TEACHING-EMPOWERING-MENTORING-BUILDING OPPORTUNITY Mission: to partner with individuals and communities in Western Kenya to support entrepreneurial activities, education and health through training programmes, scholarships, water and sanitation projects

Friday, November 29, 2013

Last message from Botswana

Internet was out again because of another storm so I couldn't send anything last night. Had a very good 2 days with teachers  Wed & Thur at a nice resort although they gave us a smaller room than requested & it was a bit cramped. TIA. but there were some managers & policy makers there. Today we had about 22 people to start which diminished to about 16. This was the prof/bus one & I was anxious about it. I could criticise it a bit but the evaluations were again glowing, so what do I know? We were at the Botswana craft market which was very nice EXCEPT it was stinking hot in the room. The A/C was so loud we couldn't talk against it. Again TIA. I had a look round the store but found it  expensive. Can get similar items cheaper in Kenya. although I must say the baskets are particularly beautiful
At noon tomorrow we’ll go to a craft fair which I hope will be more reasonable. 
This was our last session and I’m ready to go home. We've reached about 300 people/ It’s been very intense but lovely people & I’ve enjoyed it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Saturday trip

Went out today about 50 km from Gaborone.Everything is so dry. They say they should be in the rains & everything green. But the rains haven’t come & the cattle & donkeys look in a bad way. They also said many are dying, especially those pregnant.
We first went to the Livingstone memorial. The gate was closed, but not locked, so we could go in. Apparently it’s fairly normal at the end of the month (pay day) that people don’t show and this also being Saturday. Our driver (Sylvester from Zimbabwe) had been there before & is a bright guy, so he could remember a lot. There are stone outlines of the church (first in S Africa if not the whole continent) and the house where a big rock marks the treatment table.
church site
We also saw the graves of two white missionaries who died from eating wild berries & Livingstone’s last daughter, Elizabeth who I believe was born and died on an exploratory journey.


From there we went to Bahurutshe, a cultural village where they put on dances etc but the traditional way of life no longer exists today.

 Next to a village where we saw rock paintings made by bushmen about 2000 years ago. At this place the guide had turned up for work, so we had a good tour. The medicine men would put themselves into a trance with herbs & smoke & receive visions of the animals. Some would be for the hunt, for food, and some would be symbolic omens.
rock painting giraffes
Our next stop was Livingstone’s tree that was already big and shady enough for social gatherings in the village when Livingstone arrived in 1847. There he taught (literacy and religion) treated people and; animals. There is still a nice table and seating under the shade.

 From there we went to a pottery place which reminded me of Metchosin (but at about 20% of the price) I bought a few small things & would have liked to take more if I had thought I could pack them.
Our very last stop was a crowded shopping mall exactly like those at home & which I usually avoid. I had a quick iced coffee and we left.

Tomorrow Sylvester will take me to church (bilingual service promised which will be interesting) and then to a place that does leather work and weaving.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

new digs

We were blessed to have a week in a 5 star hotel but now we are back to reality in a delightful conference centre where we did a teacher training two days ago. Small buildings cluster around a dusty area with shade trees and seating. It is easily 36-38 in the afternoon, so I shall miss the pool, but we do have AC! We had almost 60 teachers, Peace Corps volunteers and a handful of health workers in a two day session on Mon & Tues. I have rarely seen such wonderful & humbling evaluations and expressions of determination. Tomorrow is a community workshop (one day) and it looks as if our next teacher presentation scheduled for Fri & Sat might be cancelled. I shall attend a Rotary lunch on Friday, invite some participants to next Friday's session for professionals and pick their brains as to what I might do at the weekend. The 'tourist' areas seem to be in the north about as far away from Gaborone as possible with the exception of the Kalahari Reserve. My internet has a poor signal so I might not be able to post more pictures until I'm back in Kenya

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Two great workshops in Gaborone

On Friday we offered basic Virtues training to 20+ military officers and 20+ police officers of all ranks. Botswana'a vision for 2016 is to create 'a just, caring and compassionate society' so the Virtues fit right in. As usual, people struggled a bit with the concept of positive discipline, but by the time we finished gave excellent evaluations. Many want to continue with more training. They loved their certificates!

On Saturday we went about 40k outside Gaborone to Stepping Stones which offers support to children who are heads of household, especially young. single mothers. The small group of girls and young women were an absolute delight to teach, with discussion, role plays and songs. Some leaders of the organisation will attend later training sessions, so there will be support and follow-up.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Leaving for Botswana today with an overnight in Nairobi. Master Facilitator Richard and I together with a facilitator from Namibia will spend just over two weeks presenting the Virtues project to teachers, education officials, community groups and business professionals

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Clergy seminar

Clergy violence prevention seminar on Wed & Thurs. So many lively and thoughtful discussions. Wish we had more time!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Graduation at the Theological College

Saturday was graduation day at Maseno Theological College (St Philip's) . I am now on the board but there has as yet been no meeting. Five parish choirs sang beautifully with traditional African instruments