Crazy Storm this Side

If there had been any question as to whether or not the rainy season had begun in Francistown, last Friday certainly gave us a definite answer.

Lately we’d been receiving brief but still unusual rain showers, lasting around 10-15 minutes at the most, sometimes with substantial thunder and lightning but doing little else other than giving us a break from the hot and dry Botswana climate.

Last Friday, however, Francistown finally experienced the rainy season’s grand entrance. Having just returned home from a week at work, I welcomed the weekend by putting some Black Keys through my living room speakers, preparing a huge, improvised salad (a new and refined kitchen hobby that replaced the heavy-thigh producing bread-making hobby), and sipping a glass of red.  Not an hour had passed at home before I felt the thunder begin to rumble, so I put my salad in the fridge,  took my glass and my camera and sat on my porch.

During the storm the power went out all over Francistown and remained out until 2 a.m. It was the longest power outage I experienced since moving here. Once the storm ended and the sun set, the neighborhood became still and pitch-black, and though I looked I was disappointed to see the clouds still veiled the potentially amazing scene of stars. Whatever, I thought. I didn’t have plans for the evening anyway, and I desperately needed “me time” since hosting a Halloween get together the weekend before.  So I made the most of the powerless darkness by watching previously downloaded TED Talks and Californication episodes until my wine ran dry and my little laptop battery gave out.  The night turned out to be just what I needed.

The next morning I went to a work event football match, and on the way I saw several huge trees uprooted, tin roofs lying next to their houses, leaves and branches all over people’s yards (usually Batswana are very strict about keeping their yards neatly swept), and large pools of rainwater collected on the sides of most of the roads.

About a week prior I got caught in a smaller storm without protection, so as a side note, now I never leave the house without my umbrella.


President’s Day Weekend

So Botswana just celebrated its President’s Day, which is different from Sir Seretse Khama day because this time we received two whole days off from work.  So some friends and I took advantage of this by doing the following:

  • Cooking an exorbitant amount of food
    • Macaroni, failed attempts at rice krispie treats and caramel corn, egg dishes, roasted vegetables, roasted marshmallows, hamburgers, hot dogs, coke floats (tonight for dinner I will be eating carrots and beets). P1030419
  • Playing with and Feeding orphans at the Mother Teresa Resource Center
    • Spent Saturday morning playing with close to 200 orphans who are offered a healthy, filling meal each Saturday. More on this in next post. It was amazing!P1030361
  • Attending a Motswana Baby Shower
    • These events are fierce. “Bring your own Bottle” was the only thing mentioned on the invite aside from the time and place. Though the one we attended was tame, I learned that a game frequently played at these is to give unmarked gifts to the mother-to-be, and if she can’t correctly guess who gave the gift then someone has to “punish” her by executing various hazing activities (ie smearing mayonnaise in her hair, making her expose various normally unexposed body parts, etc.)P1030414
  • Playing a lot of cards
    • Ever played 31? Ever played 31 after 3 glasses of wine? It’s pretty addictive!P1030480
  • Checking the layout of the World’s Worst Golf Course
    • So I heard a guy saying he owns two sets of golf clubs: one he takes to the Francistown Club Golf Course and one he uses for everywhere else. This place doesn’t have greens, it has browns. Amazing. I will make a future post about this as soon as I actually try it out. And that will be soon.
  • Watching more Bruce Willis movies than could fit in a China Shop DVD
    • Die Hard with a Vengeance, Die Hard 4.0, The Whole Nine Yards, The Whole Ten Yards, I know there was at least one more in there.P1030449
  • Enjoying the new Braai stand
    • Please see above bullet about foodP1030425

More photos

Happy Sir Seretse Khama Day

Today is a holiday, in fact it’s President’s Day, or Sir Seretse Khama’s Day (first Botswana President), so we had the day off! It has so far been blissful – I slept in, did a little laundry, made coffee, split the purchase of a braai stand for this weekend’s festivities, drank a real milk stout from a can (yes, today I discovered it actually exists in Botswana), helped make some onion rings from scratch, drank another beer, and it’s not even 4 pm!

I’m thinking that bread making, a bath, and some RadioLab is probably an order for the rest of the day.

Happy Sir Seretse Khama Day, everyone.