I went to Matt’s lecture last Thursday. It was all kinds of interesting and compared biomedicine (aka western medicine) to traditional medicine (homeopathy and herbalists.) Apparently there are a sizable number of individuals who will attempt traditional medicine before going for biomeds. Now mind you, I am not opposed to traditional meds. Far from it in fact. However, when you are dealing with something serious like HIV or cancer, I would definitely say go for the biomeds and use traditional medicine as a last resort. A lot of traditional meds involve sucking, herbal remedies, and magical spells. Matt even mentioned one “doctor” who cured illnesses by having sex with his patients while they were in trances or anesthetized. Most did not know how HIV/AIDS was transferred. I’m going to see if Matt will let me post his lecture on this blog.
Matt and Premal had purchased an extra ticket so that I could go with them to Shanti Lo’s concert. Shanti Lo is a popular local transgender afropop singer. This is very unusual seeing as homosexuality is illegal in Botswana. She was fantastic. A true performer. Not only was she rocking out on stage, but she wandered around controlling the rest of the band and keeping an ear on everything. It was an intimate audience and I actually got to introduce myself and shake her hand after the show.
Saturday we went to the Mokolodi Game Preserve. i. Unfortunately there weren’t too many animals out, but I did get to see a giraffe and an eagle from a distance. We had dinner at the restaurant they had on site. A 50 pula burger that was so good I’m still nomming on it. Botswana beef is amazing! What made the evening more spectacular was the random wild animals that would wander close to the restaurant to feed. We got to see warthogs, rhinos, and impala standing not five feet away. I had one of those “gods this is a special moment” when I was eating chocolate mousse, discussing women’s rights in sub-saharan Africa with interesting people, and watching the rhinos eat dinner in front of me.
I even finished a new knitting project! My first African critter – an octopus. Pictures will be posted soon.
Today was incredibly epic as well. I went to Matt’s jazz gig again at the golf club intending to seek out the ladies from the previous week who had wanted to learn hooping. Instead I was pulled aside by a gentleman named Barry who organizes the gigs. He told me that they were having bikers come in and wanted me to be their special feature presentation! The bikers were complete sweethearts who actually did a great deal of charity work. We sat around chatting while the music played. Then Barry instructed me to get my hoop. I had my very first performance in front of a large group of people! Now I know that I’m only intermediate at best, but I can still do a lot of tricks that most of these folk apparently haven’t seen before. I even got a number of folks in the audience to try their hand with my hoop. I really need to get to making more of those! (Especially since I now have the materials.) My evening was made epic when Shanti Lo showed up and was even willing to sing a few songs to the crowd. I hooped to her singing and didn’t think she’d even notice me sequestered in my corner. Apparently she did because when I passed her, she hugged me and complimented me on my dancing. I was beyond thrilled!
It has been a wonderful weekend and I can only hope this work week will involve some kind of thinking. If it did I could not be more happy and satisfied.