30 Jun 2016
Continued with the socks yesterday.
I have started to pack the suitcases. One suitcase is ready and weighs 8.04 kilogram, which is 0,04 kilogram to heavy, which probably will be no problem. It contains: 2 overalls as a present; books as example to copy; cards to embroider; paper serviettes to cover boxes in which the children can create a landscape with animals, or a room with furniture, etc.; books with games and handicraft examples; a few magazines for myself; the other things I cannot remember. The tape that a few weeks ago had been stuck on the largest suitcase to prevent damaged patches becoming more worn, was in some places come undone. Henk has put some glue under a piece to see if this will make it stick better.
29 Jun 2016
Did a bit of knitting to the socks yesterday.
The sheep which is owned by SEMK had in spring 2 lambs. These have been sold yesterday. The sale of the fleece is very disappointing this year. Three sheep have died and therefore cannot supply a fleece, and 1 lamb. Of the two remaining fleece one is of inferior quality. We are left with 2 sheep, SEMK is owner of one, and 1 lamb.
It is already bad enough that animals like elephants, rhinoceroses and the likes are being killed to use parts for traditional (not useful) medicine, or for other absurd rituals. But people too are still victim of these practices for rituals. At the moment a man is in court in Botswana because he has murdered a woman. He has admitted this and explained what he did with some parts of the body. This is too gruesome to repeat. An honorable task for the government to inform people that this is not the way to treat ones fellow-men.
28 Jun 2016
Finished the skirt yesterday. It has become a bit longer and does not curl upwards at the hem. Continued with the socks.
I have not decided yet from which station to travel on 30 August. Because the train does not go directly from Beilen (our nearest station) to Schiphol any more, Henk drove me to another station, Assen. This meant travelling 27 km in the opposite direction. I decided to start this time from Beilen and change at Meppel (28 km, but in the direction of Schiphol) for the train coming from Leeuwarden and going to Schiphol. This means unloading 2 suitcases weighing each 23 kilogram, 1 suitcase of 8 kilogram and a small but heavy backpack. Luckily the train arrives at the same platform as the Leeuwarden train, but it still means having to carry the suitcases on the other train. From experience I know there always will be someone who will help with the suitcases, but maybe there are only a few, or no people on the train or on the platform at 2 pm. Maybe I have taken out half of the luggage and the train goes off. Or shall I ask Henk to take me to Meppel station.
There is another (funny) reason to board at Meppel station. About 1980 there was an old woman who also had problems at Meppel station to board the train with her heavy suitcase. This I read in a book a friend gave me, “The Blue Lady, life and work of Jeanne Adriana Wilhelmina Warners (3 August 1899- 3 June 1986), founder of Miramar Zeemuseum (Sea museum) in Vledder (The Netherlands). “ Author J.D. van der Tuin, edition July 2013.
The following is quoted with permission of Miramar Zeemuseum, who is the publisher of the book.
In an introduction Prof.dr.ir. Teake M. de Jong writes:
“The Blue Lady.
Around the time of 1980 I was living in Weststellingwerf (The Netherlands) and commuted everyday between Wolvega and Zwolle to work as a town planner with “Stad en Landschap” (Town and Landscape) on the development of Zwolle-South. The train made a stop at Meppel station, where the track from Groningen merges with the one from Leeuwarden. I had noticed several times that now and again a very old woman in a pastel blue garment was waiting on the platform. Her inimitable crooked posture and piercing look coming from underneath a broad brimmed hat with veils, gazed intently in the direction where the train came from, expressed a near scientific attention for the place where the slowing down train would stop. At the same time her aristocratic appearance at the Meppel station gave it a 19th century royal glow. For Northern (the north of The Netherlands) ideas she was not just a little bit blue, but enormously blue, from the hat to the shoes. Behind her stood perpendicular on the train direction an oversized suitcase, so passersby could not get around her. When the train stopped she always stood pontifical for the opening doors. After having for the first time seen the scene that then took place, I did not want to miss this for anything, whenever it would happen. When boarding the train at Wolvega, I always took a position from a window in a First Class compartment which could give me a view on it.
First she let the flood of students that left the train pass her on both sides. She stood there as a rock in the surf, with the suitcase looking ahead and placed in her wake. Her bearing now was bold upright directed on the moment of stepping in. Next she stepped onto, while elaborately raising her veil, the carriage while her suitcase stayed lonely on the platform. Unfortunately I have never seen how she did this, but in the group of students around her suitcase waiting for their turn there always arose some commotion after a sound that through the closed compartment door resembled a command. Yet, the military laden word “command” was not suited in this case. It was rather the short but aristocratic granting of a privilege, a favor being granted from a literal high-principled position to the masses. It always took some time before the most gallant student the usual felt awkwardness under students to be called a creep for the rest of his life overcame, and picked up the suitcase like it had no weight. This was apparently not the case, so that it took some time before the colossus ended up in the train.
