Let’s Talk About Sex

Proof that size makes a difference!

There are many things about the topic of sex that I would like to talk about today!

First of all, I and the other residents of Peter’s Place are sick and tired of the non-stop fornication taking place by the pool and elsewhere. You see, David Livingston just can’t seem to control himself or get enough of sex. He is constantly roaming the compound looking to have sex. When he does score, he is very loud ( the panting is out of control), he scratches, he can last up to 25 minutes non-stop and then like a typical man, when he is done he simply strolls away. No cuddle, no I love you, nothing.

David Livingston is about to sent to live somewhere else. In case you are wondering, he is a tortoise. And he is insatiable. In case you don’t believe me here is the living proof – by the way he is the tiny one on top (his small size may be part of the problem)

I am happy to get that out of my system.  And rest assured that I am not the only disturbed by this insatiable man. Yesterday at work the following email popped in my inbox:

I was focused on my work for the last 20 minutes and ignoring these odd sounds.  Then it strikes me, what is that noise????  Does the cat have a furball?  I look up and it is that damn David Livingstone, he finally caught up with the lady!!! The producers of red bull et all really must look into this turtle business cause ole david continued to show who was boss for another good 7 minutes!!!! I agree with Jetske, the turtles must go!
Dr. Natasha Ward
International Trade Consultant
I have nothing further to add to this particular topic…except I will let you know when Jetske finally finds a new home for the horny little guy.
Next on my list is the culture of some Motswana – referring to certain individual residents of Botswana. Sometimes I feel like I am living in San Francisco in the 1960s. For a country that takes religion very seriously, I find myself continually astounded by the prevalent attitude towards sex. Don’t get me wrong, I  am certainly no prude that is for sure but neither do I feel that it is ever appropriate to be in a committed or any type relationship for that matter with one person and sleeping with someone else. I just don’t get that!!!!
Why on earth if you love a person and are happy in your relationship would EVER want to have sex with someone else (usually very randomly)?????
Really, come on people,  HIV and AIDS are an epidemic here….do you really want to risk dying a horrible death just for an organism, if you are lucky????
Okay, next on my hit list…a couple of weeks ago I was in the front seat of our work truck and the back-seat was occupied by three men I didn’t know. Boys will be boys, and eventually the discussion turned to women. You guessed it, who to sleep with and who you should or should not marry. My very dear friend Lawrence had to keep me from levitating off the front seat and strangling someone when the conversation went like this:
 “I am going to go to Swaziland to find a woman to marry. The women are very beautiful there. Much better than here in Botswana. But the only problem is you can’t return the goods. Once you marry a Swazi woman you are struck with her and she brings her mother too. You can never get rid of her.”
My lips are still swollen and bruised from biting them so I could keep control of my temper. Oh, don’t worry, of course I didn’t keep totally quiet but wow, I really wish that I had a gun because I would have used it.
So to end on a positive note, not all men are asses. One of the HIV/AIDS prevention protocols is advocating for Safe Male Circumcision. In Botswana, the practice of circumcision performed at birth was stopped by the British Government when Botswana was a British Protectorate. Recently the Ministry of Health set a target of 80 percent or 480,000 of HIV negative men to be circumcised by 2016, the national Vision year. Circumcision makes a difference because the inner part of the foreskin contains more cells that are highly susceptible to HIV infection than the rest of the penis. These are the cells with a receptor that allows HIV to enter the body, like a lock with a key. When an uncircumcised man has sex, the receptor cells are exposed, thus putting him at risk of HIV infection if his female partner is positive. By removing the foreskin you reduce the number of these cells on the penis and lower the risk of a man acquiring HIV during sexual intercourse.
Since coming here I have meet several brave men who have undergone this procedure. It takes real courage, determination and conviction to have this procedure as an adult man. But these men illustrate that they not only care about their own health and wellness but that of their partners as well. With leadership such as theirs I hope that a new generation of Batswana are HIV negative.
For those of you still reading! Thanks for letting me get this off my chest! And I leave you with a picture of the beautiful moon with a golden glow around it (and a head shot of Natasha, who will kill me for putting it on my blog). But in fairness we were all outside looking at it sans proper clothing (not a bra or panties present).  My, how Africa has changed me……I have never worn less clothing publicly in my life!
Moonlight over the pool
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Gaborone Yacht Club! Yes, there is one!

