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31 Dec 2015
Continued working on the purple/ pink crocheted scarf yesterday, during a train journey.
30 Dec 2015
Knitted 2 finger chickens yesterday. 1 is rather cross eyed, the other slightly. There is a good chance these will find a good home. During the sale of the mice, a woman bought a mouse especially because it was cross eyed.
29 Dec 2015
Yesterday I finished the knitted scarf. For the moment this is the last knitted scarf I have made. While far too much rain has come down in north England, causing severe floods, not much rain has come down in Botswana. At the beginning of the present rain season, November 2015, too much rain and hail came down at once so many houses got damaged. Since then little or no rain has fallen. The people will have to be frugal with their water use, as it often happens that there are no rains during the whole of the summer (November ' March). During winter it never rains. The water that flows from the north to the south between the top layer of sand and the rocky layer underneath is since a few years also in use by the diamond mine in the south east of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to wash the raw diamonds. Before the start of the exploration it was predicted that nearly 1 million litres of water a day were needed for this. In the past large quantities of water sometimes came down too, causing severe floods. This was in the Ghanzi area in 2000, 2014 and 2015. The flood in 2015 was not expected, as normally there are quite a few years in between floods. I was in Ghanzi in a safari park during the end of March, the rain season should have ended by then. I stayed in a tent on a concrete block, 55 cm high. After a few days the water had risen to 52 cm and in the morning I had to be rescued by a car. The water flowed into my Wellington boots when I stepped on the ground. We went to the reception building, the ground around the building was higher and quite dry, but in the building the water had risen to about 70 cm and the electrical sockets were under the water level. (This problem is solved when the water has gone down by taking, the sockets out, they are left to dry and then put back.) Some cars had their bonnets nearly under the water. At the parking space (then flooded) there were beautiful colours on the water, from the oil and petrol that had leaked from cars. We did not see them, but probably there were small fish swimming around, having come from the adjacent pond. The previous day and night, from 10 am till 8 am 216 mm rain had come down. A friend in Ghanzi took me into her home, until I had to leave for the next destination, Molepolole, in the south, where all this time the sun had been shining.
28 Dec 2015
Still in a Christmas holiday mood yesterday and worked just a little on the scarf. I might stay in this mood until 2 January 2016, a person deserves a bit of a rest sometimes.
27 Dec 2015
Did a bit of knitting on the scarf yesterday. Not much, after all, it is Christmas, so one is allowed to be a bit lazy.
26 Dec 2015
Worked on scarf yesterday.
25 Dec 2015
We wish everybody who read this a merry, relaxed and happy Christmas. Worked on socks yesterday and delivered 2 pair to clients. Seven pair of socks have been knitted since 2 December. Also have worked on scarf.
24 Dec 2015
On our bank statement I noticed a gift from a Reformed Church. As I do not know which church this comes from, we say thank you very much to the giver in this way. We are very happy with it. Continued with the socks and a knitted scarf, which I had ceased working on last August, in order to knit mice.
23 Dec 2015
I found the right thickness of yarn for the socks yesterday and continued working on socks. Also knitted 2 mice.
22 Dec 2015
The embroidered sampler has been collected yesterday, an extra donation has been given for which we are very grateful. The list of Prohibited Immigrants is made up of residents from countries which do not need a visa to enter Botswana. The people on the list are seen as harmful to Botswana and are therefore refused entry into the country. They can apply for a visa, and if they are declared useful for Botswana, they will receive one. The chance of acquiring one is small. As far as I can see from the previous list, these are people who have reported on the discriminating actions against the Bushmen. I have sent an email to the Botswana Government website and the website of the Botswana Embassy in Brussels with the request to send me the new list. The chance that there will be a reaction to these emails is very small too, I know from experience. Worked on socks. I discovered that the yarn that I was going to use became thinner and it was not suitable for these socks. Tomorrow I shall search in my storage cupboard for yarn of the right thickness.
21 Dec 2015
Crocheted a good part of the carf during the train journey. Maybe it will become a cushion cover.
