I Love You Hereford, But I’m Going Home

December 6, Day 493

I’m ready to go home. Like, now now.

 

The puppy woke me up several times last night. She’s still young and doesn’t really have a concept of night and day. She kept falling asleep laying across my neck under my chin, the cutest thing in the world.

 

But then she would wake up and want to play and start chewing on my hair and pouncing on me. How can I resist that cuteness?

 

My back is on fire from lifting those things yesterday. The pain has now traveled up my spine into my neck and I am so stiff. I can barely move and it’s excruciating to climb off the ground. I get up and walk over to the tent of the guy who owns the puppy, but he’s not there.

 

The guys get a kick out of my fondness for animals and told me yesterday that I could name the puppy. I decided to name her Honey, because she’s so sweet and also the color of honey.

 

Mosala sees me poking around the tent and tells me the owner has gone to bath. I decide to hang out and wait for him and let the puppy run around. Mosala tells me about his dog and we chat for a bit. The owner comes back and I hand him the puppy.

 

I am soooo ready to go home. It starts pouring rain again, so I run to the classroom and get dressed. The men are now leaving to visit more farms today and I wish them well.

 

Mabe is almost ready to go. It’s raining hard, but I have to take down my tent and put my things in the car. I see him driving near my tent and flag him to stop so I can load the car. He waits in the car and Bontle stands with an umbrella and they both watch me take down the tent. I’m covered in mud and soaking wet, but I get the darn things into the back of the truck.

 

Mabe says we have to wait for Mr. Kole, so he parks the car by the school and we sit and play on our phones and listen to the rain beat on the windshield.

 

“Mabe my friend, where is Mr. Kole? Does he know we’re waiting for him? Maybe we should go find him,” I say.

Mabe agrees, and we drive to the guest house (!!!) where he is staying. They talk about whatever they needed to talk about, and finally, Mabe and I are leaving.

 

As soon as we get on the road, Mabe starts yelling. Now, Mabe is the nicest human being I have ever met in the world. In the face of people treating him poorly I have seen him smile and handle every situation with grace. Needless to say, it takes A LOT to upset him.

 

He tells me he is upset with the way people treated him during this week, and how they treated me. He worked very hard to bring everyone food, and found that they just kept complaining about what we provided instead of being grateful. Hence, that is why I am leaving and Catherine will take my place in Hereford for a few days – so she can set the record straight with everyone.

 

I know man, I know.

 

I let him vent. When we hit the gravel road, he picks up a family hitching a ride to Werda and they sit in the back of the truck with my things.

 

Let the family out in Werda, and we refuel the car.

 

Finally, we are on the tarred road and headed back to my village. We stop at his house in Draiihoek so he can check a few things.

 

“Mabe, may I use your bathroom?” I ask.

 

“I don’t think I have any water, I’m sorry,” he says.

 

“Okay, can I go behind your yard?” I say.

 

“Yes, I have no problem with that.”

 

It’s not as unusual as you think to go to the bathroom outside here. It happens all the time, so it’s not a strange request. He goes inside and I crawl through the thorn bush beside his yard and do my business in front of the neighborhood. If you crouch low enough, no one sees much of anything anyways so it’s fine.

 

Mabe’s dog is named Facebook. He has dogs named Facebook, WhatsApp, Speed Radar and Rasta. Facebook is his favorite. He has a long body like a dachshund and the head of a big terrier. It’s pretty funny. Facebook comes running to me and I give him a bum rub and say hello.

 

All I can think on the car ride back is how much I can’t wait to be back home and crawl into my warm bed. I will take a bucket bath, climb under the blankets and fall asleep in my bed. I can drink warm tea and have cell phone reception for the first time in a week.

 

Oh, the luxuries of life.

 

Finally, we reach near my village and then Mabe tells me he wants to stop at his house in his village before we get to my village.

 

Okay.

 

It’s not ideal, but the guy is driving me specifically all the way home as a favor. I can’t complain.

 

So, we drive all the way to Mabe’s house. His wife is home sitting in the living room and greets me. His son Brian, who is about 5 years old, is also home running around the yard. There are two men with two donkeys strapped together to a cart doing something in the yard, too.

 

I go inside and sit in the living room and chat with Mma Mabe. I hear rustling in the kitchen and realize Mabe’s daughter is cooking lunch for everyone. He also has a small puppy named Dijo (that means “food”) that keeps sneaking into the house and trying to sleep by the door to get out of the rain when no one is looking.

 

Walk outside and see that Mabe is digging a big hole in the backyard to put a septic tank in. He shows me all of the scorpions in the yard.

 

“Eish! Those scorpions. Go matata!” he says (Geez, those scorpions are a problem!).

 

Go back and sit in the living room with Mabe and his wife. They are talking business in Setswana and I sit and wait patiently.

 

All of a sudden, Mabe yells.

 

“Brian!” he says, as he chases him outside of the house.

 

Apparently Brian was trying to scare me by standing outside and holding a long stick and sticking it through the window on to my shoulder so I would think there was a snake crawling on me. Just as the stick was about to touch my shoulder, Mabe saw him and stopped it.

 

Ha, I guess 5 year olds are the same everywhere.

 

He brings Brian inside and says something to him in Setswana that makes him cry. He stomps away crying as Mabe laughs.

 

“I told him that you are a social worker who has come to take him away because he’s so naughty. I asked him to go to his room and pack his suitcase,” Mabe tells me.

What?! No! I don’t want kids being afraid of me! I tell him to go and tell the truth and him and his wife have a good laugh.

 

Mabe’s daughter, who is a student in my media production class, brings a plate for everyone, including me. How nice of her! My plate has white rice, beetroot, baked beans and a cucumber and tomato salad.

 

I really, really want to go home and clean the mud out of every crevice of my body. Just hang on, Abbie, just hang on.

 

Mabe goes outside to talk to the guys with the donkeys that are doing lord knows what, and then tells me it’s time to go.

 

Climb back in the truck and we stop to pick up a man who is hitching a ride to the bus stop a few miles down the road.

 

Drop him off and watch the camels walk around as we drive past the camel park.

 

Finally, we get to my house. I bring everything inside and immediately change into warm clothes, take an ibuprofen for my throbbing lower back, climb under the  blankets and pass out.

 

Wake up a little later and call Colden, play around on the internet, make dinner.

 

Pass out again.

 

Boroko 🌝

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