Teaching Media Production, Week 1

November 14, Day 471

Up at 6 am. Colden is awake, too, so we talk.

However, the time difference between where he is and Botswana is so big that it’s still yesterday for him and he’s going to bed as I wake up.

Get up and do yoga.


Make breakfast.

Boil water for a bath.

Bontle calls and asks where I am. I tell her I’m still at home. She says four guys are in the office and want to see me about joining the media production class.

She puts one of the guys on the phone and he asks if he can bring his three friends to class tonight. I tell him yes, they are welcome to join.

Take my bath. Where is Olive today? He must be off running the neighborhood. He’s a busy dog, after all, and has places to be apparently.

I bet he’s got a whole network of pretty women who he checks every day. I bet he stops at all of our houses and gets his belly rubs and love and then moves on to the next woman. He’s charismatic like that and I’m fully aware of our relationship.

Start walking to work and as I pass the Three Angels tuck shop a man yells to me and says he will give me a ride. He tells me his name is Jasper and he’s from Gaborone. My village is his home village and he’s visiting his family. He seems friendly enough, so I take a ride with him.

I have him drop me off near my work but not at my work so he can’t track me down just in case he turns out not to be the nice person he appears to be (oye, the life of a woman!).

Arrive at work and Catherine is there working with Bontle. I get the names of the three guys who want to join the class and then start prepping for the class tonight.

Print all of the documents I need for the lesson. Catherine leaves to go see her mother in the hospital.

I walk to the hospital and meet Nops to pick up his projector. I want to connect it to the computer and do a test run before the class just to make sure everything works properly.

Walk back to work. Mabe is out of the village today and cannot drive me to the media class this afternoon, so this morning Catherine arranged for a driver from Information to pick me up.

Eat lunch and test the equipment.

After lunch, I’m ready to go. The driver from Information arrives. I’ve got a big box of materials, a projector and laptop with me and he helps me load up the truck.

“Dumela, Mpho! Where is your dog today?” he asks.

He tells me that he knows me because he always sees Olive and I around town. I tell him Olive took a day off from following me today.

Arrive at the Brigade and Mr. Lebokeng greets me and takes me to the classroom that I’ll be using.

Two of the cleaning ladies come and arrange the desks and sweep the floor. It’s clear that this classroom has not been used for a long time. There are mugs and old dishes with chicken bones in dishes by the windows. They take the chicken bones but leave the mugs. I invite them to join the class, and they choose a desk and sit down.

People are excited for the class and start arriving 30 minutes early while I’m still setting up.

“Eish! I don’t want to learn in sekgoa. I didn’t know there would be a lekgoa teaching,” I hear one woman tell another in setswana.

“Don’t worry, the class will be taught in Setswana,” I tell the woman.

“Good. I don’t want to speak English,” she says.

I turn on some music so we can have fun while we wait for the class to start. Nops arrives and gets prepared to teach.

I wanted only 10 to 15 people in the class, but now we have 21. This is a good problem I suppose! It shows there is interest in the subject matter and I’m meeting a need in the community.

We start the class with an ice breaker and do introductions. Nops does the lesson. We have a quick break. He finishes the lesson.

At the end, students ask us to provide a snack and bring more energy into the teaching. We thank them for their feedback.

Nops gives me a ride home.

Go inside and relax. Make guacamole with the new cilantro I bought in Gabs and talk to Colden. He’s on a road trip moving to Seattle and stopped in South Dakota for the night.

I notice a large fire outside in the road near my house. It hasn’t rained in a very long time and I’m concerned it will spread. Honestly, I wouldn’t even know who to call for the fire department. The Peace Corps teaches us to only call the Peace Corps in an emergency and we wear wristbands with the phone numbers for safety & security and medical. I don’t know who to call for a fire.

So I decide to wait it out.

Nothing happens. It burns out. My guess is it was someone burning their garbage.

Go inside and the power goes out.

Well, guess this is a better time than any to go to bed!


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