down's Syndrom person. This is a big problem in Botswana, because these people are not properly taken care of. Were they begging in an unobtrusive way, or were they part of the group of children I just saw inside with their trolley? For them I also had wanted to buy something but it was onknown when the driver would turn up. Suddenly two boys appeared around the corner, they used the slippery floor tiles to slide on. They took a run-up and glided across the tiles which they enjoyed very much but made their shoesoles wear out. After a short chat with one of the girls they continued sliding among the people. When at 1 pm the driver had not turned up I suggested we should go back by taxi . The car came when we nearly had reached the road. I was that tired that I decided not to go to the wedding. Luncheon: macaroni, tinned fish mash, beetroot, cabbage salad. While I was asleep there was an sms from someone who was at a bank in Gaborone because there was something wrong with her banking card. I continued my nap. Later I noticed that it was from the student we are going to visit tomorrow. We could not come because tomorrow she had to go to the bank again to sign something and would return to her school on Monday to teach. A very strange story. Maybe banks are open on Saturday but surely not on Sunday. I was very disappointed. The food could be given to the boarders and for the presents I have to think up something. Taking it back home and to bring it again next year is illogical. Jigsaw puzzles and other toys I gave to a student, she will have a job at a creche in Maun. Later the owner of the creche let know that he appriciated them.
The box of my tv was without my knowledge taken from my room and connected to the diner tv. The cook had taken away the box of the diner tv. I do not miss the tv but find it strange that it has been taken without having been asked for. Moreover, it did not have the right connection for the diner tv so it still did not work. The cleaner brought an adapter from her home so it can be watched again. How long the tv will continue working is unclear, regularly sharp bang and crackles come from it and the picture falls into "fragments" and disappears, to appear again after a minute or so. Supper: bread, mash made of my tinned meat, apple, biscuits. In the larder I found a tin to put the biscuits in, it had to be washed first.
The directors came into the diner to tell that they had tried to call the student about the cancellation of tomorow's visit, but her telephone was out. They thought that after the cancellation last week because of the funeral this also was an excuse. I said that this would surprise me, she had invited me. Later I realized that she only had invited me. I could not contact her either. Henk reminded me to charge my telephone before leaving for The Netherlands. Which I did, but because it had been off all the time it had used little energy. I was disappointed not being able to give the student her presents, food and toys for her pupils.
7 Oct 2016
At breakfast there was tea for me but not for the students. At first the cook could not explain why this was. Then he said: "Because it is written on the paper (on the door). On it there still was written "porridge, tea". I was very angry and said there was tea because I had put a packet in the larder before I left. According to him there was no tea in the larder. I had a look, my packet was behind a jar. I succeeded in persuading the cook to boil water for tea. After having put some tea leaves in the students's mugs I gave the packet to one of the students to store. (Later I asked the director for an explanation, she said the students always had the choice of having coffee or tea for breakfast or during the midmorning break. This was not correct.)
The cook, who also is the security guard, was leaving today and returning on Monday. Who would protect us in the meantime? Our student was at the principals's office at 7.30 am, but there was no principal. I told him to tell this at the reception, where he was told to return later. In my classroom I displayed the craft works of the students as preparation for the marking. From the nearby classroom came a lot of noise. As I was worried I went to have a look, there was no teacher. The students had finished their attachment and the idea was that they would work by themselves. The principal was in his office, I went to find the student, but the principal sent him away, he would be called for later. I went to the shops to buy extra food for myself and the students. I put two liters of milk, four tins of meat (Texan beef), apples, tea and bananas in a basket.I very badly needed to use the toilet and asked the manager if this was possible. That was ok, but I had to leave my shopping basket in his office. A (female) shop assistant was told in Setswana to go with me. We went through a door and came into a room where a woman was standing. The shop assistant said: "She is going to search you." This remark gave me the giggles, which had not happened for a long time. The woman searched under my arms and declared me to be ok. Washing my hands was not possible, no water came out of the tap. And that in a staff toilet of a food store! Back in the store I asked the assistant if a lot got stolen by the staff. She said yes. I said this probably ment they were feeling hungry. To this she said nothing.
