Botswana Day

walking to the edge

Nata is on the edge of the largest salt pans in the world- The Makgadikgadi Pans.  It is a remarkable place with stunning landscape and some interesting wildlife (namely- wildebeest, flamingos, ostrich, impala, hippos and lions).  What I love about the pans is the feeling that you are on the edge of the world, you are literally so far removed from the modern world.  There is a majesty to the feeling.  A certain sense of reverence for mother earth. I have had the opportunity to go to the pans several times and each time I am impressed. It is when I am out here, that I feel like I am in Africa, that i have arrived.  But clearly, that just shows you that my perception of africa is still based on Lion King and my professor’s ethnography of the !Kung Bushmen in Namibia. But in reality, it is so much more. And all i really know is Botswana, which is Nata and these beautiful pans.

This past weekend was a holiday weekend.  Thursday was Botswana Day! Celebrating Independence from the british (it was only ever a protectorate and was never colonized, which make a big difference).   I celebrate independence with a bunch of peace corps volunteers on these pans.  About 25 other volunteers came to my house and we headed to the pans.  We had a really great time.  Even though there was little water, we still saw flamingos, ostriches, wildebeest, impala and hippo tracks.  Also, a magnificent sunset.

camping

cracked earth

under african skies

morning glory

sunrise

I guess I am surprised when locals have lived there their whole life, but have never seen what is in the backyard.  But I shouldn’t be.  I’ve never seen the salt flat in Utah, don’t I claim utah as my home?  At least I have been to the grand canyon and disneyland.

Now I feel as if I need another weekend to recover from my weekend.  So exhausted! Also, it’s hot here and I guess that means giant spiders, scorpions, roaches and beetles the size of my head.  yikes