Nederlands English

31 May 2016
Worked on socks yesterday and an evaluation list about what effect our gifts have had on people, or are having, or will have. Is there a difference in effect between men and women, if so, what is the difference. Or is there a difference between the background of people and the area where they were born. Too few people have been supported by us to come to a serious conclusion from this list. But there is nothing wrong with making a start on it.
The following article is taken from Mmegi. 27 May 2016.
“Little to celebrate on Africa Day
On Wednesday, May 25, we celebrated Africa Day – the day the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) - African Union (AU) since 2002- was formed in 1953. But there is always little fanfare around this date, which could be a sign that very little is known about it, or there is not much to celebrate.
The continent is still stuck in armed conflicts in Burundi, Mauritania, Niger Delta, and other remnants of political instability in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Mali, and Libya among others. Repressive regimes are still the order of the day while corruption is growing every day in every corner of the continent.
Unemployment, poverty and disease continue to rule our lives in the continent despite it being part of the global village where partnerships with advanced societies should be at the forefront of fighting these social ills. All these go back to the type of leadership we have in our beloved continent, which is driven by greed, selfish interests and lack of vision. We still have people put in prison for exercising their freedom of expression; we still have presidents who disregard their constitutions to extend their stay in power, and even worse, leaders who think that the voice of the international community should be ignored.
The abduction of 260 or so girls in Chibok State in Nigeria cannot go unnoticed as we celebrate Africa’s birthday, as well as the war in South Sudan, Africa’s youngest state. We shall continue doing all to ensure that the ceasefire signed recently is sustained.
It should be noted that Africa is counted as a number one continent with a high population of young people, and therefore, the AU should make sure that each of its member states make an undertaking to provide education for these youths. It is high time we transform from being a consumer continent to being a producer of processed goods, rather than the status quo in which we export millions of tonnes of raw materials abroad, which we later buy at a very high price as processed goods. We consume luxury goods such as phones, vehicles, clothes, jewellery, even beverages, yet we produce very little for ourselves. While it is commendable that the AU has put a strategy in place – Vision 2063, it is our view that the 50 years may be just too long and may invite complacency, which might impact on achievement of the goals. Perhaps the AU should go back to the drawing board and split the Vision 2063 into 10-year strategies and share with the constituents.
Nonetheless, we should take this opportunity to wish the continent more prosperity, peace and stability in the years to come.
Today’s thought
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” - Chris Grosser
(We are still looking for someone to translate these articles into Dutch. So if you feel up to it and you would enjoy it, please let us know.)
30 May 2016
Continued with the socks yesterday.
29 May 2016
I left yesterday at 10.30 am to go to the Cultural and Sports Festival, on the sports fields in Beilen. The expected showers did not turn up, there only were a few drops of rain during five minutes. Around 2 pm the sun came through the clouds and it stayed. Halfway the drive home there was a slight shower with large raindrops, for 10 minutes.
There were not many visitors on the festival, maybe because it was held for the first time. But it was enjoyable. Sold: 1 chicken and 2 mice. Had a few pleasant conversations and had a good rest. The mice which I had sewn on my hat, made people smile. I had a picture taken of my head (and hat), which was incorporated in a picture which also had football player Messi on it. We are running fast side by side, presumably after the ball.
28 May 2016
Knitted a few rows to the socks.
The confirmation of using a stall on the festival has come. Have been busy collecting and packing chickens, mice, other knitwear, jewelry from Botswana, my canary yellow raincoat, plastic to cover the stall if it rained (according to the weather forecast it was going to rain cats and dogs, including a thunderstorm).
27 May 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
26 May 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
The drawings have been put up in the shop, in a small, cozy fitting room. The organization which organizes the exhibition has organized a large cultural event for coming Saturday. Maybe we can use one of their stalls to sell mice and chickens. It is a pity that the weather forecast predicts rain and a thunderstorm.
The organization would like to use more vacant shops for cultural happenings, like music, plays, food, drinks. The finances of the organization are not large enough to pay for this, so they are on the lookout for co financers.
25 May 2016
Finished a pair of socks yesterday and started on a new pair.
