November 21, Day 478
Oh man oh man I really want to sleep in, but I’m up at 6 am because well, my bladder won’t let me sleep.
Get up, meditate.
I have water! That means the dishes piling up must be washed.
Make eggs, boil water for coffee.
Go outside and water the herbs on the porch that didn’t get rained on. Yes I’m in my pajamas in my front yard and could care less.
Back inside and get dressed.
Walk over to Catherine’s house and play with Dawgie for a little bit. Feed the beast and make sure he has water.
I see tire tracks in the yard from a car. Is Catherine home?
Finish with Dawgie and start walking to work. Eish, it’s go mahote today! (Hot) this blister situation on the bottom of my foot is killing me walking.
Bontle is at work sitting at the desk and I immediately notice the air conditioner is on.
THE AIR CONDITIONER IS WORKING?!!
The AC has only worked once to my knowledge, for about two weeks after a man came to repair it last year. They have the power cord hard wired into a separate outlet on the wall, and I think every time the power goes out (multiple times a day) it shorts the switch and messes with the air conditioner.
So, it worked for about two weeks until the power went out and sent a surge to fry the AC and it never turned on again. Yet here is Bontle sitting right under the AC with air blowing from it. I guess the power outage last night turned it back on!
Buttttt let’s not get too excited here. It’s blowing hot air 🥵. We would love to fix that but the air conditioner has no actual buttons on it and “someone” stole the remote from our office after the cleaning lady came in one evening.
I walk over to Mmapula’s office to borrow their remote because I know they have the same brand of AC, but no one is there.
I’ll come back later.
Find my attendance sheet from the last media production class and start calling everyone to remind them to come to class. I’m disaster reading these Setswana names in scribbly handwriting, so Bontle practices with me how to pronounce each name before I actually call the person and sound like a bumbling idiot. I’m wayyyy off on some of the names.
I discover that Mmapula and many of my coworkers are not in the office today because they went to Bokspits to check on Catherine’s family in preparation for the funeral this weekend.
Geez, you’d think they would invite me seeing as how I’m the one that actually works directly with Catherine! I suppose no one wanted translate or have to speak English with me, so they left me out.
Keep preparing for class tonight. I break out my new snazzy speakers I got this weekend and connect them to the office laptop… but they don’t work.
WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO ME LAPTOP?!
Just as my brain is melting down about the laptop, the guy from the Minister’s Fraternal who was rude to me the other day comes into the office to ask for more favors.
I hear Bontle tell him in Setswana that we cannot write minutes for him anymore. So, he asks me.
“Rra, we are very busy here, we cannot keep doing the work for the minister’s fraternal when we are short staffed here. There are free computers at the library, you can go there and type them,” I say.
“Eish! You are a real Motswana woman!” He replies, referring to me setting boundaries with him.
Just as the Minister’s Fraternal man starts to go, the schizophrenic guy from the hardware store walks into the office. He starts talking to us and walking from one corner to the other. He tries to corner me again but we continue talking and don’t acknowledge him and let him be. He leaves the office.
Call Catherine and confirm that yes, she is back in town, but leaving for Bokspits today so she wants me to still take care or Dawgie. No problem.
Okay, so now I’m panicking about the speaker situation. I am playing a movie for the class tonight and I can’t very well do that without sound!
There are a few electronics shops owned by a few guys from India, so, the shops are aptly called “Indian shops”. I head over to a few Indian shops to find an adapter that will convert the plug from the projector into my Mac laptop, so then I can use the speakers on my laptop with no issue.
No go. Apple is simply not a thing in Africa.
Go to Mr. Pie, but they’re all out of chicken pies, so I get some ma fresh. Then I walk over to Trans and buy little bags of Nik Nak’s for the class to have as a snack during the movie.
In a panic, I call Goaba and ask if I can borrow her laptop. She says yes. What an ANGEL she is!
Walk over to the hospital to meet Goaba and she gives me her laptop. We call Nops and I ask if I can grab his projector to make sure it connects to Goabas laptop.
He says it’s at home and because of the whole stab-in-the-hand situation, he won’t be able to make it to class to teach tonight. But he promises to send a guy with the projector before class starts.
Goaba calls our old buddy Bobbie McGhee at the Brigade and he says we can use the projector there in case there’s an issue with Nops’ projector.
Problem solved! Phew. It’s now 1 pm and I have to leave at 2 for class and there’s still more to prepare.
Goaba gives me a ride back to work.
Prepare for the class and I’m ready to go, when Mabe shows up to drive me to class. I tell him Nops insisted his friend Tsepo give me a ride today and he’s got the projector, but thank you so much for offering.
Tsepo arrives and I realize he’s a taxi driver. I notice in the backseat that not only did Nops send his projector, but he has filled the backseat with boxes of cookies, candy and chips for everyone.
Oh my goodness! What a gentleman Nops is. He felt so bad about not coming to class tonight that he hired a taxi driver for me to and from class and sent these snacks. What a gem.
Drive to the Brigade, and this time I’m on my own. I give it everything I’ve got because I want to bring up the energy of the class.
It goes AWESOME. Everyone is excited and participates. Sometimes I find it hard to teach in English because I have to speak English slowly and pronounce my words clearly to make sure they can hear me with my accent. I can’t just rattle off whatever I’m thinking off the top of my head.
Everyone tells me they really enjoyed the class and a few students stay after to help me clean up and pack up my things.
Tsepo arrives to take me home.
Go inside and finish washing the dishes. Goaba comes over to pick up her laptop and she says she has news.
She says she has received a letter of intent to be transferred to work in Gabs.
I’m SO happy for her!!! She deserves this and works so hard. My good friend is leaving my village and I will miss her, but I’m so proud of her.
I admit I’m slightly sad that I’ve now lost Catherine as my counterpart and Goaba in one month. My two closest friends in the village! But I’m so happy for her that I know we will still stay friends.
Talk to my good friend Krystal in Colorado.
Talk to Colden in Seattle.
Talk to Claire in England.
Watch the movie “Overboard” and make a salad for dinner using the olives I found in Gabs.
Take a cold shower (my new jam is cold showers at night. Total game changer!)