Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Botswana – First Impression

It has a lovely temperature – it’s mid-winter, and some colleagues have the heating on….I walk around in short-sleeved shirts.

Gabarone is like a large village – all low-rise buildings, apart from a few in the centre, large open spaces, large gardens everywhere.

The malls are not like the ‘Mall of America’, but rather small, low-level affairs.

The Batswana (people of Botswana) seem to be very law-abiding. When the plane landed, everyone stayed sitting until long after the engines stopped running – until they were told they could disembark (yes, I was told off). A scandal in some other part of the country involves people drinking alcohol and INSULTING other people. Insulting people is a serious no-no. They are also very polite - they greet you with 'how are you?'.

Another case in the news involved a family of 10 persons who lived in terrible conditions, with a house that was far from weather-proof. So the local community gave them 2 tents, but also found that the mother was quite able-bodied and able to work – so she find herself working shortly. Some might think that with 10 people to take care of she might be working hard enough already…

Botswanan names are very difficult; long, complicated and seemingly not connected to any names I know. I will really have to memorise my colleagues’ names.


varske said...

It finally all worked out then. That's great. Some early Paul Theroux books are set in Botswana. I guess it's changed a lot, but he seems to have liked it.