In the vacant shop where I wanted to organize the exhibition “Mice and other animals” is at the moment an exhibition of amateur art. I am going to put up some of my drawings, to sell for SEMK Botswana.
On 19 June a special market will be held in Westerbork. I have made enquiries for a stall to sell mice, chickens and other knitwear.
24 May 2016
It has become boring here, worked again on socks yesterday.
The letter for the motor mechanic student and the one for his parents have been sent to Nampol. Hopefully they will be able to send them on.
I read in Mmegi: Mother tongue is a hot potato. It is about the attention several stakeholders, one of them the special VN Rapporteur for the cultural rights issues, Farida Shaheed, have asked during the 15th meeting of the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues, for the teaching of mother tongue in pre-school and primary schools. She said: “The risk of further disadvantage incurred upon children in remote areas who have no or minimal exposure to Setswana (official language in Botswana) in their families and communities, in particular those residing in hostels without family support systems, is significant. It probably explains the high dropout rates and failure of the Basarwa children in the school system.”
23 May 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
Started to write a letter to the motor mechanic student.
22 May 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
In the book “Hunter & habitat in the Central Kalahari Desert” by George B. Silberbauer, he writes that San told him that they saw parasitizing as hunting. According to me this does not fit in with their original style of life (sharing everything with everybody). I have seen this “hunting” in other groups, also people from abroad. The question is: Is “hunting” part of the San culture, or, have they taken it over from other groups. However it may be, hunting is nowadays prohibited in Botswana, thus also parasitizing. This is not put into a law, but should be done.
21 May 2016
Finished a pair of socks, sold them and started on a new pair.
I was informed by an anthropologist that he also had come across people like the motor mechanic student who had misused the offered support. This is a new subject to be studied. But first a way to call the student to order has to be found.
20 May 2016
Still busy with the socks yesterday.
We received from Nampol the message that the motor mechanic student had broken off his study and had returned to his village. He had asked for an extra allowance to support his family. We never offered him this, so where did he get this idea from?
The San share everything with each other (although this is changing, some of them look after themselves very well). Originally they only had possessions that were found in nature, so they belonged to everybody. Looking after each other and collaborating was necessary to survive. Each for himself/ herself would not have survived. Only young men will be successful in hunting (for practical reasons women were not allowed to hunt) and as soon as there condition for hunting had gone, obtaining meat would have become impossible. When working in groups the elderly could be given a share of the catch.
Their good point, the sharing, has become a trap because of changed circumstances. The reason behind the support that now is given is not seen by them. For example, San in Namibia were given goats to breed with and thus generate an income. When relatives living in the bush who did not have sufficient food heard about this, they went to visit their “rich” relatives and demanded that the goats be slaughtered, because they were hungry. That was the end of the goats and the income.
Previously we have sponsored a student of whom I know that once he gave money to his parents to buy food, with as a consequence that he had to survive for more than a month on
€ 25. Even in Botswana that does not buy you much. But who knows if he has done this during the rest of his study period too. And was his money not spent on dagga, as the suspicion was.
We have not noticed that the two women we sponsored gave money to their parents.
Some way will have to be found to point out to them that it is not wise to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
The following article has been copied from Mmegi. SADC is short for Southern Africa Development Community.
Drought: All hands on deck. Mmegi 18 May 2016.

The SADC region is facing a drought, the magnitude of which was last experienced 35 years ago. Since 2014, the El Nino phenomenon has risen to its strongest in the region, causing record dry seasons, incessant heatwaves and the associated collapse of agricultural activities and food security.
Botswana, unfortunately, sits in a belt stretching from southern Mozambique to Namibia, which receives some of the phenomenon’s harshest effects. The 2015 harvest was among the poorest on record and this year’s has, likely, already broken this record.
After an assessment in 2015, the UN and SADC concluded that at least 50,000 people in Botswana and another 27 million others in the region are facing hunger, with President Ian Khama, the SADC chair, reportedly considering an international appeal.
An assessment following the disastrous 2015/16 cropping season, began in February and already preliminary estimates suggest the figures of 50,000 and 27 million will significantly balloon.
