Good Morning, Good People

Bamee-way, go and get some tea. Or are you just OK? Me, I’m tired. Stress. Eish.

That’s what it sounds like when people talk to us here, guys. What. Is. Up? Greeting from the land of high 75, low 52, otherwise known as the hills of Southeastern Botswana. The summer finally broke in mid-March and the weather is now officially set to six months of pleasant. Although, a glance at the forecast suggests a low of 42 degrees later this week. Seems early for all that. We thought winter didn’t start until May. Regardless, we’ll take it.

Things are moving along, aren’t they? We’ve been in country for more than 8 months now. There will be a whole new batch volunteers before we know it. Soon we’ll be the old vets, thin and tan and grey with an air of gravitas. We are trying to enjoy it while can. Things are hopping at work. In addition to her three existing work sites, Kellie will be evaluating Botswana’s first and only autism program. Jon is the middle of a big distribution of clothing to the orphans of Kanye (sadly, there are around 1,500 in a village of 50,000.) Each of them is getting up to $100 for new clothes from the mall. It’s been a vast undertaking with tons of paperwork and weekend work and getting swarmed by orphans, but the kids are psyched and that makes it great.

We spend our free time about how you expect. Trying to make cheese and/or tofu. Not sure which this was.

Cheese

Chomping on THICK stacks of pancakes from scratch (go eff yourself, Becky Twiford!)

Cakes

Strumming while the laundry dries.

Guitaro

Growing tiny vegetables.

Veggies

And avoiding huge spiders.

Spidey

We got to take a week off at the beginning of April to do a Setswana Language Week in Palapye. Big shout out to Dave and Amy and Luke and Anna and our teacher Zanele for making it a week to remember. Jon won trivia night, by the way.

LangWeek

Highlights included: Luke giving Jon a portrait he had painted of himself.

Portrait

Passover seder in Botswana (there can’t have been very many in the past.)

Passover

And our first attempt at Botswana camping! And for us, our first ever joint camping trip. Initially, spirits were high. We successfully set up our tent and miraculously found a tree that grows fruit the exact size, weight, and shape of bocce balls. Shout out to the Golden Rollers.

Bocce

We cooked by the fire.

Campcook

But then, sometime in the middle of the night, the rain started. Everyone hustled to get their tents covered but we still woke up with our heads in puddles. Undaunted, we took a morning hike to Moremi Gorge where the site of high, green grass was enough to give us pause. You know, it being the desert and all.

HighGrass

As did this giant, melting baobab tree.

Baobab

The gorge itself boast 5 waterfalls and bridges over creeks and nesting vultures and fig forests and is really an amazing place that not even the rain could dampen the beauty of.

Waterfallz

But, after 12 hours, we were soaking wet and ended up bailing on our second night of camping opting to call for taxis and huddle under shelter passing around a jar of peanut butter until we were retrieved. We’ll give camping another shot sometime. The rainy season is all but over.

What’s next, you ask? There’s an All-Volunteer conference in mid-May and directly after our first friend from America is coming to visit. If you had Damian Elias in the betting pool, you won. We can’t wait. Talk to you soon.

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