Yesterday I got to spend the day at the Gaborone Yacht Club. Tabuche, the fountain of all knowledge and good, has been instructing me that I needed to go there and watch the sun set….African men are real romantics.

Well, he finally got his way. He dropped me off at 7:50 am yesterday morning for an all day meeting that was to be held there. I do not live very far away from the Gaborone Dam which is also the site of the Gaborone Yacht Club. But even if I could walk there…it is just a little too far for that…it is not safe to. After passing through the security gate just by the main road, Tabuche drove down what was a very long road to the Yacht Club. I was slightly traumatized by the very large mud puddles but he assured me that there was no chance he would get stuck in one and if he did, I would never have to either push or drive. I could sit back and relax.

As we drove down this road there was water appearing on each side and lots of animals. Now I know where the cows go to get really fat. Plus there were rock dassies which are rabbit like creatures without the ears or tails that I just adore. Things were looking up. Animals and water are always a winning combination for me. After what seemed a really, really long drive we actually passed by an area that held sail boats …so obviously the idea of a yacht club doesn’t seem so far fetched to me any more.

Tabuche pulled up in the parking area at the base of a high hill with a boat launch at the bottom and said good bye – but first he wanted to make sure that if I needed a drive home he would come get me. I was the first to arrive so I literally had the place to myself except for the staff that I could hear up above me organizing for the meeting. So I wandered to the edge by the boat launch and took my first real look at the Gaborone Dam and it was not at all what I expected.

Boat launch at the Gaborone Dam early morning

 

The entire dam is ringed by the hills and the area covered by the Dam is actually very large and reminds me of the Scottish lochs, especially with the early morning mist as you can see. After soaking in my fill of this view, I was born on an Island people so I like my water, I decided to venture up the stone stairway to the actual Yacht Club. This is what I found:

Gaborone Yacht Club

And the view from here:

When did I arrive in Scotland????

And at the conclusion of the day, just as Tabuche advised me, I waited for the sunset which he claimed was worth coming to the Dam to watch…in fact he has been trying to get me to come here for about a month but no luck until yesterday.  When is Tabuche ever wrong? Never, see for yourself:

It was worth waiting for!

 

Time to go home!

 

 

 

A Real African Adventure!!!!!

Okay,  I came  to Africa seeking adventure and a different lifestyle. Well this afternoon and evening I hit a home run.

It all started simply enough….early this morning as I was doing my traditional Sunday morning float in the pool along with a foot and half long millipede, Adrienne asked Natasha and I if we wanted to go on a self game drive with her at Mokolodi Game Reserve. She had never been and she is leaving a week from today to return home to the US. After the drive, she wanted to eat at the restaurant located on site which has a fabulous reputation.

Natasha, lucky girl declined but I accepted. Having been able to rest for part of the weekend, I was now ready to go out and have some fun. Occasionally I get a little more than I bargain for, but oh well, sometimes you just gotta live. As Adrienne is an archaelogist who has just finished a dig in northern rural Botswana, she is driving a 4 x4 bush ready vehicle. Her ideas was to do Mokolodi on a self-directed game drive and then eat at the restaurant afterwards.

In theory this sounded like an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon and evening. I would be sitting in a vehicle getting to experience wildlife up close and personal with no guide keeping their eagle eye on my behaviour. Plus, I would never miss an opportunity to eat at a highly recommended restaurant.

Upon arrival at Mokolodi, the first wrench in our plan materialized. In order to do a self-directed game drive, you must be a member of Mokolodi. All of the game drives were completely booked so that was not an option. Adrienne quickly decided that she would buy a membership as it was valid for a year and she would be back in about six months time. So once we were registered and paid off we set.