Of the countries affected by this disaster, Botswana and South Africa are the only two that will self-finance their food relief, while the rest will require varying levels of international support.
Government and the President’s efforts in this regard need to be appreciated. The annual drought assessment was brought forward in recognition of the situation’s urgency and no doubt, the results will trigger rapid deployment of resources.
Last year, government spent P445m on drought relief measures and this year, a larger figure will be required. It is prudent at this point to note the resonating nature of droughts. Apart from its impact on the field, the plate and the pocket, droughts are devastating to the social fabric, particularly when they occur successively, as in the current case.
Hungry children, their agrarian parents unable to raise money to support schooling activities, stay home and become prone to societal vices such as alcohol, drugs, intergenerational sex and the consequences of these. Low agricultural yields also have an effect on health, as studies show that people on ARVs tend to drop their medication due to its side effect of causing hunger. In addition, drought situations force people to resort to poor nutrition habits, which also discourage management of HIV/AIDS in patients.To government’s credit, the assistance extended to vulnerable groups compliments other policies such as universal education and health access. Protected by this mesh of initiatives and funding, citizens are largely insulated from the effects of the drought.
The same does not obtain however, in SADC where our brothers, sisters and children are battling hunger, disease, conflict and overall poverty as a result of successive droughts.The region will look to Khama for guidance in alleviating this crisis. With his experience in domestic poverty eradication and drought relief, he has the credentials.
Today’s thought
“Combating regional food insecurity and poverty in all of its forms and complexity requires an array of multifaceted actions. Firstly, the political and policy environments need to be conducive, especially in the case of agriculture.”
– President Ian Khama
19 May 2016
Worked again on socks yesterday.
I am losing my hope for better circumstances for the inhabitants of the CKGR. And it is not the first time that the people have been promised improvements which were not given. In 2011 I was in contact with the manager of the Gope mine (now called Ghaghoo mine). This was in connection with an interview in a newspaper, in which was announced that the mine was going to give seeds to the people in Gope. My question was what the people were going to do with seeds if there was no water because there was no pump. The answer was that there had been a misunderstanding. The mine was going to share part of the proceeds with the Bushmen. But I had to understand that this had to be done according to the Botswana law. (At that moment it was prohibited to give water to the Bushmen.) Gem Diamonds wanted to set up a trust to assist the Bushmen in setting up ecotourism activities. In about a year the results would show. Concerning the water the answer was very vague, but in 2012 everything would be for the better.
Because I did not have trust in the realization of the pumps, I answered to have the feeling that I myself should have the boreholes drilled. The answer was that we had to wait for the government’s decision on how to install the pumps, prior to collecting money.
I understand that Gem Diamonds has restored the old borehole in Mothomelo. In any case, it was in working order in 2013 and I have drunk water from it. According to what I have read, they drilled a borehole in four other settlements, unfortunately they contained salt water and work was stopped. As far as I know this has not been continued.
Concerning the ecotourism activities, it is unknown to me if anything came off the ground.
18 May 2016
Continued with the socks yesterday.
No news about the boy with the epileptic attacks, neither about the services that were going to be brought into the CKGR.
17 May 2016
Finished a pair of socks yesterday and started on a new pair.
We are not going to attend Kuna Festival. I may stay overnight, but in a tent where also other people sleep. This does not feel comfortable, and I have cancelled our participation.
16 May 2016
Continued with the socks yesterday.
15 May 2016
Continued with the socks yesterday.
I have tried to become a member of Flying Blue, the group where Air France to belongs. As a member you can collect air miles and bonus points with every flight you make with them. How it works exactly I do not understand. I found it difficult to make an account. It seemed like I was asking for the data to rob their safe. I also am a member of the Star Alliance group, but with them I have not got farther than the 500 starting miles. I did not know that you have to tell them at checking in for your flight that you are a member. I have made several flights with Egypt Air, TAP and Lufthansa, all belonging to this group. Well, if I had not become a member I would not have had these miles either.
14 May 2016
Knitted a small piece of the sock yesterday.
13 May 2016
Started on a new pair of socks yesterday.