20 Dec 2015
Worked on socks yesterday and made a start with a crocheted scarf, on which I am going to work during a train journey tomorrow. I read in the Botswana newspaper Mmegi that President Khama has made up a new list of Prohibited Immigrants. I could not find the list on the internet. In case my name is on the list, I need to know this, as there is no point in going to Botswana if I am not allowed to get in.
19 Dec 2015
Yesterday I offered a tea trolley for sale on the website for online sales (Marktplaats). There are now 6 of our articles for sale on this site. The link is Also sold something. Went to see 2 cliënts to try on socks. On foot, which was not fun. The flower bulbs are being harvested and because the land is soaking wet, the roads are muddy and slippery. The verges are messed up by the large trucks and tractors that transport the bulbs having to drive through them when there is oncoming traffic, the roads are barely wide enough for the agricultural vehicles to drive on, let alone passing cars. I did not slip in the mud. Continued working on the socks.
18 Dec 2015
Worked on socks yesterday and knitted 1 orange mouse and 1 gold coloured mouse. I have sent 2 emails to people in Botswana, to enquiry how they were getting on in collecting information which I had asked for.
17 Dec 2015
Worked on socks yesterday. Just before our arrest in the CKGR in 2012, I showed a woman that the money we collect to help them partly comes from our knitwear. Immediately she took the knitting needles out of my hands and started to knit. I unravelled my piece of knitting so she could use the yarn. Because the women also knew how to chrochet, showed my Dutch friend how we do this. Pictures were taken of these activities. In 2013 NRC Handelsblad (a daily Dutch newspaper) organized a competition, in which the organization that created the best advertisement had this published for free in this newspaper. We made an advertisement, using the picture. There was a professional jury and a public jury. That the professional jury would not give us many points we expected. Although the picture was to the point (working together) the quality was not professional. It turned out that the public voted for their favourite organization, because the large organizations got the most votes. It has given us the experience how to make an advertisement, though of course we never shall spend money to get something published. We shall also never join a competition again, as the large organizations use professionals to make their advertisements, which we cannot compete with. It is a waste of our time to try.
16 Dec 2015
The socks number 1 fitted well. For this client I am now knitting socks without a heel and a small part for the foot, a kind of spat. Sock number 2 has been tried on, fitted well, the design was approved of so these can be finished. Sold 1 gold coloured and 1 silver coloured mouse.
15 Dec 2015
Delivered pair number 1 socks yesterday and took one of the dogs with me. This was the first time after a few years ago the muscle that lifted my right arm was torn off, because the dog pulled the lead too strongly. After having put the socks in the letterbox, the dog went after a cat and I lay on my face in the grass and mud, still holding the lead with the dog on it. She came to see what I was doing there. The rest of the days some muscles were aching, but I still managed to knit socks.
14 Dec 2015
Worked on the socks, and made 2 gold coloured and 2 silver coloured mice. The Climate Agreement made me think again of my question whether we might entice people to buy our knitwear on an impulse, while they do not need it, and might be bad for the environment. This feeling I do not have concerning the sale of our second hand articles, as they have been produced some time ago, when we did not know any better. My conclusion is: No. Firstly: most of the knitting yarns I use are given by people because they were left overs and of no use any longer. Sometimes I buy new yarn, especially for socks. Secondly: I see people thinking it over before they buy something. Thirdly: the procedures of the sales are used to better the lives of people, which in turn makes that they can help other people to better their lives.
13 Dec 2015
Not much knitting done yesterday.
12 Dec 2015
Yesterday there was an email from a social worker at the Ghanzi District Council, asking for information about Qwaa. From SOS Childrens Villages she/ he has heard about him. She/ he is going to take up the case and find out what can be done for him and his brothers and sister. The problem is with this not solved yet, but there is progress. This was the good news. The bad news is, that since the money for the students has been transferred (€ 1 = about Pula 11.5), the exchange rate was yesterday € 1 = about Pula 12.5. If we just could know everything beforehand!! Better not to think about it any longer. Worked on the socks, walked to client (3 km there and back) to try on a sock, finished the socks. Started knitting a gold coloured little mouse.