The cleaner had prepared luncheon: Samp and beans. I supplemented this with some of my own food. After that I made a list for the payment of pocketmoney to our student and asked the director's secretary to type it out and print it. At 12 noon the student still had not been given his materials. He could wait no longer, as he had to go and visit his parents. I told him to return before Sunday evening, so he could try again on Monday morning. Also he was to go to the social worker that day. Later the director had decided to go on Tuesday. In an sms to the former head of the district education department I asked if I could contact the local education officer. The answer came quickly, it was ok as he had informed her about me. I sent her an sms to make an appointment for Tuesday in Lethlakeng, north of Molepolole.
She rang soon to say that Tuesday was fine, and her office was in Mogoditshane, Gaborone. I had to go to the Big 5 hotel in Mogoditshane, call her and she would pick me up by car. Continued with displaying the handicraft works for the marking but was again disturbed by the boisterous students in the adjacent classroom. I tried to quiten down the boisterous group so the quiet group would be able to work. They were very rude to me. My students came to display their work, which went laborious. They had lost things, or could not find them or were of the opinion that they were stolen. I also panicked slightly, because I had not taken into account the possibility of theft. I thought they would be able to collect their own work that had been stuck on the walls. The talking became louder and I could not hear myself above the din. So I swore very loudly, which impressed them so much that the next few minutes no one said a word. What made matters worse was that there had been a change of plan. The marks were to be given on Monday but this was changed to today. Not everybody had brought the work they had taken home.
The principal had promised to assist with giving the marks but he did not have time so he sent someone else. It went quite easily, except that there were a few students by the same first name, they had not written their surname on the work. Often we had to search for a name. The student we are going to visit on Sunday sent an sms, we could not come because she did not have money to buy food for us. I let her know that we will bring food. Sent an sms to the present sponsored student to let him know the visit to the social worker will not be on Tuesday but on Wednesday, in case no one at Nampol would inform him. From the director I heard that one of my last years student had told social work he wanted to enroll for a follow up course at Nampol, but his name was not on the enrollment list sent by the social work department. Our first student sent an sms becuse he had a problem. The Pula 50 he had borrowed for transport to visit me was finished and he got stranded half way. Could I meet him at the arranged time (we had not arranged a time) and pay the busfare. This I found to complecated, what time and where. Also, I had been invited to go to a wedding tomoroow afternoon. Told him I did not have time, sorry, maybe next year he would have enough money for the busfare. He mentioned that he wanted to show me what he was doing nowadays. I answered that we trust him to do the right things and to continue doing that. And to show this to me next year. He agreed with this solution. I put the soft toys for the students in a plastic bag, they will be given to them on Monday during the farewell party. I put the blue suitcase into the black one and packed some more things. The Nampol driver came to sleep in the boarding to guard us. Was woken up at 11 pm by mosquitoes, they were having a party that lasted the whole night.
6 Oct 2016
Woke up at 5 am, which was a good thing because the security guard did not call me. Went went to the hardware store opposite the hotel at 7.30 am to see if they sold a 30 cm long catch to keep a door open. I had promised Henk to see if I could find one, because in our neighbourhood he had not been able to obtain one. There were nice hooks, but the longest was 15 cm. Went to the Gantsi Craft shop around the corner to collect the ordered "fried" ostrich egg shell beads. (Not a joke. To give them a brown color they are fried in cooking oil, the longer, the darker they become). The shop was still closed, so I continued to the bus station. At arriving a man came and asked where I was going. A minute later the man I had spoken to yesterday came and took me to the bus rank. It felt safe that there were people around to help one to find the right bus rank. I sat on the bench in the bus shelter but the sun was shining on it so fiercely that I moved over to the opposite bus shelter to sit in the shade. The man noticed this and sent me back to the bench in the sunshine. Went to sit on the other side of the shelter in the shade. Received an sms about the beads, they were not in stock but could be fried and sent to Molepolole. I let the woman know this would be useless because I would have gone by the time they arrived. They would have to wait until my next trip. I got talking to a young man who turned out to be the cousin of the first student we had sponsored. He was on his way to Gaborone to look for a job. We had a lot to talk about during the journey. At Nampol my lunch was waiting for me, dumpling, a piece of real meat, boiled cabbage and a bit of gravy. But first I went to charge my telephone.
