One of the main roads of Gaborone
days in Gabs are overâ€¦Feelings are a little bit mixed: There didnâ€™t seem much
to be going on this weekend. My Saturday was spent mainly playing with Nina and
Joey in the morning as well as shopping groceries with the family at a mall and
then heading out by foot to a pretty empty Main Mall Shopping Centre that is
located in the heart of the city, pretty run down, but also very empty for a
Saturday afternoon. Many shops had closed by 3 PM or earlier.
I went to an
Internet cafĂ© were I posted my latest entries. The place was alright, a speedy
connection and 1:30 h cost me 10 Pula (approx. 1 Euro). Apart from that, there
was nothing going on, so I headed back one of these roads you can see on the
photo. It is a major one way road in Gabs, doesnâ€™t look like it, huh? The whole
city looks like this: you see so much green and grass at the sidetracks, it
feels rather rural than city-like.
But then they have these ultramodern
buildings as wellâ€¦strange mixture.
My cell phone
is still freaking me out: On Saturday, I tried sending a message to different
friends in Germany and Switzerland,
and it worked (at least it said so! â€“ Judith or Thomas, could any of you please
confirm you received my message?), except for two numbersâ€¦really strange. The
guy from Orange
promised to get back to me with information, but so far (Sunday morning)
I slept long and after getting up, Regina,
a German who is working for the Ministry of Education, asked me whether I
wanted to join her for a drive outside Gabs.
I readily agreed. The weather was
like it has been ever since I arrived: blue skies, not a single cloud. We drove
past Kgale Hill, Gabsâ€™ local hill, and headed east, towards Molepolole passing Mogoditshane.
The route was ok, but the sights werenâ€™t too nice: loads of tire and car
dealers, a lot of rubbish on the streets, people walking and offering things
for sale, sometimes as little as 3 water melons. Once we left that road towards
Kopong, all of a sudden it became much more rural and for the first time it
looked like bush. We saw loads and loads of cattle (a sign for richness in Botswana), goats
and donkeys. All was lushly green, and Regina
explained that there had been loads of rain recently.
At Arne's Horse Safari
We kind of
lost our way (there are not many road signs in Botswana), so we stopped at a gas
station to inquire.
Here, I was met with what seems to be typical. A guy
volunteered to drive with us to show us where we wanted to go. His car had run
out of petrol and we could drop him off on the wayâ€¦well, in fact his car was
several km behind where we wanted to go, but nonetheless, it was ok. It seems
to happen all the time, you are asked whether you can take someone along in
your car. It happened to us 3 times today, and we always took them. One lady
even offered 5 Pula fair before she left the car (we declined). During that
ride I learned another lesson: never ask a Motswana (inhabitant of Botswana) how
much cattle he owns. Since cattle is a sign for status and richness, you do not
ask about it because it might embarrass your counterpart. Regina did just that, and the guy in the car
got rather silent and then admitted he did not own much cattleâ€¦later she
remembered that this was not appropriateâ€¦
Mokolodi Nature Reserve
we went to was Arneâ€™s Horse Safaris.
Arne was a Scandinavian who bought a huge
property and since then hosts horse safaris on that land. It is a beautiful spot,
you can see some in the pictures. The horses however did not look all too good,
they were very skinny. Arne died a year ago and his nephew has taken over, but
it seems he is not very interested in the farm. He lives in Gabs and rarely travels
the 40 km.
We left and
headed back to Gabs, taking a young woman with us (who offered the 5 Pula).
Once we dropped her off, Regina suggested going
to Mokolodi Nature Reserve, some 15 km south-west of Gaborone, behind Kgale Hill. It was a
splendid idea! We sat on the restaurantâ€™s terrace, enjoyed some nice tapas-style
food and had a chilled lemonade, watching the sun sink and enjoying each
otherâ€™s company as well as a Jack Russel terrierâ€™s. J We talked and talked and finally decided to
get back to our apartment. On the way back, I got to see my first warthogs! A
family: 2 babies, mommy and daddy. I was so happy and excited I forgot to get
my camera out and take a pictureâ€¦darn. I guess thereâ€™ll be more to photograph
at a later point.
this was a really nice Sunday: leaving the city and seeing some rural Botswana was
just what I needed now. I feel like finally I have seen some of Botswana. The
Gabs setting seems pretty unreal with all its walls and cars and electric
Iâ€™ll end with a curious thing I noticed yesterday:
In Botswana, jam and marmalade are bought in cans! Same goes for butter. I will
try to post a picture soon!