Yesterday the conference on the fight against worldwide corruption also started in London. At the opening the British Prime Minister told the Queen how corrupt countries like Nigeria are. He did this in front of a television camera. Maybe he did not realize that the camera was still on. This was a not to be missed chance for the Nigerian President Buhari to kick the ball straight into the British goal. He said that it was the truth. But what good was it to him? Nigerian crude oil was being stolen on a large scale. The profit was being white washed in international financial centers by transboundary criminals. One of the most leading centers is in London and a large part of the money stays there, mainly in real estate. Buhari called corruption a cancer, which effects society. And it is branched worldwide. “It does not see a difference between developed and developing countries”, he remarked subtly. He also said he did not want excuses, but money.
12 May 2016
Finished knitting a pair of socks yesterday and sold them.
There are more firms then Agric Fountain that sell seeds, fertilizer and farm equipment, but it appears to be normal that the government supports a particular firm to promote its products. Not everyone agrees with this, as can be read in Mmegi of 11 May.
“A Parliament sans ethics.

The National Assembly is a law unto itself, a Wild, Wild West where members can and sometimes do act like cowboys, shooting from the hip and getting away with it.

At least that is what right-thinking citizens can and should infer from the shocking revelation by the Speaker yesterday, to the effect that there is no code of ethics for Members of Parliament.
Without judging the merit of the allegations against Shashe West legislator, Fidelis Molao and Sebina councillor, Kemmonye Amon, the incident does bring to mind the absence of codes of ethics in publicly elected entities.
Fifty years into Independence and our most important constitutional institution operates without a code of ethics, or sets of compulsory standards regulating the ethical and moral expectations we should have of our legislators and councillors.
The situation is as grave as we make it out to be. Most of the political parties in Parliament do not have codes of ethics for their representatives and will only recall them in the event of criminal conviction. The same prevails in Parliament.
The trouble with this policy is the gulf between criminal and ethical behaviour. MPs and councillors may lie, cheat and commit a range of other reprehensible moral behaviour, including adultery and soft corruption, as long as they avoid criminal conduct. They may receive bribes, gifts and inducements. They may endorse private companies and hold undeclared interests in them.
They may receive financial benefits as incentives to introduce or kill motions. They may receive trips, hotel rooms, holidays and others without declaring them.
Free of the declaration of assets requirements they have long delayed, MPs and their brothers in local authorities enjoy an immoral amount of elbowroom in their conduct and they have frequently exercised this freedom or benefitted from it.
Enforceable ethical standards or codes for elected officials are critical in a progressive democracy because the relationship between the electorate and the elected is one underpinned by trust.
It is through trust that Batswana queue up every five years and hope that the person they put in council or Parliament will deliver on their aspirations. They trust that the person they vote for is one of impeccable moral fibre, a person of integrity capable of faithfully representing them and bringing pride to their area. Progressive democracies have codes of ethics as part of a bedrock of oversight policies and institutions to govern elected officials in entities such as the executive and the legislature.
We have none and an elected official caught in an ethical crisis is under no legal obligation to resign and pave way for investigations. We rely on their moral compass to steer them right, but none of the many caught over the years have ever done so.
This is the Botswana we have today.
Today’s thought
“When there is a lack of honour in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned.”
– Herbert Hoover”
Description of Botswana Parliament: The Botswana Parliament is charged with the responsibility of legislation and oversight. It consists of 63 Members of Parliament, being the State President, 57 Elected Members, four Specially Elected Members, and the Speaker of the National Assembly .
11 May 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
10 May 2016
Continued knitting socks yesterday.
Following article comes from Mmegi.
“Agric Fountain aids farmers. Friday 6 May 2016.

DIBONGWANE: Farmers in the northern part of Botswana are optimistic of a good sorghum harvest thanks to the farming services they received from Agric Fountain this ploughing season.

During a recent field day organised by Tonota, Tutume and Masunga (TOTUMA) arable commercial farmers association, farmers applauded Agric Fountain for the farming services it gave them.
Agric Fountain is a private agricultural company with a mission to feed Botswana and offers services in grain trading, farm input supplies and agribusiness support services. When touring a number of fields that ploughed sorghum donated by Agric Fountain, farmers were optimistic of having a good sorghum harvest and a bumper crop.