I guess that it is now time to explain it has been raining off and on since Friday. Now the rain here tends to come down slightly more torrential than it does at home. Even though it has been a hot dry drought for weeks and most of the rain is quickly absorbed into the parched earth, the rain had been coming down long and hard enough to leave sizeable puddles on the deeply rutted and rocky game reserve roads.  In fact calling them  roads would be a bit of an exaggeration. You move around the game reserve on tracks more or less. Sometimes they are sand, sometimes nothing more than rocks. Sitting in a bush ready 4 x 4 you really have to make sure that 1) you have a really good support bra on and 2) that you have visited the ladies room before you set out.

We  were barely 15 minutes into the park when we had our first game find. Off to our right was a lone grazing giraffe. Adrienne promptly stopped the truck and out we got. I was determined to get as close as possible to the giraffe and we ended up not more than 15 feet from him as he chewed and watched us.

Tall isn’t he?

Giggling with delight, off we set to find more photographic subjects. We soon encountered a few Zebras but as I tried to get close enough to take their pictures… I was wearing sandals and dressed in bright pink skirt so stealth was not an option…they ran away. There were a couple of babies in the group so they were even more determined to get away from the brightly dressed noisy human invading their territory.

After that sighting sighting were slow and far between. But we were in a trusty 4 x4 and ready to travel the roads marked as accessible only by 4 x 4. Need I remind you again that there had been torrential downpours for the last 48 hours.

Shortly after turning onto a road marked 4 x 4 only we encountered a sizable puddle. By now we had travelled through numerous equally sizeable puddles or small lakes actually so we did not think anything different about this one. First mistake!!!! It turns out that this one was not negotiable even in a 4 x 4. Not even a 1/3 of the way into it we realized that we weren’t going any further and putting it into reverse didn’t yield any better results.

There we were sitting in the middle of a muddy lake on one of the most remote roads in the game reserve. I finally came up with what I thought was a brilliant suggestion of calling the front office of the game reserve so they could send someone out to rescue us. So a quick phone call was made and we were assured that help was on the way.

One hour later and dusk was creeping up on us no rescuers were in sight. So Adrienne called twice more. It turns out our trusty rescuers weren’t very bright and couldn’t find us. During our hour wait we had discussed several options for un-sticking ourselves. One was for me to get out and push. The other was for Adrienne to push while I drove. Now in most circumstances neither would be a big deal. Unfortunately thanks to an ankle that refuses to participate in normal activities both options were problematic for me.

Knowing that my ankle just doesn’t bend enough to operate a clutch anymore I chose to get out and push. Adrienne was horrified when I kicked off my sandals and jumped out barefoot….there was no way that I was ruining really expensive leather sandals by wading through a muddy mess. So barefoot I went. Well as soon as I stood in the muddy mess I quickly realized that my ankle does not like muddy any more than it does Canadian ice and snow. I wasn’t sure if I was falling face first or on my ass. Thankfully I was able to launch myself other enough that I made it onto dry land smack dab in a thorn bush in bare feet and a skirt…do I need to elaborate?????

Adrienne quickly determined that my pushing wasn’t really going to be a viable option so we quickly decided that I would need to suck it up and drive while she pushed. Now her  pushing meant that she was almost knee deep in mud and slimy water. I walked barefoot around the back of the truck where the mud and water was not so deep and hard to navigate and in the driver’s seat I got. After several tries to actually get the damn truck into reverse….Adrienne said that it is difficult to find reserve in this truck, no shit sherlock! I struck gold.

So Adrienne pushed and I manned the clutch and gas. Three tries and nothing. We were stuck good and true and still no sign of help. Determined, I said let’s give it one more try, although I was worried that poor Adrienne standing almost knee deep in the mud would ended up covered in it. Fortunately, she survived relatively dirt free except for filthy feet. Well, I am not sure what changed other than both of us were incredibly determined to get out of this mess. After a couple more tries, out we were. So as soon I was backed up enough that we could switch drivers out I got. Adrienne hopped in and got the truck backed up and positioned for turning around…there was no way in hell that we were attempting to go forward. Meanwhile I walked off the spasms in my ankle that come from when bone grates on bone when I force the ankle to bend and move in a way that it simply can’t anymore.

