Friday, June 6, 2014

And we have chickens...

We have been hanging out in the village for the last several weeks and I have to say as much as we love to travel it is nice to home.  One of the advantages to our location (in Tonota) is that we are very centrally located in Botswana and therefore we often get visits from other PCV’s passing through on their way up north or down south.  Some volunteers are so remote they hardly get to see any of the other volunteers, although I think that is just fine with some of them.  Being the social beings that we are, we lucked out and enjoy all of our visitors.  A few weekends ago, our friend Amy and her boyfriend Jake came to visit on their way up north.  They had stopped on their way in Serowe to visit her host mother and on the way out, her mother put two “live” chickens in the car for her.  She tried to tell her that they were not going home but as with many situation here in Botswana, the message did not get across, so they showed up with two chickens tied up in the back of their car.  There was no way that these chickens were going to spend the next week in the car with them on their trip so we told her that she could leave them with us.  For the first few days, we were not quite sure what to do with them, or if they would stay on the compound.  Erin and Kelly (our neighbor) built them a temporary house out of cinder blocks from the yard and we had the neighbor kids help us catch them to put them in at night.  A few days later, Erin was convinced that they needed a “real” home so one day when I got home from work he had built an amazing chicken coop for them.  He just used random materials and scraps that he found on the compound and a little help from Amo (one of our neighbor kids) who loves to help Erin with anything he is working on.  At first they did not seem to like their new home but after a few days we could see that one of them was sleeping in there.  After getting advice from all our neighbors we decided to trap them in the coop for a week so they could get acclimated to their new home and used to the spot where they will lay their eggs.  This seemed to work as one of them laid an egg, and now they are free and just do their own thing.  I have to say they really don’t take much work.  During the day, they wander around the neighborhood scratching and eating and at night they come back to their coop to sleep.  Erin bought them some feed which they like okay, but they really love vegetable scraps and bugs they find in the yard.    We gave them names of course, which our neighbors think is crazy.  Julia and Pearl, they both have very different personalities and are so funny.  As you can probably tell, we are sort of lacking excitement in our day to day lives, so these chickens have been a great source of entertainment. 

Everything else is going great!  We feel very settled in our village and jobs.  Projects are off the ground and moving in very positive directions.  We feel so blessed to have this wonderful opportunity to live in this beautiful country, meet so many great people and experience their culture, to help where we can, and especially the opportunity for self growth and learning.  The difficulties we face are always tempered by the knowledge that other PCV’s both here in Botswana and especially in other countries have the same or greater challenges, as well as respecting the fact that our Batswana friends and neighbors also face many difficulties we will never fully understand.  We try to keep things positive on this blog, as we don’t think it’s entirely appropriate to bore you all with the minor difficulties we face living here in a small African village.  With that said, I hope everyone is doing great back in the USA! 

Julia and Pearl
So that's how they do it.  Pearl and our neighbor's rooster.