Sunday, March 8, 2009

March 8, 2009: Sunday, a day of rest

Last night I decided to take a day of rest today as I was still feeling low energy and tired although I realize that maybe in some part from going from 10C and cloudy to 30C+ and sunny. However I did not get up until noon!

I went to check out the retail commerce at the Riverwalk Shopping Mall near by. Gaborone was a small village, chosen for its strategic location as the capital of Botswana at it independence in 1966. As a result it has been well planned as can be seen n the aerial picture I included in one of my earlier posts.

Shopping malls are a part of that and most retail business is conducted in malls, with a few roadside stand popping up here and there. The Riverwalk Mall seems designed to off most thins that one might need. It has banking, a post office, department type stores, electronics along the lines of Future Shop and Best Buy - very popular with the younger set, grocery, household wares and linens CD's and notions/cards etc. I was surprised to find a Woolworth's, remind me of the ones we used to have. It had a nice array of reasonable modern clothing house wares and food, including reasonable [or so it looked to me] fresh produce. There was an area of the mall devoted to restaurants ranging from fast food to sit down and elegant dining. It was in this area that there were an number of sidewalk vendors sell ling "touristy" souvenirs and Botswana crafts.

While I was typing this post, I got a notification from Messenger that a Vancouver friend was on line. While I was trying to respond [as it is all new to me set up as I was leaving], he called me on Skype, which he helped me set up too, as he saw me on line. We had a nice talk and caught up for a few minutes. If anyone is on Skype, let me know at or put a comment on my blog and we'll see what might happen.

My Vancouver friend did tell me that you just changed to Daylight Savings Time, reducing the time difference between us by one hour. I have not heard of any time change here but will check after posting this ,as I have an early flight to Maun tomorrow morning.

I do not know yet what my communication capacity will be in Maun although \i have been informed that there is no wireless there. I will have to rely on connections at the place where I am going to work but have been told their set up is not the best. So we'll see.

When I went out just now, 5 or 6 smallish grey monkeys were playing and eating in the courtyard/car park out side my door. No one could tell me what kind they were; "They're just monkeys." And the internet provided no ID either.

At the entrance gate to the apartment compound is a sign for car drivers that I thought was a hoot: "Do not hoot for entrance, flash your lights instead."

On my walk today and my travels yesterday, I noted a number of interesting things and obvious planning for a future in a prosperous country. First was the National Museum of Botswana, and then the Botswana National Academy for Administration and Commerce. I wandered by a Tree Nursery of the Department of the Environment and Tourism as well as The National Tree Seed Center of the Department of Forests and Resources which had wonderful stands of eucalyptus and banana trees, with bell ringing cattle grazing in the shade below them [28C]. On the TV earlier while I was getting ready, there was a program on HIV/AIDS prevention followed by one on the expected impacts of the western recession on the economy based on wealth sensitive items such as diamonds [80-90% of foreign trade], tourism and beef. The focus was not on the dire results but on how best to deal with it.

I guess my noting all this shows my western chauvinism to some degree. However, I find it interesting to be in a forward thinking and preparing country on a continent that is not usually associated with that in the western news. We mostly hear of wars, and government coups and resource exploitation. This is notably different from all that!

Enough for now. I am doing well and trust that you are too.

Sala sentle [goodbye as you are leaving]


  1. Adriaan,

    Not only did we switch the Daylight Savings Time, we also got another 2" of snow. Sure hope
    it's warm where you are!


  2. And the snow is melting in Ottawa...