Exhilarated that we were finally unstuck, back we went, shortly meeting up with our incompetent rescuers. After assuring them that we were fine just extremely muddy we continued on our way. As we were making our way back we came upon another group of giraffes who were incredibly interested in us. Across from the two that Adrienne was photographing were three more young giraffes who were equally curious.  So while we stopped so Adrienne to take pictures the Mokolodi truck passed us and continued back onto the gates. Big mistake…..

Can we come home with you?

It turns out that once the sun has gone down, the tiny road signs that guide you around the game reserve really aren’t noticeable. In fact, these signs even in the bright daylight aren’t that helpful or noticeable. So adventure #2 unfolded. It was pitch black (it is a game reserve so there is no lighting except the moon) and we are lost travelling through more crater like puddles and rocky terrain that were enough to make you feel like you were driving on Mars or something.

Based on our first attempt for assistance, we knew that we were on our own, except we both agreed that if we called Peter and Jetske  we had no doubt that they would come and find us.  Sheer determination and stopping at every intersection of road to check for signs eventually got us out. Whew!!!! So almost 5 hours after first entering the game reserve we were back out of it only to find that the restaurant had long since closed. Oh well, that just means that we can continue the adventure another day!  I wanted adventure and today I certainly found it. I wonder what tomorrow might bring…..

Pictures from Thanksgiving

Peter with #1 & #3
Guess which is Miss Barbados and Miss USA

 

Everyone but Jetske who was taking the picture

Weren’t we subdued in this picture?   Looks are certainly deceiving. Fun was had by all including Jetske’s nephew, Henk who had torn ligaments in his wrist earlier in the day.

 

Who is this person????

It is hot in my kitchen!

Okay, I now fully understand why Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Africa. I am cooking in a tiny kitchen in 35 + degree weather with thunderstorms outside – with the oven and two burners going! The sweat is literally running down my face and chest. Natasha was here with me earlier so she could learn how to make the apple crumble and I think she vacated because the kitchen got way too hot for her.

No, Noelle, we are not having Turkey!!!! Yes, I know you wanted me to bring seasonings so I could make dressing. We are doing a non-traditional dinner. #1 (Natasha, Miss Barbados) is roasting pork Barbados style. Jetske is doing roasted potatoes,  a salad and pecan pie. I have an apple crumble in the oven, a sweet potato casserole is ready to be heated shortly which Natasha dropped off at the big house for me so it could go in their oven and I am making apple sauce as I type.

Thanks to my mother, we have a pumpkin decoration as our table centre piece. So here I am in Africa celebrating American Thanksgiving a day late……how is that for non-conformity!  I think I need to shower again before I change for dinner..bye!

Post Script – Kitty and the Saint

Tabuche just brought me home – Yes, I left the office early and am taking tomorrow off too! He picked up kitty before lunch and took her home to his wife. When he left after having lunch, Kitty was sound asleep on his couch. I think that Kitty is going to become a spoiled little princess too! I couldn’t be happier.

Tabuche has achieved Sainthood

Well, this morning I am happy to report that Tabuche has achieved Sainthood in my eyes. Last night on the drive home he agreed to adopt the black baby kitten. I still can not believe it!

Tabuche is incredible religious but he has absolutely no concerns with adopting a black cat. He does not hold the superstitions that are prevalent here that black cats are associated with witches and evil. Thank heavens! That is why I have been so concerned about her. She is so tiny (probably not more then six weeks old) and should not be separated from her mommy yet. The logic choice would have been to take her to the Humane Society but I knew that no one would take her because of her fur. #1 (Natasha, Miss Barbardos) noted last night that it is even tough for a kitty who is black!

I slept soundly last night because I knew that “baby” as I call her is going to a wonderful home. She will need to earn her keep by catching mice but I am confident that she is up to the challenge. She is tough but snuggly. She jumped through an electric fence receiving a shock to get out of the tree into the WUSC office yard. She is a survivor and will be a very capable hunter, I am sure.

