Thursday, March 3, 2011

GABORONE, BOTSWANA!

Hi folks! We have indeed arrived in Africa! Gaborone, Botswana, to be exact. Where is Botswana?


Got it?

Gaborone, the capital, is almost on the border with South Africa.

We landed here last Friday, Feb. 25. So far it has been gorgeous, warm and sunshiney every day. Very much like Arizona weather. Sorry, we don't have internet yet at home!!! Very annoying. But when we do, I will give you the photo tour of our home. Four bedrooms in a walled garden paradise! I am not kidding, it is wonderful. We even have a plumeria tree, I am in heaven. I am going to make some leis, I think.

We also have roses, a few citrus trees, and a guava tree. They're building the swimming pool in June-ish. Right now they've graded the area so it is just dirt, but the rest of the yard has nice grass, shade trees and flower beds. It has a lot of potential for more gardens and flowers, which I hope to work on while we're here.

In front of the entry and 2-car garage is a huge brick-paved driveway area. There is a covered patio on the side of the house and another patio in back -- off of the guest wing kitchen. Yes, there is a guest wing with its own living room, kitchenette, two bedrooms and bathroom.

OK, I am going on and on; Iwill post pics once we're online at home.

The fun thing about the house is that there are "cages" everywhere -- jail cell-like doors that secure different areas of the house ("safe havens") and even a cage around the whole front patio entrance to the house. This means we have a ring of keys for every door and cage door to the house, making coming and going a jingly jangly experience. Good times! And a high-tech security system. There is also a high white stucco wall around the whole perimeter, with seven strands of electic fence above it. And a huge solid iron gate on a remote for the driveway. We feel VERY secure and safe! Although the Batswana (people of Botswana) are self-proclaimed peaceful and peace-loving people. Apparently there are always the bad apples that warrant electric fences.

I have had a driver come pick me up and take me to and from work every day but today I got a loaner car from the office! I had a little driving orientation yesterday because -- you guessed it -- we drive on the "wrong" side of the road here! So I am about to sign off and have my first solo adventure driving on the left before it gets too dark.

Oh yeah, last night I went with a co-worker to Woolworth's, which is like an upscale Super Target. I am so amazed at the variety of products here, mostly coming from South Africa. Way more variety than in Buenos Aires, if you can believe it! The grocery part of "Wooly's" was more gourmet than the nicest grocery stores I've seen in the States -- probably on par with like Dean & Deluca. I took some pics that you will see when I can post them from home.

BUT, I do have an illustration for you, nabbed from the internet:

So after last night's amazing trip to the fine grocer's, today at lunch the cafeteria had prepared dishes of chicken, beef, or mopane worms. WHAT? WORMS! Yes, big, fat caterpillars in gravy. I mean BIG. I could't even believe my eyes, and I really felt faint. I had asked for the beef and rice plate, and when the next order came up, on the plate was beef, rice, a little salad and then a pile of these enormous caterpillars. I was really panicking, wondering how I could possibly eat everything else while these caterpillars stared at me with their giant, dead eyes. Luckily a guy who had been waiting came up behind me and took the plate. Whew! I kind of lost my appetite though. Anyway, it looked just like this, but with gravy:

Well, for some reason it's not letting me load the pic (probably shouldn't steal pics anyway, right?), so go to this link, but at your own risk:

http://images.travelpod.com/users/samndoug/1.1224241800.mopane-worms.jpg

5 comments:

Bfiles said...

I have been thinking of you! It was so nice meeting and chatting with you briefly and I hope our paths cross again someday. So glad to hear you have arrived safely and are happy so far. Your house sounds unbelievable. Good luck settling in!

modestmuse said...

It was fun to finally get to meet you! I am bummed I PCSed days before the potluck! :( But hopefully there will be another in a couple years when we might be back in Washington. I can't wait to hear of your adventures in the DR!

Future Diplomat (Meekie C.) said...

OMG, those worms. I just couldn't do it. :/

Anne said...

Oh my heavens, Botswana sounds like a dream (minus the worms of course)! I may have to stop reading once we move to Conakry, because I'll likely be jealous! (Only kidding)

Re: your question in the last post. French is hard, and my brain is complete mush. But! I haven't cried since the second day and I consider that an accomplishment.

Have a great weekend!

AMY_BELL - said...

Wow Megan! That is so awesome. I'm glad you made it safe and can't wait to come visit you. Thankfully I have 2 years to save up!!