Official Transmission: November 2014

Next week will be a month in Kanye already! Once routine kicks in, time begins to fly. We are settling in bordering on fully settled in. With the pictures to prove it. We have planted a cactus. Note the sexually ambiguous ballcap.

Cactus

Along with two giant raised beds of tomatoes and chilis and lettuces. So far the kale is the runaway star of the sprouting show.

Beds

We have made several key recent purchases including a cheap green guitar and a book to help us identify birds. As you can imagine, we have amazing birds here in Botswana. If any of you stateside would like to get into the illegal wildlife trade, let us know. We can be your people on the inside. As far as the guitar goes, Jon hasn’t played in years but the recent changes have inspired him to pick it up again. He’s currently working on a very poignant song about the number of 90s era Toyota Cressidas (the Goff family car) still on the road in Botswana.

Guitar

We grill vegetables and cheeseburgers in the firepit over a grate we had custom welded for the purpose. There are welders and metalworkers on almost every corner. Along with women selling candy and popcorn and cell phone airtime.

Burgs

We go on hikes and spot mosques.

Mosque

We cook dinner at twilight.

House

Both of us are doing well at our jobs and staying ridiculously busy by Peace Corps standards. We both worked full days (7:30am to 4:30pm) the majority of the time last week. Jon is helping the Social Work Office organize their files (physically and electronically and possibly even emotionally) while Kellie is teaching Guidance and Counseling sessions (talking to kids about herself and America and her husband, Bamzo) and attending and planning workshops with the Regional Education Center. Work will, no doubt, come in fits and starts and, certainly, slow down as the holidays approach.

Speaking of the holidays, we are making plans with our new friends this side on where and when and how to celebrate. Stay tuned for photos. The weather remains pleasant. Cool in the mornings and evenings, scorching hot in the afternoons. A bath and a fan are all you need to sleep well. And now it even rains! Three days straight last week and we’ve been receiving text messages from the weather service about possible flooding for the week to come. Regardless, the rain and clouds moving in will keep the temperatures in the 70s and 80s for the foreseeable future. We are starting to worry more about winter than summer here in the mountains of Kanye. We hear it gets COLD. Frantic requests to mail us winter coats and scarves and mittens and earmuffs may be coming.

Which brings us to the mountains. Neither of us has ever lived in the mountains and we have found the experience very much to our liking so far. On a daily basis the pretty views overlooking the town and the blue hills beyond, do us so very right. Not to mention that all the running and walking will have us in dog soldier shape by this time next year (look out Victoria Falls Marathon!).

You probably read all about the big Botswana presidential elections in your local newspaper. Wait, you didn’t? That’s weird. Well, the party that has ruled since it’s independence in 1966 won again. The current president (Ian Khama) will serve his second 5-year term. He is the son of the first president, and one of only 4 presidents in Botswana’s history. The elections were more hotly disputed than years’ past and we think the opposition won more parliament seats than ever before. On the ground, there were a lot of voices over loudspeakers and people riding in the backs of trucks but definitely no rough stuff.

Election

We keep you all in our hearts. And we talk about you all the time. Mainly to Atang and Tankiso and Larona. But that’s because they come over every day, every single day, over and over and over again. And we have to talk about something.

Collage

Special shout out to Clay Cansler and Upma Singh for first package to successfully arrive in Kanye containing the wonderfully thoughtful gift of a tent! We look forward to using it very soon. For people who’ve never camped, that’s saying a lot. We updated the list on the blog of things to send us. You don’t have to send us anything but, rest assured, we would love it if you did. Here’s a picture of Jon and Atang inside the tent which they built for practice inside the house. They built it like pros. For realz. Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer had the intern at his apartment? That’s quickly becoming Jon and Atang.

Tent

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  • Patrick Kelly

    I was just checking you guys out on Google earth. I am happy to discover you have a Woolworths in Kanye. It’s right near the Choppies. What is Choppies?

    • Kellie Goldberg

      Sorry for the late reply. Just doing some stuff on the ole blog and saw this for the first time. I am not sure if Woolworths is related to the one we are familiar with. Some stores have Woolworths foods which stock items like quinoa tortilla chips and greek yoghurt. Basically some luxury food items not found elsewhere. Choppies is a Botswana brand grocery store. We have two of them in Kanye. It is a great store, not fancy but usually has a great produce selection and it is inexpensive. If you google earth again and find the other Choppies, it is really close to our house. Hope CLV is treating you right!