This morning I presented Tabuche with a bag of kitten food and he simply grinned. I was waiting to do this post as I thought that when we picked her up I would take Tabuche’s picture with her. However, he is not going to wait for me. He wanted to pick her up between 10 am and 12 so that he could take her home and get her settled in with his wife to care for her. The man knows the way to win my loyalty and lifelong dedication, doesn’t he?

So I am sure that when he picks me up later on this afternoon he will be able to make a full report on how she is settling in. God bless Tabuche!

American Thanksgiving and Christmas in Africa

I have just come down off of my pedestal, literally! I was on it cooking my supper of brown rice, lentils and shredded chicken along with fresh corn on the cobb.  It is so easy to cook now thanks to Peter. And Jetske has just sent me a lovely picture of her and Peter so now you all can see them too:

Jetske & Peter

Because Jetske and Peter are trying to ensure that #1 (Miss Barbados aka Natasha, who is also Peter’s favorite), #2 (Miss Canada, me) and #3 (Miss America, aka Adrienne) feel completely at home, we are celebrating Thankgiving on Friday. #3 has been seriously homesick and very sad to be missing her family’s gathering. So last night in pool (of course!) while teaching #1 how to float and swim, we decided to throw a thanksgiving dinner for Adrienne.

#1 and I went to the grocery store tonight after work to gather our supplies and I was able to take these great photos of christmas decorations African style – yes, Mom. I know you will be trying to duplicate this somehow but I don’t think that these kinds of tropical trees are available in PEI.

Tropical Christmas tree

 

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only in Africa my friends!

A Batswana sense of humor

Well this morning I made a sudden discovery of just how much I am rubbing off on Tabuche. But before I explain that I need to backtrack to fill in some history.

Last week my relationship with Tabuche rose to a whole new level. You see Peter and Jetske and Lawrence aren’t the only ones taking such good care of me. In order to be a princess at this level, it takes a whole entire team which I think I now have all of the bases covered.

At home, I have Peter and Jetske who cater to my whims….there is a little back-biting in the lodging ranks as Miss America (or #3) in Peter speak feels that I am monopolizing Peter’s talents – Tabuche supports me advocating for myself so take that Adrienne, #3!

At work, I have Lawrence – bless him. He has never failed me and can be totally counted on to assist me not only with work related stuff but personal as well, including helping me mail packages back home. No request goes unattended to and he always seems willing to assist me with whatever I ask of him. Except he refused to adopt a homeless very young and tiny black fluffy kitten yesterday!  And he is so adorable, he even holds my hand when we are crossing a street or going into a building. Although I am not sure what he would ever do if he actually witnessed me falling flat on my face or behind. Still the gesture is so wonderful.

And finally, there is Tabuche. I know I have droned on about him but spending time with him is truly a highlight of my day. In fact he has told me that he feels exactly the same way. And yesterday he even said that he would take the kitten if it was a male (unfortunately it is female, oh well still looking for a home).

As I was saying early, our friendship progressed to a whole new level last week. Tabuche’s day of driving mostly foreigners around starts at 6:00 am or earlier. He then does not knock off work until 10 pm when he goes to bed. He also works six days a week so he is a busy man. Last week when he would drop me off in the morning, I told him that I would call him to come get me those nights that I was ready to leave by 10 pm.

The first night was a piece of cake as I actually left around 9 pm (only to come home and work for several more hours) and when I called, Tabuche was only 10 minutes away doing pick ups and drop offs by a hotel nearby.

The next night it was a different story. I called him to arrange pick up just before 10 pm but I also gave him the option of not coming as I could get a drive home with someone else. No, he assured me. He would come. And come he did, in his slippers. You see, Tabuche dresses very nicely every day. In fact I often wonder how he does it. Dressed in a dress shirt and pants driving around in a hot vehicle all day. But you never see him ruffled or wrinkled. So imagine my surprise to see him dressed in very causal attire and wearing slippers. When I asked if he was home not working, he replied yes, he was watching a football (soccer) game. I then asked why he didn’t send one of his other drivers to pick me up instead (he runs a whole entire company of drivers)? His very succinct reply was he was not done his job until I was home safe and sound. In the next breathe he also told me that I was working way too hard and needed to stop working because the work is always going to be there…smart man, isn’t he?

