Friday, June 26, 2009

Sex Education

My employer had put on a 'learning session'. I had just come away from another meeting, the topic appeared to be something about community groups. Important, but not all that critical for me.

Then I got the call to come along, so I did. Rather startled to find myself in a large room, with most of the team, looking at banners proclaiming 'your sex network'. Was I in the right class? It seems I was. It was about HIV and AIDS and how one infected person can infect lots of others, if they are not careful, and each has several partners. I thought that it was good news that in the years between the last HIV survey in Botswana (2003/4) and the most recent one (2008) the prevalence rate had hardly changed (I'm not putting in figures because I am not sure the report has been published) and said so aloud. Sometimes one just does not think and one should keep one's mouth shut. The reason it has remained so relatively stable is because lots of people have died, so in fact this masks quite a few new infections. As it happens, Botswana is pretty damn good at dealing with this - giving all those who need it those anti-AIDS drugs, so people are much more likely to stay alive now, and providing home care for bed-ridden people. Those drugs ain't cheap! We talked about homosexual sex (illegal here) though a significant number of respondents in the survey (male) they had had sex with a man. I then had to explain to a woman how lesbians do sex....she could not quite understand the gesture the lovely lecturer had used.

Later went off to do shopping. I had intended to get a pair of glasses for driving; I see pretty well enough in most environments, but might not pass a driving sight test. Took only 40 minutes for the taxi to arrive at the hotel, and the journey to the shopping centre cost almost 10 times as much as the minibus on the way back. Having sat in the far corner at the rear, when I got out it meant other people had to get out as well. But a good experience to make, and my seat neighbour was very nice and helpful. I still have not worked out the money - need to take a closer peek at the coins.

Did not get the glasses - paying 100 Euros for those few occasions on which I need them seems a bit much (though they might be useful in opera houses, too - whenever I get back to be near one). Also I had gone to the shopping centre because I saw no opticians in the main street; as soon as the taxi hit the road I saw three within 100 m of my hotel. Might check them out a bit more. But at least I have seen the shopping centre. It seems to have a cinema, too; the supermarket sells some wine, none to cheap, though I got a carton of claret for about 6 Euros for 2 litres (the same make of carton that my luxury hotel uses, with probably a reasonable profit margin)......Just had a near catastrophe; the opening for the wine is quite different from the openings the Chileans use for their wine, sold in Vilnius; thank Christ something had made me try it out in the bathroom and not on the beige bedroom carpet. Not sure what the chambermaid will say about the red spots all over one of the toilet rolls....

Work is building up nicely now; there seem to be a few things potentially on the boil and it is nice to be a bit under work pressure. Still finishing another bit of work; had hoped to have more of it to do over the weekend, but nothing more has appeared. Oh well....