If you think the blue lady stood there waiting for it, then you are wrong. She was already standing before the door of de First Class to make her entrance, visible busy with the re-arrangement of her veil. Therefore it was clear to everybody in the compartment that action was called for. The heavy door was slide open for her and she treaded inside, graciously thanking for this otherwise self-evident accepted gesture.
She did not sit down immediately, but took place after some consideration, and this time in front of me. She did not seem to be troubled about her suitcase at all. After some time this was carried inside by the strongest student and after an imperceptible hint, shoved into the luggage rack above the blue lady with the necessary effort. This was apparently the predictable result of a student’s consultation in the other compartment. The student then hurried back to his colleagues, after having made a curtsy. Yes, a curtsy.
Times have changed and I am convinced that nowadays students will ask politely if they may help me, without me having to ask or say anything. And do this with much pleasure. However, there probably will be no students around at 2 pm on 30 August to carry the suitcases in the train. It might be better to ask Henk to take me to the station and put the suitcases in the train. Although he is always worried that the train might go off with him still in it. By the time the train arrives at Schiphol, it is always full of helpful passengers, so getting off will be no problem.
27 Jun 2016
Worked on socks and skirt yesterday.
26 Jun 2016
Worked on socks and skirt yesterday.
25 Jun 2016
Worked on socks and skirt yesterday.
The majority of the British people have decided to leave the EU. The value of the £ is gone down considerably. On the website of X rates in the morning the Pula was € 1 = Pula 12.706013, later on it had gone down to Pula 12.259462.
24 Jun 2016
Finished the socks yesterday and sold them, and started on a new pair.
22 Jun 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
21 Jun 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
On Mmegi’s website (Botswana newspaper) I have started a discussion on the death sentence. The reason for this was an article in Mmegi about a number of Botswana criminals who had been tried for serious criminal offences in South Africa. Botswana had made an extradition request. Before complying with this request South Africa wanted the reassurance that the people were not going to be killed. The Botswana president could not guarantee this. But now they are going to be extradited.
My message on the website was in short that people without sins may throw the first stone. There were three reactions. Two mentioned that it was easy for me to talk like that from South Africa, because there “we” all kill each other. One reaction presumably wanted to comfort me by writing that he had no problem with the death sentence in Botswana. In my reaction to them I have thanked them for their reactions and that I understand them. That I am a Dutch woman and not a South African. And that indeed it is easy for me to talk. But that I feel sorry for them to live in such a dangerous country that the death sentence has to be used to keep people on the straight and narrow.
At 9.30 pm there was no further reaction. I do not expect that my interference will turn everybody against the death sentence, but it gives me a tiny bit of insight in how three people in Botswana think about it.
20 Jun 2016
Worked on socks yesterday and went to the market in Westerbork. Sold eight chickens, one mouse, one set of earrings and one small crocheted tortoise. Total inclusive gifts € 40,35. Had interesting conversations with interesting people.
19 Jun 2016
Worked on socks yesterday and packed the remaining stuff for the market on Sunday.
18 Jun 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
17 Jun 2016
Finished 1 sock yesterday, but it is too small so a part of it has to be unpicked. Sold some sheep fleece. The buyer is going to use it to put it around the plants in her garden, to prevent the snails from eating the plants. An interesting and friendly way to keep the snails away from the plants.
16 Jun 2016
Worked on socks yesterday.
Quotation from newspaper Trouw, 14 June 2016.
It was the Turkish President Recep Tayyip who got the ball rolling. Thanks to his anger about the German statement that the Ottoman murder of the Armenians in 1915 and 1916 was “genocide”, and inclusive his sharp comments about the German past, Berlin now makes haste with a “genocide”- declaration about the mass murder brought about by their own colonial troops in present day Namibië.
“Painful” it was called by the parliament chairman Norbert Lammert (CSU, Germany) this weekend, that more than a century after date, a similar evidence has not been passed yet for the murder of at least 65.000 members of the Herero tribe and at least 10.000 Nama, in the beginning of the 20th century. Yesterday the minister of foreign affairs Frank- Walter Steinmeier announced that Namibië and Germany aim at giving a communal declaration before the Bundestag elections in 2017. The talks about a genocide declaration are according to him in a far advanced phase.
