Friday, June 28, 2013

Special Home Leave

Going home was everything I had hoped it would be and more (with only very few of my "worries" coming to fruition - yay!). It was a time to reconnect with family and friends and to share about my experiences over the last two years and about this culture and people that I love so much. I was overwhelmed at times - by the sheer magnitude of "stuff" in America and by the outpouring of love - but felt so connected and welcomed. And, honestly, it was amazing to have hot water come out of the faucet every time and to be able to simultaneously do laundry, wash dishes, and sit outside on the porch (i.e. not do everything by hand). Oh technology!

I could launch into a hundred stories about turning thirty, going to Art Fest, drinking coffee with my mama, windy beaches and eating too many tacos, long conversations over wine, naked bike riders (Solstice Festival), or nights out with friends. But pictures really do say it all so I am just going to share a sampling of my favorites from my five weeks spent across New York, Washington, and California. It really was an amazing time.

Thank you to everyone that was a part of my home leave in between my two years of service and my extension year. I cherish every moment that I got to spend with you and am sincerely grateful to have you in my life. Each person pictured here, each little note or text message I received, and so many more are what makes my life so special. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Would Like My Pizza With That Delivery

The week leading up to my move to Gaborone and home leave was a stressful one. There was a high level of emotions and internal conflict. Add to that the physical drain of having to pack up my house and move everything to my boyfriend's place (for safe-keeping while I was away for five weeks) and I am sure you can imagine what I was going through. I was a bit of a mess.

But that's not to say there wasn't moments of humor in the mix. This is a short tale of one such instance...

After a particularly exhausting packing and moving day, my boyfriend and I plopped down on the couch in his living room and half passed out. And then the rumbling of our tummies startled us awake, as we realized we had neglected them most of the day. Man, were we hungry! But we were also far too tired to be bothered with going to the grocery store and the remnants in the kitchen cupboards just weren't going to suffice this time. So we made a snap decision to order pizza. Pizza is, after all, the only thing that has delivery in our part of Gaborone.

I called the pizza place to make the order. One large pizza would cost us about P88 (roughly $11). We only had a P200 note so I let them know to bring change for that. (It is important to note that you can almost never get change in Botswana. Even if you can see change in the drawer. And, if someone doesn't have exact change for you, down to the thebe, they just won't sell you the product. So alerting the pizza delivery guy to needing change is an absolute must here.)

About forty minutes later, there's a knock on the door. We were SO EXCITED about the pizza getting here that we quite literally leapt of the couch and went running for the door. We handed the delivery guy the P200 note and he gave us exact change (phew!). And then he looked at us blankly. "I forgot your pizza." "What do you mean you forgot the pizza?" "I brought you the change but forgot the pizza." The PIZZA DELIVERY GUY, the guy whose job title tells perfectly what his sole responsibility is, forgot the pizza. Only here could that happen. So off he went, back to the pizza place to pick up the pizza...

Twenty minutes later, our pizza arrived.

All you can do is laugh.