The agricultural company donated a variety of sorghum called Pannar 8906 to farmers. Pannar is a sorghum variety that matures within three months and is suitable for ploughing in low rainfall areas.
One of the beneficiaries, Emmanuel Kwelagobe who ploughed 10.92 hectares of sorghum disclosed that he is expecting to
harvest 50 bags of sorghum per hectare.
Kwelagobe also ploughed 13 hectares of lab-lab and one and a half hectares of maize. He is hopeful of getting a good harvest despite his crops being recently attacked by the American bull worm that eats sorghum grains. Another farmer, Stephen Pillar who ploughed 70 hectares of sorghum said he is expecting to harvest more than 1,000 tonnes of sorghum.
Pillar said he bought chemicals and fertilisers from Agric Fountain to use in his field and Agric Fountain offered free advise on how the fertilisers should be applied.
Encouraging farmers, the director of Agric Fountain, Loeto Makubate said they have identified four
clusters of rain-fed farmers and four clusters of horticulture farmers in TOTUMA who they are currently assisting.
Makubate said their mandate is to help Batswana produce enough food to feed the country. “We offer services like soil testing, consultation on technical advice and sell farming products and equipment,” said Makubate.
Interviewed on the sidelines of the event, Agric Fountain’s extension and technical officer, Obert Ndolo said they offer services to farmers with minimum charges.
He said that they have introduced high breed seeds of Pannar 8906 to demonstrate that they mature early.
“Our interest is to see farmers in Botswana being able to plough according to the required standards, have good harvest and be able to feed the country hence stopping the import of some foods,” said Ndolo.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture, Patrick Ralotsia encouraged farmers to consider adding fertilisers to their crops and use fertilisers that stops the growth of weeds for better yield. Ralotsia applauded Agric Fountain for the support they gave to farmers and urged them to partner with government in order to improve farming in the country.
“With private companies like Agric Fountain, as government we would like to outsource some services to you so you can help us produce enough food to feed the nation,” said Ralotsia.
The field day was held under the theme, ‘Integrating crop and livestock farming technologies, a captivating link in the wake of climate change’.”
I wonder, would there not be any other firms that sell grains, fertilizer, and farm equipment and do research?
9 May 2016
Worked on socks yesterday. Did not do much because at the moment there is much work to be done in and around the house. But have thought about the approach to the teaching at Nampol.
8 May 2016
Worked on socks yesterday and sold the small vacuum cleaner.
The Bushmen are not the only ones who are and have been robbed of their land and culture. Many indigenous peoples all over the world have suffered the same, among them the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania. They recently have asked the Avaaz community ( to help them.
Quote from Avaaz:
“The iconic Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania have been fighting for decades to survive and defend their environment.
Lately, they're losing the battle: besieged by shady poachers, billionaires who want to buy up their traditional lands for safari lodges, and sketchy government officials.
But now a Maasai community in Kenya has had a killer idea to fight back -- pool their own land and form a new kind of reserve, run by them. This will not only ensure they protect their home and the customs of their ancestors, but will create a new wildlife passage -- a crucial corridor where elephants, lions, and wildebeest roam free.
This could become a shining example for conservation and for our campaigning. Normally if we want to protect a precious ecosystem, we have to campaign for years to get a government park set up, and then all too often officials fail to protect it. This time, the Maasai could establish their own reserve, and manage it themselves!
But with a number of foreign buyers eager to take their land, the tribe needs funds fast to get the reserve up and running, take down fences, then train and pay young people to become wildlife patrollers.
They've turned to our community with an urgent request for help.
Chip in now -- let's throw them a lifeline, then campaign to help the Maasai, and indigenous communities under threat around the globe.”
Although I think this to be a good plan, I have my doubts as to whether the Maasai will be able to manage the reserve without it falling apart because of internal struggles. On the other hand, existing reserves are not always managed properly either. Time will teach us.
