Friday, August 29, 2008

Photos from 'Around the Kalahari'

Rob fixes the flat in the bush south of Nata

The Shiyeyi writers' workshop at Gumare

Sunrise on the Delta, Sepopa

Going over the Shiyeyi gospel of Mark with Mr. and Mrs. Kauthemwa, Sepopa. This was the first time they had seen the manuscript.

August in review

At the beginning of the month, we drove to the Okavango Delta to meet with Wayeyi and attend a writers' workshop. This was my first writers' workshop where I was anything beyond an observer - we were finalizing the Bible Stories Retold in Shiyeyi, so they can be published this year, at long last. On the way to the Delta, we got our first (hopefully our last) flat tire in the bush. Took us a few hours to get it sorted out and we had to return to Francistown for a new spare before continuing on to the Delta, delaying meetings in Maun by a day, but it turned out OK.

On the way back to Gabane, we spent a weekend with an SIL couple in D'kar and attended the Kuru Dance Festival. Amazing time, one of the highlights of our time here in Botswana so far. The Wayeyi from Shakawe were one of the groups represented there and they gave quite a show, including the cutest little Muyeyi in a reed skirt. We gave a few Peace Corps workers a lift back to Gaborone.

Now, Rob's computer fritzed during the trip and we had to hurriedly plan for repairs upon our return. We found a Mac store in Pretoria, South Africa so we drove there to put it in the shop. They say it'll be fixed within the next week or so. Since we're on our way back to the Delta for the LBT Southern Africa Retreat tomorrow morning, we'll have to make the return trip to Pretoria after that.

The retreat will be followed by a trip to Namibia with Jim to visit a potential translation project for me in Rundu. Then, we're likely going to meet with Wayeyi translation stakeholders in Gumare, back in Botswana. After we drop Jim in Francistown on our way back to Gabane, we'll make plans for the next trip to Pretoria. Also, we'll put the car in the shop to see why it doesn't start sometimes. On our trip to Pretoria, we had a total breakdown in Lobatse, the town on the border. We had just met a missionary who lives there that Monday, Laura, so I called her and she and her husband Andy and Pastor Jack came to help us. We swapped out the battery for a new one and managed to get going again but general consensus is that something is wrong with the starter. Argh. Ah, to be settled enough to buy a car that isn't so old that parts are casually giving up the ghost. Rob starts the car on prayer alone regularly.

Between sharing a computer with Rob (so he can prepare his VMS presentation for the retreat) and making plans for our many trips (getting the cash together, booking accommodation, making phone calls, reading maps), this has been a crazy month. And tomorrow, we hit the road early to head back to the Delta for another 2 weeks. I'm hoping that, after that, we'll have a concrete assignment so we can use the remaining month of housesitting in Gabane to line up housing for the next leg of our journey.

That side

One of the fun turns of phrase here is “that side”. “That side” refers to any place other than where you are currently and is accompanied (usually) by a wave of the hand indicating which direction you would walk to get to “that side”.

We went to the Menlyn Mall in Pretoria and found a place attached to a bookstore called the Seattle Coffee Company. Yes, it was a bona fide Starbucks-looking coffee chop. It even had posters of Seattle terminology on the wall so you could order your espresso drink authentically. Made me feel kind of weird but in a fun way. When we were paying, I said that it was good to be here and that we were from Seattle. She said, “Really? It's good to have you here.” Then, after a moment, she added, “It's always nice to have people from that side.” We all laughed.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Long time, no post

I know, sorely neglected blog. Sigh. I'm hoping that once we get back to Gabane from Pretoria, South Africa (trying to get Rob's computer fixed) that I can sit down and write a proper posting about our recent adventures. We've been trying to get everything in place for our parts in the LBT Retreat in Shakawe next weekend. Seems like the more there is to tell, the less time there is to spend telling it.

So, my goal for next week is to write an August synopsis and post it, pictures and all.

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