February 13th, Day 562
Wake up bright and early with anxiety that the Valentine’s Day dinner is tomorrow and we still need more people in the community to test for HIV.
Hop out of bed and pack my bags. Tonight I’m staying at Hanlie and Thomas’s house to dog sit while they’re away.
Eggs, coffee. Water the flower babies outside.
Let Dijo run around outside and Rocket hears Dijo bark and runs to the yard to play. I walk outside and let him in.
Bucket bath, finish packing.
I send Rocket home and leave Dijo in the house to sleep with the fan on him.
Pick up my big backpack and walk over to Hanlie and Thomas’s house to drop my stuff. This way I can come home tonight and pick up Dijo and bring him to the house without having to carry a million things.
Walk over to the house and the housekeeper is there when I arrive. Say hello to all the pups and tell them I love them, and then ride to the office.
Baitshepi calls and tells me that she has set up a tent at an event happening in front of the Cultural Centre to promote HIV testing. Awesome! I tell her I’ll come and visit her in a bit.
Walk over to Gender Affairs and check on them to see if they will speak at the Valentine’s Dinner. He says he’ll be there.
There’s loud music coming from the event in front of the cultural centre, so I walk to the DAC office and put my things down and decide to check on Baitshepi and see how I can help.
Walk to the Cultural Centre and I’m dripping with sweat by the time I get there. Everyone has stopped for lunch and they are hanging out eating from Styrofoam containers with chicken or beef, samp, potato salad and butternut squash. Baitshepi hands me a soda and says to drink it and cool off.
I stand in the shade by a pen of goats for sale and watch the polka dancers.
Baitshepi tells me I can help by promoting HIV testing, so I take a bunch of flyers and hand them out to the audience. A woman selling coffee made from the nuts of trees in Kolonkwaneng calls me to her table.
“You! Please come talk to me,” she says, pointing at me.
I walk to her table.
“Dumela, Mma. O teng?” I ask
“Ke teng. You know I am selling coffee here, only 70 pula per container,” she replies.
I realize that she doesn’t actually want to talk to me. She is assuming I am rich because I’m white and wants to sell her goods.
“Tanki, Mma. I have seen your coffee before and it is lovely! I really wish I could buy some, but I am just a volunteer and I don’t have 70 pula. Maybe another day!” I tell her.
She agrees and gives me her phone number to call her when I am ready to buy her coffee. I hope I can one day, I’d love to support a local business.
Walk back to the HIV testing tent and Baitshepi is with a client inside, so I hang signs around the event and talk to people. A couple of guys inside a pickup truck call me over to their truck parked in front of the tents.
As soon as the guy rolls down his window I can smell how drunk they are. I see there are Black Label cans all over the front seat.
“Hello, come here. I want to give you a ride,” the driver says.
“Sorry, I don’t need a ride. I am promoting the Valentine’s Dinner tomorrow,” and hand him a flyer for the dinner.
He takes it, looks at it and continues his pursuit.
“Yes but I want to take you out sometime. You should get in the car,” he says.
“I don’t need a ride, Rra, but thank you. Ken a le di bicycle (I have a bicycle). But please feel free to get tested for HIV in the tent and then you can attend the dinner!” I reply.
He agrees, waves and drives away.
I gather my things and decide to walk back to the DAC office to prepare for tomorrow’s event. Mabe and Bontle are very, very stressed because our supplies department refuses to order any of the supplies that we have asked for. I still cannot find a sound system for tomorrow and need to figure that out.
Go back to the office and work for a few hours. Pack up my things and ride home. Put my things down and throw on my backpack and take Rra Dijo over to Hanlie and Thomas’s house.
As soon as I arrive, I change into my swimsuit and dive into the pool to cool off. The sun goes down and I float in the pool, watching the sunset and enjoying the cool water on my skin.
Dijo and Dapper of course get into a fight in the living room. I get out of the pool, shower, turn on the beloved air conditioning on and sit on the couch to cool off. All of the dogs climb into my lap and sit around me and relax.
Watch some TV. Make some dinner.
Head to bed. Didi and Dapper dig under the blankets to sleep by my feet, while Dijo curls up on my neck to sleep and Lulu sleeps on the floor.
Love these dogs.