I am sitting here listening to the rain absolutely pour down as I type. When I arrived home from Kasane on Sunday evening we were met at the airport by Oscar’s wife who told us that the rains were finally starting to come. Since my arrival every day invariably one or more conversations focus on how dry it is and how much the rain is needed.
There was one initial downpour since my arrival but I was quickly assured the next day that is wasn’t really rain, it was just a shower. Yesterday morning the sky was filled with clouds which feels rare there as mostly there is never a cloud to be seen. By lunchtime they had disappeared without producing anything and the sun was hot and strong.
During my drive home, Tabuche and I had our regular cultural exchange – more on this topic shortly – where he proceeded to explain why it was really time for the rains to begin. Botswana has been experiencing drought like conditions for the past year and this rainy season is needed to make up for the extremely dry past year. Although it is spring here, farmers can not plant any crops or even work the fields until some rain comes. I have noticed that the cows, donkeys and goats are even now sauntering down my quiet street in search of food. So before leaving the car last night I told Tabuche that I would perform a rain dance in order to do my part for Botswana.
Last night at about 1 pm the thunder and lightning began and soon the rain was pouring down. This continued off and on all night with the thunder and lightning waking me on a regular basis. When I opened my door this morning there lying on my patio table was an umbrella curtsey of my thoughtful landlady, Jetske. As I got into Tabuche’s car for the drive to work he was grinning like crazy. We have a morning and evening ritual of greeting each other first in Setswana and then in english. Once that ritual and the responses to how our evenings were was completed he broke out into laughter and said that must have been some rain dance! Of course being honest as I am, I had to confess that I didn’t really do one other than when I was getting out of the pool after my after work swim I stubbed my toes and that made me hop a little. Being the gentleman that he is, he stilled tried to give me credit!
I have certainly developed a special relationship with Tabuche and feel honoured to have his friendship. No Mary, he is not moving to Canada! He is one of the best drivers that I have ever driven with and once I am seated in his front passenger seat I never have to worry about anything. We both still break out in laughter every time we drive up beside a cow or a donkey – see earlier posts to understand why.
During our time together, we have now developed the ritual of doing at least one cultural exchange a day. These exchanges include anything from teaching me a new word or phrase in Setswana, a history, political, geography lesson or any other topic that appears relevant at the time. In return I do the same for him on a Canadian or Western World topic. The topic of conversation on the drive home this morning was on how Kudos leap onto the road in Botswana the same as we encounter moose in Canada. Tonight after Tabuche saw a B-train tractor trailer and telling me how he wanted to learn to drive one, I gave him a lesson on how to drive on icy roads.
I am so thankful everyday that I get to not only be driven to and from work but a professional driver but he is also someone I can now call my friend and teacher. Everyday I learn at least a couple of new things because of him and I think that he could say the same about me. He has even said that he will let me take his picture to post on the blog – he is not shy so I will take my camera with me someday this week and then be able to share Tabuche with you all.