So that brings us to Friday night’s pick up. The motel where our AGM was held is located in a village called Tlokweng. It is still Gaborone as far as I am concerned but it seems to be a whole different planet. First of all, to take a taxi there it is double the price each way, although my fee to Tabuche never changes. The villages here are still run by Chiefs, a hereditary position passed down to the oldest son (although,  because Tabuche and I discuss women’s rights all of the time, he was able to reassure me that there are some women Chiefs as well). So all of this sets the stage for what happened next.

I get into the car Friday night thankful to be going home and that the AGM was over and done with. As I got into the car, I noticed that Tabuche had the radio on to a football (soccer) match and was listening. Normally he has a talk radio station on which he switches to music so he can make me dance while he is driving. Being exhausted I was ready to settle quietly down for the drive home while he listened to his game. But Tabuche wasn’t having any of that! When I said that I would be quiet, he actually scolded me and said that he preferred it when I talked to him as it made the drive home faster and more pleasant.

So I cracked the joke that he needed to rush me home so I could hit the pool (another frequent topic of our discussions on the way home) as he had pointed out that other than Sunday’s dip after arriving home from Kasane, I hadn’t been in the pool for almost two weeks. Just as I cracked the joke, Tabuche sped through the lights that were changing to red. To avoid the traffic that time of night, Tabuche then turned off onto a quieter back access road that would bypass most buildings and all of the traffic.

We were not on that road two minutes when Tabuche indicated that he was being pulled over by the police. So off to the side of the road we went and out Tabuche got to go back to speak to the police officers in the truck behind us. When he came back to get his license and something else he told me that he was being fined for running a red light. Of course I felt guilty for joking about getting home fast and protective of Tabuche. I just wanted to get out of the car and go back to tell the officers off. Luckily I had enough sense to stay in the car. After about 15 minutes, he came back to the car and opened the glove compartment. Out of it he took 100 pula and with a little smile and wink he returned to the police truck behind us. It turns out that all it takes here to make a 1000 pula fine go away is a 100 pula bribe!

When we were back on our way, Tabuche reassured me that he is frequently stopped and goes through this identical process. It has just never happened while I was in the car. It seems that the police here pick their targets very well. When they see a taxi driver with what appears to be a foreigner, who of course all have money, being driven around, they automatically assume that the taxi driver is over charging them and they want their share of the profits. Commerce at its best!

So I have been teasing Tabuche ever since. You see during the rush hour traffic when he is driving me to and from work there are often police officers directing traffic at traffic circles and major intersections. In fact, we have one traffic circle where we can always tell if it is the male or female police officer directing the traffic. If the traffic is really backed up, it is the male. If everything is running fairly smoothly, it is the female officer, except for when she is having a bad day. It happens! See I told, Tabuche and I discuss women’s roles and rights all of the time. So for the last two mornings as we approached intersections with a red light but motioned through by the police officer, I grin and say are you sure you shouldn’t stop!

This morning, the discussion focussed on how the police here really are your friends! Tabuche explained that if you are being robbed or in trouble, you can count on them to assist you. I retorted, friends don’t bribe you! That caused much laughter and further clarification on his behalf, which made him forget where he was delivering me too…I was going to the FHI office downtown for meetings. Instead, he to the turn off to take me to WUSC. I know, it is difficult for him to keep track of where I am going some days! So as we were driving by the WUSC  office and bantering back and forth, a dog and it’s owner passed in front of us. The dog was missing its left back leg but was ably hopping along ( I could identify!).

Just as we passed by it as it was progressing onto the sidewalk, Tabuche looked at me with a straight face and said “I guess that it is what you call a three wheel drive”.  I was still laughing when I walked through the doors of FHI five minutes later. I have turned a serious, respectful Batswana man into a comedian with an ironic sense of humor! That is an accomplishment to be proud of and a miracle as the Batswana do not know the meaning of irony or sarcasmism. I am just happy that I am capacity building both inside the office and outside! Hopefully I don’t ruin Tabuche all together. He is far too nice of a man for that.