Packing Up My Good Friend To Leave

December 17, Day 504

Up and at ‘em.

I’m taking my time to get to work today because no one is in the office except Bontle, and frankly I feel like I’ve aged 10 years in the past month and need to relax.

I told Goaba I would go to her house this afternoon and help her back up boxes for her move to Gaborone. Yes, my good friend is leaving! I’m selfishly sad, but so happy for her.

The deal is that the Botswana government has a transfer system. Most people here work for the government. At any time, with no notice, if you are an employee of the government you can get a letter one day telling you to pack your bags and move to another village to work in another department.

Isn’t that wild?

To make matters more complicated, just because you are transferred to another village, doesn’t mean your family goes with you. The transfer system has split up many families and it’s not unusual to see spouses living separately. Often, if you get a letter of transfer, your spouse may also work for the government and need to stay where they are.

I listened to an NPR podcast recently that hypothesized that the transfer system actually is one of the key reasons that Botswana is such a peaceful country. Many African countries when they gain independence have broken into civil war due to tribalism. This podcast posed the idea that because the Botswana government requires everyone to learn English, the transfer system takes people out of their tribal areas and forces them to live and get along with other tribes (not my word, that’s a word people use here) and they are able to communicate using the common ground of English.

Isn’t that wild? I’ll stop saying that now.

Okay, so Goaba got transferred to Gabs. You go girl!

So, I get up and make my coffee and eggs. No water again today so I take a quick bucket bath and decide to wear my new shoes I got in the mail from Candice. They fit perfectly!

Ride my bike to the office and help Bontle out with a few things. We eat lunch and work.

Around 2:30, Goaba says she’s finished with work, so I ride over to her house. I stop at Choppies and Trans on the way and pick up a few things.

We listen to music and sort through her things and put them in boxes. I can’t believe this is actually happening! My friend is leaving! Of course, she’s all smiles and we have fun anyways.

We decide to leave some of her things in her house until they send a moving truck, and then bring as much as she can in her car when she drives to her family’s house for Christmas this week.

In the early evening, Catherine texts and says that she forgot an important document at her house and now she’s in Gabs for a meeting and needs that document. I agree to go into her house and take a picture of the document for her and send it.

Say goodbye to Goaba, and ride my bike over to Catherine’s house. Dawgie is over the moon to see me! I think because it’s still light out he won’t follow me home tonight.

Go inside, find the document, take the picture and send to Catherine.

In the meantime, I notice that she has a cute little white faux Christmas tree in the corner. It’s like someone took it out of the box and didn’t spread out the branches so it looks like a skinny stick with ornaments hanging off of it.

My OCD cannot let me leave this tree alone.

So, I put my things down and go to town on Catherine’s Christmas tree. Yes, I am fully aware that this is me putting my expectations onto someone else. But I can’t help it!

I spread all the branches out, take down the lights and restring them and redecorate her tree.

Go outside and pet Dawgie for a while and tell him I love him.

Ride home, and thankfully Dawgie doesn’t follow me. Sit down, relax. Watch a movie and enjoy my Christmas tree, too.

Boroko 🌙

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