Wednesday, September 19, 2007


We went out to do some basic household set-up things with the Megahans. Michael told us that banks and post offices have line-ups out the door from the 20th of each month until 2 weeks later so we had to get all our bank stuff done today. People receive their government cheques at that time and so banks and ATMs will run out of cash. I found the ATM in town that will take our bank card and took out a couple thousand pula, to be on the safe side. We went to the licensing office to see about getting Botswanan driver's licenses but the information desk (where they give out the numbers that put you in line for service at the main counter) was unmanned for about 15 minutes. When the office began to fill with people, none of them getting numbers and no available staff in sight for the information desk, Michael suggested that he come back later in the afternoon and pick up the forms for us.

Then, he brought Rob home to meet with Marya (missionary who works with the worship team at the local Lutheran church) and Jo Ann took me shopping. I got what I hope is enough groceries for the next 2 weeks. It's difficult to plan meals when you aren't sure what will be on the shelf when you get there. For example, last week we got large tubs of plain yogurt at the store. Today, there were only a few single serving tubs of plain yogurt so I got a bunch of those. I got a bunch of meat too, froze some for later. We hadn't been eating enough meat the last few days. Incidentally (though probably not unrelated), Rob is down to 92 kg (203 lb) and I'm currently holding steady at 55 kg (121 lb). So, he's lost 7 lbs and I've lost 4 lbs. Happens whenever we leave the US, oddly.

I also bought our cellphones. They're pay-as-you-go (which is what most people here have) and seem pretty good; Samsung SGH-X160. Hard to tell, as the instructions are completely in Italian. I have to go online tomorrow and find an English guide so we can actually use them. If you're the kind of person who'd like to be able to get in touch with us for emergency purposes and need a phone number, send us an email and we'll send you the phone number. Otherwise, we're using Skype for all our US and Canada chitchat, when the connections are fast enough… which they haven't been yet since I've been here.

Now, I have to go hand-wash some more laundry. I hope to get in touch with the Knights soon to figure out their washing machine. Either that or I'll get in touch with General Electric, see if they have any manuals for older models. It's a Microprocessor 700T. Good grief. With a name like that, it almost has to predate the invention of the home PC.

I also got some juice in big glass bottles today so I can reuse them for keeping drinking water. They've begun having water shortages here in Francistown, now that they're heading into the hot season, and I want to be ready with cold water available if it affects us in any significant way. We did have a loss of water pressure a few days ago but that just meant grungy hair for me, not dehydration. From what I saw on the local news, some other people's water loss was more problematic.

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