While I was eating lunch the present sponsored student came to talk to me. I told him I would call him after I had finished lunch. He told me that last Tuesday he had been to see the social worker, who had wanted to see the admittance letter to Nampol. Nampol told him this letter was to be provided by me. But according to me, Nampol had sent it to him by post straight after it had been decided that he had been accepted for the course. Made inquiries at the office, it concerned the contract between the student, Nampol and myself which I still had to sign (does this have anything to do with social services?). Monday 10 October they will go with the papers and the student to the social services.
The student mentioned he did not have excercise books and pens and that he wanted to take notes during classes. I asked the school secretary who was responsible for providing these. She said that the student had to see the principal of the Early Childhood and Education course and ask for a list of materials he was in need of. And take this to the reception where he would be provided with them. To keep in touch with him when I am back in The Netherlands I told him I would send emails for him to Nampol. I gave my email and postal adres in case he wanted to let me know something personal. Supper: porridge, boiled cabbage, a bit of gravy. The cousin of our first sponsored student sent an sms to say he had safely arrived in Gaborone.
5 Oct 2016
At 7 am I went to the reception to go with the car that takes the Thakadu children to schools in Ghanzi. In Ghanzi I first went to the bus station to find out what time the bus for Molepolole would leave tomorrow. That was at 8.30 am, but I had to be there by 8 am I was told. After that I went to my appointment with the aquaintance at 8.30 am. We decided to go to the (boarding) school in D'Kar at 11 am for a talk with the principal. At 10 am I arrived at Pioneer Academy after a 15 minutes walk. I gave the knitted mice for the lowest standard to the principal, she was happy with them. Had a chat with Marica and gave her the presents, which she was pleased with. She gave me a letter and told that she taught her friends arithmetics and writing. For this she used large pieces of cardboard paper. Some children did well with their "plusses and minuses, she said. The school secretary took me by car to the Kalahari Arms Hotel where I had booked a room and left my suitcase there. Went to the aquiantance and together to D'Kar. The school is made up of several one and two storey buildings. At the entrance is a hut for a gate keeper- security guard, which many schools have. It all looked quite pleasant. The question to the principal was whether the school could accept Xwaa as a pupil. First our conversation went on crossed tracks. But in the end the conclusion was: Yes, that would be possible and there also was a space for him. The next step was for the aquaintance to tell the social services that they would have to enroll him, starting from January 2017. Part of the conversation was in Setswana, which I did not understand. The aquaintace said it had been a good conversation. There still was the issue where to house him during vacations. The aquaintance said she was prepared to take him into her home. But her house was in fact too small for one more person and she would have to find a larger one. I told her we do not have money to support her with this. That was not necessary, another possibility would be to buy a bunk bed. I tol her support for this could be talked about. Staying with her would have to be recorded properly, otherwise another problem might come up. Xwaa's family might accuse her of abusing him if she takes him into her house. This had happened in several cases like this before. She would see to this.
After returning in Ghanzi I bought a couple of sandwhiches, coloring pencils for Marica and biscuits, fruitjuice and plums for Marica and her parents. Later in the day the principal of Pioneer will take us to Marica's house, hopefully her parents will be at home. On the way to the hotel I spoke with the contact person of the Bushmen and told him about the boardingschool in D'Kar. He did not consider this a good idea as Xwaa would continue to have attacks. According to him the mother had to be found and she had to be rehabilitated so that she could look after her children. I told him we could not wait for that. We decided that he would look out for her (which he had promised before) for which I will send him the mother's name, and I would try to get him into the boarding school. Also told him about the possibility for me to teach in the New Xade pre school. This he thought a good idea, he would arrange everything for me. This I accepted with thanks, though I have to see it before I believe it.
