This Guy

Dog

Every single morning I leave my house to find this guy standing here. He’s adorable, right?! Wrong. Not only does he whine incessantly at me, but he’ll jump on me, get my clothes all dirty, and follow me into town where I typically have to watch him get terrorized by other dogs. What this dog badly needs is a farm.

 

Also – welcome to a new  feature on my blog! As this blog has evolved I’ve noticed that I want my written posts to be a bit more polished than simply throwing in a diary entry. While that’s fine and good it’s created a void when trying to show snippets of my daily life.  So I created a “Photo” category, which i’ll update more frequently and intersperse with my more detailed posts. I welcome any and all feedback. Enjoy!


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Eating the Mopane Worm

My PCV friend John just posted this photo on Facebook of me and a friend about to eat a Mopane worm, or Gonimbrasia belina.  These little guys are abundant here – rich in protein and in my opinion, worthy of a little more attention.

So how was it? The best way I can describe it is that tastes a bit like a seaweed cheeto with all seaweed and no cheeto flavor. Fortunately in the states I used to buy sheets of seaweed to munch on as a late night snack, so the thought of eating one of these guys wasn’t so repulsive. Of course, a seaweed sheet is just a flattened out plant, and this thing had a head and eyes I had to look deep into before crunching into it. So though they probably won’t be my snack of choice in the future, I’m happy I gave it a whirl.  A lot of people regularly eat them here, they’re actually quite healthy, and why the hell not?  In rural villages people harvest them and make money by selling bags of 15-20 in markets and along the sides of the roads. I haven’t found them as easily in Francistown, but that could be because people have the option of getting their protein from the nearest Wimpy instead.

I used to think this worm was just a worm, and was surprised to find out it’s actually a caterpillar that matures into a moth. So I ate a baby moth. Maybe one day I’ll skip the kid stuff and reach up to catch my next meal flying around my kitchen light bulb.

Wikipedia article on Mopane Worm

Shadowing Fin – Maun

Saturday morning we hitched a ride in the back of a truck to the bus junction. It saved us about an hour’s walk, and I greatly enjoyed experiencing the business-like practice of hitching in Botswana. Hitching is how some locals make their car payments; others give them out in exchange for the company. Unless the driver is drinking or rowdy, one can assume that it is a relatively safe thing to do on occasion in Botswana.

We took a bus from the junction to Maun – and I began to count the immense number of hours I spent on a bus during my trip so far. After everything was said and done I’d spent 28 hours on a bus in five days.

Maun is a heavily visited tourist town. There are white people everywhere, I hadn’t noticed until then was a strange sight to see. We had some time to kill before our second evening at our comfy hotel room, so we hit up the Education Park to try to catch a glimpse of some animals.

The Education Park was pretty amazing. Though it was built for humans, the setting consisted of an expansive bushy grassland, with tall trees and termite mounds reaching 6 ft. from the ground. Animals were just living there, not separated from the human observers, and thrown rocks and loosely made signs pointed us on some sort of a trail. There we encountered warthogs, impala, strange blue-headed flightless foul, and lastly, a couple of incredibly tall giraffe. I mean, I know they’re tall, but I had forgotten just how tall. These creatures are like dinosaurs. 

 

My trip up to Etsha 6 enlightened me on what is to come, and helped solidify my desires for my own site placement. The announcement for our permanent sites will be on May 22nd.  I’ll be sure to post the news up then!!