That Time I Became The Chairman Of The Men’s Sector

November 20, Day 477       

Alarm goes off at 6 am. Meditate and take my time to prepare for the day.

 

Bontle texts me and says she’s already at work and checks on me.

 

Brew the coffee and make the eggs while listening to music. I check my weather app and it says it’s raining and 61 degrees in my village right now.

 

Um, that is not accurate at all.

 

I can hereby attest that it is hot and sunny. No rain in sight.

 

Ride my bike over to Catherine’s to take care of Dawgie. Olive was home but sleeping by the jojo and didn’t see me leave. I put a big thing of water out on the porch for him and there’s a beetle swimming in it that actually has fur. I’ve never seen a furry beetle before!

 

Feed and play with Dawgie. It suddenly becomes super windy outside.

 

Ride my bike to work.

 

Work all morning and catch up with Bontle.

 

Leftover taco salad for lunch. I’m still hungry after eating the salad and walk over to Sefalana and grab a chicken pie and some things for home.

 

Just before 2 pm, Mabe arrives for the Men’s Sector meeting. It’s now 2 pm and this is the first meeting I have organized, and everyone is still chit chatting in the office and I don’t want to be late. So, I walk over to the conference room by myself.

 

Holy hell, it’s 9000 degrees in this conference room! I walk to the District Commissioner’s office and ask for the remote to the air conditioner in the conference room. She digs it out of a drawer.

 

Walk back and turn on the AC. It’s not very powerful and it will take a while to cool down the room, but hey, this is Africa. Everyone is supposed to be used to the heat, right?

 

People arrive and everyone comments about how hot it is in the room. I didn’t expect more than 20 people to come, but they did! Soon, we run out of chairs and Bontle decides to leave the room so that no one is standing and she can give them her chair.

 

The meeting starts, and the chairman of the Men’s Sector asks me to chair the meeting.

 

What?!

 

Government meetings in Botswana have a very specific protocol. I’ve never chaired a meeting before! Also, I’m a woman and this is a room full of men from the Men’s Sector.

 

Okay, so here goes nothing.

 

I welcome everyone, explain why we are here. I ask for a volunteer to pray for us and someone does.

 

Soon, the meeting is up and running. It’s completely held in Setswana, so I have no idea what is going on. Baitshepi realizes I don’t know what’s happening and starts to take notes in English so that I can peek over her shoulder and read the notes to stay in the loop.

 

Okay, I kind of know what’s happening now.

 

The meeting ends. We agree to go to Hereford and talk with the village chief on Monday to prepare for World AIDS Day there, and then have another meeting next Wednesday. The chairman says I have to book a bigger conference room and provide cold water in the next meeting. Yeah okay, I can do the conference room, but I don’t have a budget to authorize cold water unfortunately, I tell him.

 

Go back to the office and write a bunch of savingrams and come up with a plan for the football tournament.

 

Ride my bike to Catherine’s and play with Dawgie for a bit.  The neighbors tell me he has been crying loudly at night. Poor puppy!

 

It starts to get dark, so I finish up and go home.

Just as I arrive home, dark clouds roll in and it begins to storm outside.

 

Watch Handmaid’s and talk to Colden.

 

Make rice, pico de gallo, beans and Mexican corn for dinner.

Take a cold shower.

 

Go to bed.

 

Boroko 🌙

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