Arrived at 2.30 pm at the hotel, ate the sandwhiches and had a cup of tea and a shower. I reported to the principal that I was ready to go to Marica's house and walked to the school. First we had a discussion about Marica's future. The best would be if she could attend the Pioneer secondary school, or otherwise the government's secondary school and live at the principal's house. This to avoid indecent assaults. ????? There was no one at the house. The silvercolored corrugated hut had been replaced by a two roomed brick house with a bathroom and kitchen, it was nearly finished. Marica was going to have her own room. While we were looking at it, a neighbouring girl came to play with Marica. The principal took me to the hotel. On the grass besides the swimming pool were two guest, a man and his daughter. The man complained about the heat and I advised him not to lie down in the sunshine. He really wanted to get into the swimmingpool which had just been cleaned and was being filled up with water. The (South African) man was in Botswana to give a teaching course on agriculture, his wife and daughter had come because it was a schoolholiday. He invited me to have a meal with them that evening. They had an all inclusive arrangement and could invite guests to have a meal with them. I accepted. On the side of the bed was a rather large size of fridge pretenting to be a bedside table, making quite a lot of noise. I wanted to pull out the plug but the powerpoint was behind the fridge, which was to heavy for me to pull forward. Someone came and he succeeded, although it took some effort. It was a pleasant evening, they told a lot about life in South Africa. The daughter told about her experiences and little problems in a lively manner. The father was worried about his daughter's future in South Africa, as a white woman she would not be able to get a good job. He wanted her to study abroad and stay there for a while, so she would be able to build up a good career. In fact he wanted to leave as a family, but he was bound to his business in South Africa. The amount of meat with the meal was enormous, I could have eaten four times from it. As a thank you I gave the daughter a knitted hat, but later she brought me Pula 100 from her father. Because the battery of my telephone was nearly empty and I had not brought the charger because I did not think this would be necessary, I asked for the security to call me at 5.45 am.
4 Oct 2016
A bird woke me with his shrill voice before 6 am. Breakfast: water and two Ouma rusks which I had bought in Molepolole. Walked to the farm in half an hour. A woman told me that Xwaa had gone to an other farm. I went on to say hallo to the other people and there was Xwaa. With a black crust on a large burn on his wrist and a black dusty burn on his foot because he had fallen into the fire. And a scar above his upper lip as he had fallen on a concrete floor. When I asked his uncle if Xwaa had been given his medicine, he came with the medicine box and a mug of water with something that looked like wallpaper glue but probably was instant porridge. After Xwaa had drunk this I told him to have a wash. No water came from the tap. His uncle poured some water from a jerrycan into a tin and put it on the fire. There was no soap. There was no more I could do for him and felt quite helpless. Even while I am writing this I feel sad.
I gave the ostrich egg shells, which I had been given by an ostrich farm in The Netherlands to Xwaa’s uncle, to give to his wife, plus a nail clipper. This is nowadays used to make the pieces of shell more or less round before the sides are chafed with a stone to smooth them. A few women were very pleased with it. They will use them to make necklaces, bracelets and earrings and sell them. Returned to the reception, had coffee, read a bit, had a walk about and looked at the new lodges. Heard the latest news from the camp owner. Had a toasted sandwhich. Made an appointment with the acquaintance for tomorrow at 8.30 am to see how far she had got in finding a safe place to live for Xwaa. Made an appointment with the principal of Marica’s school to visit Marica at 10 am tomorrow. At 6.15 pm sat down on the terrace besides the reception and ordered food, the second half of yesterday’s meal. Sometimes this terrace is visited by elands, they walk up to the balcony of the reception. Someone might call out: There is an eland at the bar who wants to order a drink. At times the elands stand in the car park after the guests have left in the morning. With their large antlers they make one think of Harley Davidson motorbikes, waiting for clients to come to hire them.