11 Dec 2015
Yesterday I worked on the socks. Pair number 3 is finished, have started on pair number 4. The events in this report are for the readers rather boring at the moment. I am beginning to get fed up with socks too. Have started knitting orange mice, for the sale on the Kings birthday celebrations next year (27 April). Made two tiny, sweet mice.
10 Dec 2015
Tidied up the website yesterday and sent the info to the webmaster. Continued with the socks.
9 Dec 2015
Continued with the socks yesterday. Together with the client of socks number three we made a design and colour scheme for the socks. Have started knitting them.
8 Dec 2015
Continued with the socks yesterday. I am glad I did not book a stall at the local Christmas Fair for coming Friday, the weather is going to be cold and wet. I discovered that our website had become a bit messy through the years. A few activities were mentioned on different pages, some were not there at all. To get this sorted out, I looked though the information on what we had done for the Bushmen (and others). You would think that the Botswana Government would be happy with us and helpful. I have not got that impression yet. Just like tourists are we not allowed to stay in the Bushmen settlements in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. CKGR. The CKGR has been set up in 1961 to protect the Bushmen’s way of life against poachers. One needs a permit to enter. In 2002 and 2005 the inhabitants have been removed to special settlements for them outside the CKGR. They were not allowed to return. In 2006 the High Court decided that this was unjust. About 180 people, who had started the court procedure, were allowed to return. Tourists who have got a permit to enter the CKGR are not allowed to visit them, they have to stay at the official campsites. Because we were invited by the inhabitants of the CKGR, we thought this was not applicable for us. But it was, on our third visit our party was arrested and told to move to the nearest campsite. The next morning we were summoned to go to the excit, where were were sternly interogated with unclear questions. During this third journey I discovered that the women in the CKGR also like knitting. The FPK has invited me for the fourth visit to give knitting workshops in the CKGR. At the Botswana Embassy in Brussels I applied for a special permit, even visited the Embassy. The answer came in a letter some time later: “We have been informed by the ministry of the Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, that you previously entered the CKGR on 04th April 2012 as a tourist. You were booked to stay at Bape and Xaka campsite for seven days (i.e. up to the 11th April 2012). However, you did not stay in the campsites but instead choose to live in the settlements in the CKGR. You were arrested in Gugamma settlement and subsequently asked to leave the CKGR on the 10th April 2012. In view of the above, the Ministry is concerned that during your previous vist, you did not abide by the Reserve Regulations and you may repeat the act again. The Ministry, however, recommends that you account for your previous actions and undertake to abide by all regulatons governing the conducts of tourists to the protected areas in the country before consideration can be given in allowing you back into the CKGR.” My request for a special permit to stay in the settlements, to avoid another arrest, was not understood. Since then I have not visited my friends in the CKGR.
7 Dec 2015
I decided yesterday not to work on the finger snowmen for a while. It is difficult to make them look nice due to the lack of suitable sized beads. The beads I have got are red, cherry or purple, which cannot be combined with many other colours. Beads to make funny noses are also lacking. I have not found anything interesting in (online) shops. Continued with the socks, I am now working on three different pairs.
6 Dec 2015
Continued with the socks yesterday and made a swatch for another pair of socks. Embroidered a mouth on a finger snowman and sewed the man together.
5 Dec 2015
Worked on socks yesterday.
4 Dec 2015
Sorted out the mice again. Snow hand puppets which had been made earlier on, and the finger snowmen were displayed in our salesroom. 4 Mice are put on the online sales website (Marktplaats). Continued knitting on socks and finger snowmen.
3 Dec 2015
Yesterday I took the swatch for the socks to be tested, it was all right. Sold 70 mice. There was an email from Botswana. It is very difficult to find the person who is responsible for the boy. The application to have him taken in by an SOS Childrens Village will probably have to wait until I am in Botswana next year.
2 Dec 2015
Yesterday I went to see a client who had placed an order for knitted socks. After that, I made a swatch. Continued with the snowmen.
1 Dec 2015
Yesterday I attempted to find someone who is willing to make a request for the boy (see 26 November) to be taken into an SOS Childrens Village. I also sent an email to SOS Childrens Villages to let them know that we shall sponsor the boy financially. Continued with the snowmen. And looked on the internet for a place to sell our knitwear.
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