Talisman luxurious travels is offering a 9 day trip over and on the Okavango Delta from
€ 6.325 per person. (This may seem a lot, but if you organize this trip by yourself it will cost you more. The accommodations alone would be about € 5.378.) For this you get: accommodation, 3 meals daily, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers, teas and coffees, refreshments on game drives, laundry, safari activities, emergency medical evacuation insurance, VAT and transfers to and from the lodge airstrip, and park entrance fees. All you have to do is hope for the animals to appear at close sight (but not too close and in a bad mood) during your game drives.
7 May 2016
Started on a new pair of socks yesterday.
The small vacuumcleaner which should have been collected yesterday, was not collected. Without any explanation the buyer did not turn up.
We received an email from Helpfreely. This is an organization which has created a service for clients of webshops to pay something extra for a charity. SEMK Botswana was invited to participate in receiving donations. One of the webshops was Swarowsky. I had a look on their website, but could find nothing about Helpfreely on their home page. Also when I filled in the purchase form no information was forth coming. We have thanked for the offer by throwing away the email.
6 May 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
5 May 2016
Continued with socks and jumper yesterday.
There was an answer from the Permanent Committee Chamber of Commons to the letter I had sent (see 28 April). The letter was discussed in their meeting and taken note of. We were thanked for sending it. For the moment we have not made any progress, but who knows, maybe in future someone will think again about our question and serious attention might be given to it.
Continued with sorting things to take to Botswana or bring them to the 2nd hand store.
4 May 2016
Worked on socks and jumper yesterday.
As the room where we stored the 2nd hand articles is nearly empty, the stuff that is in our spare room can be moved in there. This are clothes, toys etc. which in future is going to
Botswana. Next week we are having guests, and the spare room has to be cleaned.
3 May 2016
Continued knitting socks yesterday.
An article from a Zimbabwean newspaper:
Govt thwarts EU bid to ban trophy imports
May 2, 2016 Local News
Samantha Chigogo Herald Correspondent
Government has stopped the European Union’s bid to ban the import of hunting trophies from Zimbabwe with exports of wildlife from the regional bloc expected to soar, a Cabinet minister has said.
This was after Government launched massive campaigns against the ban saying the move had major repercussions on the country’s economy.The United States of America last year imposed a ban on trophies hunted from the region after the killing of Cecil the Lion by an American dentist, Walter Palmer, and in the last weeks, EU had raised new intentions to ban the importation of trophies hunted from Zimbabwe specifically.
In an interview with The Herald recently, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said Zimbabwe had successfully resisted EU’s influence on trophy imports and exports.“We sent a delegation from the Ministry of Environment including the permanent secretary Mr Prince Mupazviriho, Chief Charumbira and officials from the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to EU offices in Zimbabwe as well as their regional offices where they lodged their campaigns against the ban,” she said.
“Fortunately, a number of dignitaries fought in our corner including our ambassador to Zimbabwe who pushed our petitions forward and EU failed to secure enough signatures to continue with their bid as only 135 of the required 376 votes were received by members of the Western-dominated trading bloc.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Zimbabwe collectively fought on behalf of several other African countries that would be affected by the ban. “We realised that our fight did not just stand for Zimbabwe alone, but we represent other countries in the region like Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and Botswana,” she said.
“Several communities and hunters thrive on hunting, which they import across the globe, therefore this proposed ban only meant that EU was literally banning all hunting activities in Africa.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the country had enough wildlife to legally engage in trophy hunting.
“Environment policies require us to have more than 82 000 elephants that we successfully take good care of and as a country we are above that float to sustainably engage in hunting activities,” she said. “What we do not want are people who trade in ivory.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said hunting activities played an important role in sustaining the country’s wildlife engagements.
2 May 2016
Continued with the socks yesterday and sold 80 bakelite records.
1 May 2016
Started on a new pair of socks yesterday.
Continued packing 2de hand articles, until there were no more boxes.
The weather was like it used to be on the celebration day of the Queen’s birthday: dry and sunny. Two years ago the Queen’s sun took over and as his birthday is on 27 April, the celebration was moved to that date. If next year the weather again is miserable on the 27th and pleasant on the 30th, I shall start collecting signatures for a referendum in order to celebrate King’s Day on 30 April.
Cookie free - This website doesn't use cookies