Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Lighter Side of Living in Botswana

There are definitely times where I just have to shake my head and laugh at the things I see here. I have had a few of these moments in the past weeks.

One day, I was out at the Center and some of the kids were around. They are generally rowdy, but on that day, they were especially bad. One kid started throwing rocks at me (he is the one in the picture above). I just really wasn’t in the mood so I told him to cut it out in Setswana and then pretended to chase him. This only made him more rambunctious and he ran away laughing.

Later, when I was drawing pictures in the dirt with a few other kids, the rowdy boy sneaks up behind them, pulls down his pants and promptly urinates on several of them. It took the kids a second or two to figure out what was going on, but once they did, they all started bawling; just screaming their heads off. I wanted to be mad (and was shocked more than anything), but I also couldn't help but giggle a little. I mean, did I really just see some little guy drop his pants and pee on other kids? How does that thought even enter someone’s mind?

And then another funny moment happened the other day on my way to work. A woman who runs a tuck shop along my walk to work has a little boy who is maybe 3 years old. Every day when I pass by he runs out, waves, and yells “Legkoa!” (white man!). It always manages to bring a smile to my face so I wave and at least try to say hello to him in Setswana. I am also trying to teach him to give me a high five. He is starting to get it, but most of the time, he just grabs my hand to hold it.

That morning I did not see him and continued on my way. As soon as I had passed by, I heard the familiar little voice yell, “Legkoa!” I turned around, squatted down, and put my hand out so he could give me a high five. I quickly noticed that he was not wearing any pants. He had a sweater on but no pants. (It is actually not an infrequent occurrence to see little kids running around with shirts but no pants. I guess it is cheaper than buying diapers). He ran over to me and gave me a high five. I was happy he remembered how to do it but I don’t quite know how to feel about getting a high five from a kid who is naked from the waist down .

Sometimes you just have to laugh and move on.