I am home from the trip to Selibe-Phikwe and it was so great!! I loved my time with Gary, Stacy, and KB in the car. Although long, it was definitely a fun ride. I am also fully convinced that little Tshepiso is the most adorable thing in the world! Here are some highlights from the trip:
I am so thankful that we made the long journey there and back safely in my vehicle with no problems at all! This is a huge praise because the whole road is just a narrow two-lane road with hardly any civilization along the way. This is also the first road trip in all the African road trip experiences that I've had where we didn't have a break-down or flat tire. Yea!!
Even though I see Gary, Stacy, and KB often, our times together are usually focused on work. We made a deal as we pulled out of Maun that we wouldn't talk about work at all during the week. That was a great idea! We had a wonderful time just getting to fellowship and catch up with each other. And as is usually the case with these three, there was A LOT of laughter!
Leaving so early from Maun and traveling back during sunset, we were able to see some fun animals along the way. On the way there we were able to see tons of zebra and a giraffe. On the way home we saw more zebra and a big ostrich. (So different from the plain old deer I'd see along the road in Texas!) Here are some of the zebra we saw:
I loved having the opportunity to stay at Gary's parents' house and experience the amazing hospitality that is so common in the people of Botswana. Everyone living in the house squeezed into one room to allow Gary and Stacy and I to have our own rooms. (KB didn't stay with us because we dropped him off in Francistown along the way.) The food was great and the accommodations were very comfortable. It was so nice to be in a home for a few days! We also were able to see Gary's grandmother, and here is a picture of her with Tshepiso:
A fun and unexpected part of the trip was getting to shop! I am not a big shopper at all, but when you go for 7 months with not much variety for shopping at all, it is a huge blessing to see a big area full of different stores to shop at. I had fun and was able to purchase a couple of new outfits, some books, and a few little things for my students.
Seeing New Things
Being in larger towns in a different area of Botswana allowed me to see many new things. I was able to see my first Botswana "robots" (stoplights for those who didn't already read this) Phikwe's wonderful park, a new kind of red soil, and much less dust! I also saw a new level of poverty as Gary took us driving around Phikwe's poorest neighborhood. When I saw how many of these people live and their houses, if you can really call them that, I feel that I've been very, very spoiled in my life and blessed way more than I've given thanks for. (Out of respect for the people, I didn't take any pictures in this neighborhood.) Here are some shots from Phikwe's beautiful park, a statue of Botswana's first president, and a set of "robots":
The Phikwe park
Sweet family picture
"Mushroom house" sitting area
The President Khama statue
I know everyone thinks their babies are the cutest ones in the world, but I have to say that my little God-daughter is definitely in the running for one of the most beautiful little girls in the world. She is just so precious! I admit to going totally snap-happy with her and now have tons of new pictures. How could I resist with a face like this??
All smiles...and so beautiful!!
Thanks for your prayers for a safe and fun journey. I feel refreshed and excited for the next two weeks of school. And then I will begin my next vacation-journey...to Texas!!