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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Things we have learned in Gaborone

1. Pula isn't Monopoly Money.  It is pretty and colorful just like play money. Even though 1 Pula equals  13 cents, and there are 100 Thebes (te-bees) in a Pula. nothing costs 1 Pula. Most of the time the prices aren't much different from the US in cost. Food is pretty comparable. Gas is sold by the litre. It's interesting to go to KFC and order a 2 piece meal for P54.00. We are getting pretty good at dividing all prices by 8 to give us an approximate amount.

2. If you read the book, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, the places talked about in the book are real. Kgale (Call-ee) Hill is by the Game City Mall. Kgale Hill is where the missionaries take the greenies after transfer day to climb to the top of the hill. Yes, they have been known to anger the baboons and been chased by them.

3. Everything closes for the Christmas Holidays. Specialized Panel Beaters, the Doctors and most everyone closes for the holidays. There are only a few places that stay open. Everyone returns to their village to be with their families. Several of the grocery stores stay open, but that's about it. (The senior couples in Botswana are going to take a road trip because there isn't any work to be done here for the next couple of weeks)

4.  I can remember how to cook after all, and from scratch even! On Christmas Day, we are having all of the missionaries in the Bots East and Bots West Zones over for dinner and a devotional. We are having Mexican food. Several of the Senior Sisters are making chicken enchiladas (pretty easy to find the stuff). I'm making Beef Enchiladas (making corn tortillas, enchilada sauce from scratch). I'm also making the refried beans. I made a batch of enchiladas for us this week and they were yummy!

5. Botswana doesn't believe in mechanizing everything. For instance, the streets needs sweeping, so the people who are on welfare sweep the roads. It's a win-win for everyone. People have jobs and the streets are swept.

5. It's virtually impossible to find everything you need at one grocery store. Two or more stores are normally needed to find everything needed. For instance, I went to 3 stores to find sour cream. The other thing you need to know, is if you find something you need, buy as many as you can because you don't know when you'll find it again!

6. There really is other animals in Botswana in addition to goats, cows, donkeys, etc. Sunday on our way home from Lobatse, this is what we saw:

Apparently at this time of year we will be seeing Baboons on the way to and from Lobatse. There were about 20 or more.

7.  No those pretty little "leaves" aren't leaves. They're termite wings. We wake up most morning with wings having blown in under the door. The buildings here are made of cement because of the termites.

8.   The Cemeteries are different here than in the states. The grave is dug, the deceased buried, covered by dirt and stones. Then, a canopy is placed over the grave to keep the deceased shaded from the heat. Apparently another custom in the villages is to ask if the deceased had cows. If they did, it means a huge feast for anyone who comes to the funeral. (So before anyone asks how the person died or if they even knew them, the question is "Did he have cows?")

We love it here in Botswana. The weather have been warm but we have had rain that cools everything off. Sunday we attended church in Lobatse. The youth are amazing. They taught their Sunday School class and the laurels are the YM presidency. I was very impressed. The Bishop told us that there wouldn't be many people at church for the next couple of weeks, but in January when we have a full congregation again, he wants us to help with the youth and the young adults. We also need to see what we can do to help the Primary.

When I think of all of the capable people I know back in the states, I want to wrap you all up and bring you to Gabs to help strengthen the church here. There is so much leadership training that needs to happen. If any of you want to come, I'll put in a good word for you with the Mission President!

Fun Story:
Today while we were at a fabric store, a young clerk asked where our church building was. She wants to attend and asked if we had church every Sunday. She got directions and I'm sure she'll be there.


  1. It made me laugh when I read you bought fabric. Too bad I can't send you some:) We love you!

  2. Was it a typo when you said "and the laurels are the YM presidency"?

  3. What a fun experience - it was great to talk with you yesterday :)