the river 2

Some misc stuff to get me into the blogging mood:

1) we’re waiting for an envelope from Vancouver, story to follow. It’s a goody.

2) when I have to log in to this blog, the first image to the “my lucinda’ search is this, entitled “my child, my lucinda”. Creepy. But then again in the 1850’s Jane Eyre was for sure 18 and Rochester something undisclosed like 95

3) surprisingly close to the Victorian outfits above are some more Herero women we saw “downtown” a few days ago. There’s a positive feedback loop happening here with the Herero: they know the other tribes think they look cool, so they make their presence known, like walking in the road when others don’t

What does the town look like? Here’s the short central strip in downtown Maun. The taxi background tune is gospel music from South Africa

4) there are stick insects crawling everywhere right now. Maybe breeding season or something. This guy is about 5″ long

4) while watching Tottenham vs Man City last night last with the locals at an outside bar, this as usual, for an hour

So, now we’re in the mood I guess.

We go out on the river every couple of days. I’m collecting bird pics and will do a river birds blog when I get a good picture of my favourite, the African Jacana.

But here are a few pictures of people we see from the little boat. The river is only navigable, until there’s more water, for the 1 or 2K section below

About 2/3rds of the way up there’s a little beach people come to to cool off. This is the only crocodile free section. We’ve seen two crocs, pics later. A 10 year old boy was killed 100′ from where I’m writing this, 14 months ago.

Here’s where the boat leaves from. It costs 100 Pula for 2 hours. about $12 CDN

Btw, do you want to know how to get a crocodile to release you from its steely jaws? Here’s how, as described by Onks, one of drivers

If you didn’t hear that right, you have to bite the croc on its little toe. Below, cows and the river. If this looks like paradise, that’s because it is. Between the rain and the heat

Lots of this. But no shade

Handlining and sleeping

Fishing mastery

Deer Park mastery at the moment, news to follow

Poor kids fetching water. Onks was angry at them because of the croc risk

The broadest section

Kids here, keen to pose. After taking a shot with males you say “thanki rra” and to females “thanki mama”, or both just “thanki”

Families come down to fish and hang out, but not during afternoon heat

The croc “safe” beach. This is where the nighttime parties are, see an earlier post

Lots of beautiful people. The coloured boy on the right is a little unusual, I see maybe 1 coloured person per 100. More on the coloured variations in another post. There’s a strong Indian community here

It’s all good

Well, except for 2 things. China and South Africa.

Botswana has (relatively) sparkly finances. This goes back to the legacy of its first president, Seretse Khama, a remarkable man. Read about him here.

For example debt to GDP is 17%, 60 points better than Canada’s 77. Moody’s Bot’s credit rating is A2, Italy’s is Baa2. And the police force is the best in Africa. A piddly population of 2.3 million. A land of plenty with few to share. But they’ve just borrowed 1.9 billion from the Chinese for infrastructure. Just to the north Zambia has imploded and defaulted on their Chinese debt and may lose their national power company in lieu of repayment. Namibia to the west is losing mineral sovereignty. It’s the Africa story.

Who knows, maybe it’ll work out. Some here don’t think so. Maybe it’s paranoia.

The second thing is people here are seriously scared of the situation in South Africa, the neighbour to the south.

(why don’t I capitalize the word after 1) etc.? Because it’s ugly. Why don’t I have periods at the end of the sentence before a picture? Because then it bleeds. Why are there so many typo’s? Because I drink beer and blog.)

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