I know, I have been negligent. I have no excuse other than it has been a very busy weekend. In fact, Friday was a whirlwind of activity that carried over into Saturday.
Friday was our final day of the Maatla All Partner meetings held at Mokolodi Game Preserve. There was a huge rain storm Thursday night and Friday morning dawned cool and rainy. Given my previous experience at Mokolodi and mud puddles I was rather uneager to return. Plus, I was really meeting out as I had been in all day meetings continuously since Monday morning.
Sucking it up (buttercup), I headed off for Day 3 at Mokolodi. Given that it was still raining and my ankle was not happy about climbing the ladders into the huge safari vehicles I chose to ride up front in the truck. Honestly I don’t think that it was any better!!! There was a change in our venue for the day so it was a long, very bumpy ride to the BOMA shelter…I use the term shelter loosely. It was in a remote part of park and literally had only one part wall. It was shaped like the traditional Kgotla, which is a roundhouse where meetings are held by the Chief.
The highlight of the morning was a trip to the ladies room…always an adventure at Mokolodi…and there was sign of the back of each toilet that stated: “Please ensure the back of toilet is in place as small animals can drown in the tank”. Just want you want to read as you are about to relieve your bladder. Fortunately I was able to pee in peace with no one watching me!
After a morning of hard work we climbed back into the safari vehicles and headed off to another site where we were to spend the afternoon complete with a braai lunch and team building activities. The clouds had cleared and it was now hot and sunny. After eating I was in desperate need of some alone time so I headed off for a walk by the lake to watch the wildlife. As I was making good progress striding the beach, I heard some one frantically calling behind me to come back because there might be crocodiles. I quickly decided that I preferred the crocodiles to returning to the boisterous crowd. The result was a wonderful twenty walk – crocodile free – with lots of bird watching. I was so glad that I ventured out on my own.
Returning to the picnic site I watched a team building exercise involving the local Motswanas tied in pairs with the use of only one arm each creating snowflakes…you know like we use to do when we were little by folding the paper and cutting out patterns. It really was funny to watch because not one of the people participating had ever even seen a snowflake let alone done crafts like this. Of course when it came time to judge the results, I just had to get my two cents worth in. Of course the team I was cheering for were declared the winner after a great deal of deliberations by the judging panel of whom 2/3 had also never seen snow.
The next team building activity I participated in….I probably shouldn’t have! Two teams competed against each other and you had to again use only one hand and create a christmas tree out of construction paper and craft supplies. Ours didn’t go quite to plan and we ended up with a very Charlie Brown christmas tree which in fact I rather liked but almost everyone made fun of. Needless to say we didn’t win and Lawrence will never compete in a craft competition with me ever again. Now everyone knows that I don’t have a single creative bone in my body.
The drive out of the game park was uneventful after a long day and week. The only special thing was that my knight in shining armour, Lawrence made me switch seats with him so he could be on the outside of the vehicle. I had noticed him wincing a lot and assumed that he was experiencing discomfort when in fact he was worried about me getting scratched by the enormous thorns that adorn the aptly named thorn trees. Having been scratched by one just after arriving in Botswana it is not an experience I want to repeat (except I landed in one when we were stuck in the mud puddle) so I have gotten good about ducking out of the way when I am in a safari vehicle. However, Lawrence was totally traumatized and insisted that we switch seats so he could prevent me from getting scratched. Now who doesn’t love a man who will sacrifice themselves to keep you from getting hurt. That action earned him lots of brownie points and he now back on an equal level with Tabuche! There is nothing like good healthy competition of men taking care of you.
I was barely home an hour Friday when it was time to head back out to the Zahara concert held at the courtyard of Botswanacraft. Zahara, is an Africasole singer from South Africa and she is a huge star in all of Africa. After a very long week I was more than ready for a evening of dancing until I dropped which of course I did. At least this time I was prepared by wearing as little amount of clothing as I could get away with and flat shoes (no heels this time because dancing barefoot on a stone surface hurts). After dancing for two hours down in front of the stage which was jammed packed I was regretting not having put my hair up, fortunately Haley, who came from Canada the same time I did had a spare hair elastic. Throwing my hair up in a ponytail cooled me down enough to invigorate me for at least another two hours of dancing. Let me tell that dancing outside in the warm African evenings is hot work and a great workout.
I won’t bore you with the details of the rest of my weekend but let’s just say that there is no rest for the wicked. However I did find out that there is a way to stop my perpetual motion. The combination of late nights, little sleep, the hot African sun, a pool, and a large orange inflatable seem to be the right combination for this Pisces to actually doze off – granted it was only for 15 minutes. So now you know that miracles can happen! Who knows what else is possible!