The Wonderful, Incredible Botswana Defense Force Band

December 14th, Day 501

Sleep like nobody’s business. I sleep so hard I’m surprised I ever woke up.

Get up eventually and mosey into the kitchen and see what food I can find. There’s no eggs, so I make some toast and coffee.

Meditate.

Stare into space for a bit.

Oh hey, I have Christmas decorations! Mr. Mabe managed to pick up my bag of stolen Christmas decorations in Gabs for me and gave them to me yesterday. There’s only 10 days left, but I can finally decorate for Christmas!

Watch bad Hallmark Christmas movies and decorate for Christmas.

Find the mozzarella cheese I bought the other day and decide to make a pizza. The cheese had mold on it when I bought it, but hey, it’s the only mozzarella cheese for hundreds of miles. I’ll just cut off the edges and bake it in the oven and hope for the best.

Get the dough rising.

Watch “National Lampoon’s Christmas” and make pizza.

Decorate for Christmas.

Goaba checks in and says she was able to get us tickets for the Botswana Defense Force (BDF, aka, the Botswana army) band performance tonight. Cool!

Last year, the BDF came to my village and performed at the same school that I was working at. They offered us free tickets, but I was too tired after a day of volunteering at the school to come back at night to watch a marching band. The volunteers who did go said it was amazing, so I trusted their opinion and decided to go tonight now that they’re back in town.

Every year, the BDF travels all around Botswana and puts on a show. People buy tickets and all of the proceeds go to a designated charity within the village that they are performing. It’s really a great cause!

Goaba says she’s on her way, so I quickly throw on something decent. She arrives with her friend Tsholo and her two kids. They are so friendly! We take a few pictures outside of my house and then all climb into Goaba’s car to drive the BDF performance at a school nearby.

We quickly find a parking spot and head inside and get a great seat right in the front. What a treat!

The band starts.

OH MY GOODNESS MY MIND IS BLOWN.

The BDF is so incredibly talented. They start with an orchestra, then have singing, and even BAGPIPES!

YES I SAID BAGPIPES. IN AFRICA. THIS. IS. HAPPENING.

Wait, what is happening?! Soon they are performing Metallica on the bag pipes and wearing kilts. Heck, I thought they’d sing a few Christmas carols and send us home. I didn’t realize how much fun this would be tonight!

At intermission, Goaba and Tsholo’s son Romeo and I head outside to get a snack. Romeo order’s a hot dog thing, so we wait for it to cook. I get a soda.

Head back inside. When we came in they stamped our arm with a special stamp that can only be seen with a blue light. I go to show the security guard at the door my stamp to prove that I paid for my ticket and can reenter and he laughs while shaking his head.

“It’s OK. No one else here looks like you. I know you were already inside,” he says.

Oh! We laugh and go back inside and take our seats.

The performance goes until 2 am. What a night! By far this is one of the best things I have ever done in my village. I can’t believe I didn’t go last year!

We are all tired but stay until the end dancing and singing. Goaba drops me off at home and I immediately pass out.

Boroko 🌙

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