I was invited by a Italian couple to join them at their table. The woman said she felt sorry I had to sit on a wooden bench while around their table there were plastic chairs. After a cosy chat they went to another place to watch the sun go down. After the meal and hot chocolade drink I paid the bill. For the hire of the tent I was given a discount. From the beginning I stayed with them they have taken good care of me. Once I went into the field around the tents and lodges. The intention was to walk in a straight line and back, in which the position of the sun would assist. Because of all the prickly trees and shrubs a straight line was not possible and in Botswana the sun is standing straight above, which is not much use for oriëntation. After having walked up and down and in cirkels for a while I admitted to myself to be unable to find the way back. I did not have the reception's telephone number, so I sent an sms to an aquaintance in D'Kar (45 km away) to ask her to call the reception. When there was no reaction, I sent an sms to an aquaintance in Cape Town. Both of them had called the reception after that. The owner of the camp called me, he would come by car to search for me. Soon I heard the car, he stopped and hooted, I blew on my whisle, and in this way we found each other. I had not strayed off very far. In case I did not hear the horn, he had brought his shotgun. On the way back I discovered that I had dropped my telephone jacket while making the call. The loss of the jacket was no problem, but the list with telephone numbers which it contained I could not do without. After our return Xwaa's uncle, who was on a tour with tourists, was asked to "hunt" for the jacket. I had to show which my footprints were and where I had entered the field. We followed him during a few minutes, but we walked too slowly so he conitinued by himsalf. After 15 minutes he arrived at the reception, holding the jacket up high like it was the best shot prey of the day.
3 Oct 2016
The bus had indeed left Gaborone at 6 am and would be at the busrank around 6.30- 7.00 am. At 6.30 I arrived at the busrank where I got talking to a teacher from New Xade (resettlement camp inhabitants CKGR) and told her about my course for pre school teachers. She thought the director of the New Xade school would like me to help them. I told her they should let me know so I could fit it in for next year. According to her water, food and a mobile clinic had been taken into the CKGR, but no school. She told about the Basarwa (Bushmen, San) who had been given brick houses with tiled floors and sanitation. They found the floors to slippery so they cut them up to prevent falling. They took out the lavatory pan because they were used to make a hole in the sand to squat above. (A teacher in The Netherlands who taught refugee children told that some children squatted on the lavatory seats because they were used to a hole in the ground.) They found the glass windows in the house suffocating so they broke them. And often they slept outside. The bus arrived at 7.30 am and was full up, so we had to stand. A man gave me his seat and a while later the man besides me got off the bus and gave his seat to the teacher so we could continue talking. At 2 pm the bus arrived at the entrance gate of the camp. I had been looking forward to a can of fruitjuice from the refrigarator in the small shop at the gate, which also sold vegetables, fried sausages and biltong. Unfortunately, only vegetables were for sale, so I had to make do with my bottle of lukewarm water. I started bravely on the 3 km walk along the sand road, sat down on the side of the road a few times to rest and have a drink. The first 1.5 km of the road is covered with loose sand, cars have made several more or less hardened tracks on it. One can change "track" to walk along the sturdiest parts, which is a lot easier. With a belt I had turned my small suitcase into a backpack. This turned out to be too heavy. The loose, hot sand streamed into my sandals and burned my toes. At previous visits it was possible to walk, because the backpack was less heavy. And there was shadow from the trees on the side of the road to cool down a bit. I would be told off at the reception for not having called them to send a car. I decided to call the reception and ask for a car to pick me up. I managed to walk for half a kilometer before it arrived. The second part of the 3 km road is easier to walk on, the rocky bottom appears in places above the sand. You have to watch not to trip over the sharp protuberances or to puncture your car tyres. After arriving at the reception it was tempting to jump in the swimmingpool to cool down, was it not that there is too much desinfection in it to my taste. The lake is no option either, apart from barbals living in it there are for humans harmful bacteria in it and maybe snakes. The real coffee and ham- cheese toasted sandwhich was a good alternative as a boost. From a member of the staff I heard that Xwaa's health was the same, he wanted to talk to me later about another aproach of the problem. Sadly this did not happen. The farm manager told that nowadays they often see in advance Xwaa's attacks coming. He would become very boisterous. He said that a joint aquitance wanted to talk to me about the possibility of having him placed in a boarding school. At 5 pm I went to have a shower, although the water from the cold tap still was really too hot. This was because of the heat of the sun on the water pipes. After that I had a glas of orange lemonade with ice cubes and read a book, what luxury! I ordered kudu liver, mashes potatoes and green salad. While I was waiting for this, the barman and the cook came towards me. The cook asked if I wanted the usual half portion of the meal. I told him to be surprised he still knew this. Of course he knew, he had been cooking for me for many years. The waitress brought a lamp and put it on the table, which was not a good idea as it would attract mosquitoes. She also brought an anti mosquito spray which did not work. A large dog came to lie down besides my feet but when I did not give him food he went to try his luck with other people. After the delicious meal and a hot chocolate drink I went to my canvass tent. It had a thatched roof over it and stood on a concrete block, to keep one's feet dry during heavy rainfall, which I experienced once. When I stepped down from the block the water flowed into the boots, which I especially had bought the day before.