Between 1904 and 1908 German military bereft tens of thousands of indigenous people of their lives, in what was then called Southwest- Africa, after the Herero had started a revolt. General Lothar von Trotha ordered to exterminate the whole tribe and to shoot at everybody,
whether they were carrying a weapon or not. Anyone who was not killed immediately often died in the desert, concentration camps or through dehydration.
In 2004 Heidemarie Wieczorek- Zeul, the minister of development aid of that time, offered in Namibië for the first time apologies for the events a century earlier, although on personal title. Earlier on Lammert and Steinmeier also had used the word “genocide”.
Cem Özdemir, chairman of Die Grünen, was pleased with the steps that are now being taken. “The first genocide of the 20th century has been committed by Germany in Namibië, and the Herero and Nama were the victims” he said. “It is high time that the federal republic takes her historical responsibility and gives the crime the correct specification.”
Zedika Ngavirue, who represents Namibië in the negotiations with Germany, declares that his country expects that the genocide is going to be admitted and that Germany will make excuses for it. “And then we come to the third and most important point” he said on tv broadcasting station ZDF, “namely, the issue of compensations.”
Southwest- Africa was from 1884 till 1915 a colony of the German Imperial.“ End of quotation.
It would be a good thing if the government of Botswana would have more understanding of the damage that has been caused to the culture and lives of the indigenous people of Botswana by other tribes coming into the area. There is still a lack of understanding for the people who do not want, or are not capable, of adjusting themselves to present day’s way of life in the Botswana society. It would be a good thing if a profound study is made of the causes for the reluctance/ inability to confirm. Probably there has been done already enough research to merge it easily into a new study.
15 Jun 2016
Worked on socks yesterday. Sold the mirror. The sale of the birds is going well.
Although the Botswana government is of the opinion that all citizens of Botswana are indigenous, some of them were in Botswana before others. The reason for not distinguish between tribes is, according to the government, to avoid quarrels between tribes and ethnic wars.
The largest and most dominant group in Botswana is the Tswana, originally Bantu, who immigrated during the 14th century from Central/ East Africa.
Quotation: “The origin of the name ‘Tswana’ is a mystery. It is applied to a number of groups who all speak the same Bantu language, have similar customs, but separate names. None of them ever knew themselves as the Tswana. As with several other people in South Africa, their name was given by foreigners. The meaning is unknown.”
They were also known as Chuana, Coana, Cuana, Setswana, Sechuana of Beetjuans. These names were changed into Bechuana. The English used the name Bechuanaland for their protectorate. At the independence of Botswana on 30 September 1966 this was changed into Botswana. Besides English as an official language, is Setswana used. One citizen of Botswana is a Motswana, the plural is Batswana. One San is a Mosarwa, the plural is Basarwa.
This information has been taken from an article on the internet.
Another immigrated tribe, the Bakgalagadi, “employed” the San as cow herders and farmworkers. They did not get much reward.
In the above quoted article it also mentions:
“For me the day the rights of the Bakgalagadi people are protected, will be the day humanity triumphs against the arrogance of certain groups of people over the indegenous peoples of this world. The unspeakable human rights abuses that have gone on unabated for so long in Botswana against the Basarwas are a disgrace to Africa similar to Apartheid abuses just next door that have thankfully been legally if not effectively abolished.
Sometimes I wonder at the ability of the African to inflict on his fellow man the same pain the colonizer inflicted on us. I guess at the end of the day we are just all people. The same before God and man.
With this is ignored the fact that Africans did (and do) the most cruel things to each other. Maybe this means there has been improvement in respect to each other, and these cruelties have been forgotten. At least, by Boshie Matlou.
14 Jun 2016
Survival International has started a new call for a boycott of tourism in Botswana. Several well-known people are supporting this. I do not understand what improvements SI is expecting from a boycott. In a direct way it will harm the San. If there are fewer tourists, there will be less work for them. I agree with SI that the forced removal from the CKGR to inadequate relocation settlements has been a disaster. And it is not correct that the San and other indigenous tribes have systematically been, and are robbed of their homelands. Last year a man said to me: “One day the people will ask themselves why they cannot feed their children. They will call those responsible to account in a painful way.”
13 Jun 2016
Finished the jumper yesterday and sold it. To myself.
12 Jun 2016
Worked on the skirt yesterday, but I have unpicked the newly knitted piece. As the hem of the skirt curled upwards, I wanted to knit a strip on the inside of the skirt to keep it stable. The advice someone gave me did not solve the whole problem, so I shall do it in my own way and hope this will be more successful.
We collected the drawings from the exhibition. No drawings were sold, but there was one coin in the red car which is used to collect donations.