2 Oct 2016
The noise from the church lasted until 0.30 am, was awake until 2 am. There are more mosquitoes that stung. Luckily the itching does not last long. At last I have been given a broom to sweep my room.
Luncheon (at house of director): pasta, kidneys, salad. Nice. I have asked if the prickers for the handicraft can be made in Botswana, this is going to be investigated. Mentioned the bad access to the internet, and the importance for the students to learn how to use it. Will be investigated. Received a message from another sponsored student. If he could borrow Pula 50 he would try to come and see me next Friday. Told him to come on Saturday, maybe the excursion to the Lions Zoo will be on Friday. Had to chase away 12 goats from the compound, it became playing tag between and around the buildings. After a while they realized they were not welcome.
At 5.30 pm I went to inform which time the bus to Ghanzi would leave the next day. Was still unknown. We drove to the bus rank, there was no departure rank for the Ghanzi bus. But someone was able to tell the bus would leave at 6 am from a rank along another road. Strange, the bus leaves Gaborone at 6 am, an hour’s drive from Molepolole. We drove to the other bus rank, there was no time table. The road back was crowded and shopping had to be done. Returned at 7.20 pm. The cook had returned and supper was ready. Fried egg, two slices of bread with liversausage. Have supplemented this with an apple, banana, peanuts and raisons.
1 Oct 2016
“Botswana Day is the national day of the Republic of Botswana celebrated on September 30. It commemorates the independence of Botswana from the United Kingdom in 1966.
In the 19th century, hostilities broke out between several tribes that laid claims to the territory of present-day Botswana. The tensions escalated when the Boer settlers arrived from the Transvaal. Eventually, a group of Batswana leaders asked the British government for protection. In 1885, the Bechuanaland Protectorate was officially established. In 1961, Seretse Khama founded the Bechuanaland Democratic Party that struggled for the protectorate's independence. Three years later, Bechuanaland was granted democratic self-government. The first general elections were held in 1965, following the adoption of the constitution. On September 30, 1966, Botswana officially became an independent republic within the Commonwealth with Seretse Khama as its first President. Botswana Independence Day is the country's main national holiday. It is widely celebrated throughout the country with official speeches, ceremonies, parades, street parties, concerts, and other festive events and activities. The main celebration is held in the capital city of Gaborone.” Source: anydayguide.
Woke up at 0.10 am feeling hungry, four biscuits set this to rights. There was a light thunderstorm and it sounded like it was raining, but I could not see any rain. Everybody was hoping for rain, though it was too early in the year. After breakfast a woman told that her boyfriend had bought a watch yesterday and then did not have money to buy shoes. “Why do you buy a watch when you can check the time on your telephone?” “A man needs to have a watch to show he is a real man.” I told her that good shoes are more important than being ostentatious. Or was I expected to give him money for shoes? During this conversation we were in the schoolyard. I thought a burglar was climbing over the fence, but it was the principal coming to ask how I was. Tidied the classroom and my room.
Luncheon: rice, chicken, red spinach, baked beans and mayonnaise.
Spend the afternoon being lazy.
Supper: fried eggs, two slices of bread and margarine and liver sausage, baked beans.
De director called to ask what time we were going to visit the student the next day. She had forgotten that it was cancelled, because the student’s little sister was going to be buried. We had made an appointment for maybe a week later. They had not found out what time the bus for Ghanzi left on Monday morning, would be done tomorrow at the bus station. (Should have been done yesterday on the way back from the stadium.) Sent an sms to the student to express my sympathy with the funeral. Was woken up about 10 pm by loud singing and music from a church.