11 Jun 2016
Added small piece to the skirt yesterday.
10 Jun 2016
Yesterday afternoon I was hostess at the exhibition where my drawings are exhibited.
In between conversations with visitors and a few volunteers of the exhibition I worked on the skirt.
A friend gave us a birdcage to sell.
9 Jun 2016
Continued yesterday with the finishing touches on the jumper and started with renovations on a knitted skirt, which is coming to Botswana. Sold 60 mice.
He who does right to other people, will receive good deeds in return. In this case in the shape of a sales representative of an energy company, a competitor of our energy provider. Because we have a foundation, we can obtain gas and electricity from them in a business deal. We will give it a good thought. The representative suggested that the money we save by obtaining services from them can be put into SEMK Botswana. It sounds very lucrative, maybe too much.
8 Jun 2016
Yesterday I have been busy with putting some of the finishing touches to the jumper.
The motor mechanic student has returned to Nampol. The Nampol directors had advised him to offer his apologies to us for absconding from Nampol, which he has done. He now wants to finish the course. We will consider if this would be wise.
7 Jun 2016
Finished knitting the jumper yesterday and now it can be sewn together.
Patched up the worn places of the large black suitcase with strong silver colored tape. I took small pieces of the corners of the patches to prevent them from coming off easily, and stuck them onto the suitcase, turning it into a dark sky with silvery stars. It now will be impossible to overlook the suitcase on the baggage band.
6 Jun 2016
Knitted a piece of the jumper yesterday. I do not feel much like knitting at the moment. The new medicine for my slow working thyroid gland, for which a tablet of 25 microgram has to be divided in half to make together with another tablet 112,5 microgram, makes for an irregular intake. The 25 microgram tablet cannot exactly be divided in half. Consequences: tired, drowsiness during the day, often at night awake for hours, bad concentration, bad tempered. If I could make just one wish, I would wish that the thyroid gland would be stabilized again before 30 August (departure data for Botswana). Thank you.
If I was the only person with these complaints, it would not be too bad. But probably there are thousands (or more) other people with these complaints as a result of the discontinuation of the production of their accustomed medicine. For at least half a year. I think this is even worse for children.
5 Jun 2016
Worked on jumper yesterday.
In a garden center I discovered two soft mini rugby balls with a cheerful colored pennant. I decided to buy them for a pre school in Botswana. As there was no price on it and this could not be found in the checkout computer, I offered one cent, as it was for poor children. Theu were given for free and I promised to show a picture of the children and the balls, after my return.
Article in Mmegi.
Police refuse to use ‘witchcraft’ in investigations
The Botswana Police Service (BPS) has strongly condemned and refused to use methods of hypnotism and psychic powers to enhance their investigations. The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Tapudzani Gabolekwe dismissed the use of such things when appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday.
“We do not want to go into that theory. We have had instances where traditional doctors have offered to assist us, but we do not believe in these things,” he said.
MP for Kanye South Abram Kesupile, who is also the chairman of PAC, had suggested that other countries have now resorted to hypnotism to assist them when solving crimes.
The Police boss further said: “We want to conduct proper investigations that we will be able to use as evidence in the courts of law.”
Gabolekwe further said witchcraft does not exist unless “we are proved otherwise”.
Tati East legislator Samson Moyo Guma also asked why if the police believe in God as evidenced by swearing by the Bible when giving evidence in court, they cannot be assisted by prophets when solving certain crimes.
“Is it because witchcraft is on the extreme? Why are you starting this from a prejudiced angle? How come you swear by the Bible when giving evidence in court?” Guma asked.
When briefing the PAC, the police chief also raised concern about the rising number of rape cases in the country. Gabolekwe said the prevalence of rape cases has gone up and that victims are even now being followed to their homes. Gabolekwe said most of the cases often involve people known to the victims.
“Sometimes the victims are violated by the very people they stay with; others are attacked in their houses. Most no longer feel safe even in the corners of their own homes,” Gabolekwe said.
The top cop however said this is a social ill that the police cannot win alone.
4 Jun 2016
Worked on jumper yesterday.
After having read several research papers on the San, it appears that not all the information on the SEMK Botswana website is correct. It will be corrected.
3 Jun 2016
Knitted a piece of the jumper yesterday.
An article in the Sunday Standard announced that only the San are indigenous to Africa. The other inhabitants had originally come from Afghanistan. This needs to be researched before writing more about it.
2 Jun 2016
Continued with knitting jumper.
Have read several articles.
1 Jun 2016
Finished a pair of socks yesterday. This was the last pair for the moment. Continued with the jumper.