I was surprised at how quickly the international airport in Gaborone, Botswana ended. No sooner had I disembarked from the small propeller-engine aircraft I took in Johanesburg, than I was in OJ's car, driving off towards the town.
On the way, OJ set the perfect mood for my trip, having first received me with a warm welcome at the airport then launching into pleasantries and small talk like we had known each other for ages. You would not have known that I had only met him once before and very briefly at that.
As OJ told me about his cattle in the village and his research on ergonomics, I surveyed the dry, dusty terrain of Gaborone: a rather sparsely populated town that did not glitter at all like the diamonds Botswana is renowned for. It was however obvious from the laid-back and easy demenour of everyone I saw that Botswana was no poor country.
All the faces were fairly happy and no one seemed to be in any particular hurry to earn a living. Later, this observation was corroborated when I was told that the country has enough diamonds to last 200 hundred years!
Imagine that: 200 (insert a swear word of your choice) YEARS worth of diamonds!!!
Meanwhile, we Kenyans are having our asses bombed left right and centre by terrorists if we are not mugged by armed robbers on our way home from poorly-paying jobs after spending over two hours in traffic. Most shocking of all is that Kenya has over 43 million souls squashed in almost exactly the same land area that Botswana has to lavishly supply its population of a little more than 2 million!
I think you catch my drift. I must now stop here because I have a site visit to attend to. If I am not feeling too miserable about being Kenyan and not Botswanan (Botswanian?) after my site thingi, I might tell you more about the fun time I had in Gaborone. What with the opening cocktail, live band, dancing, a well-received presentation, Bibi Seck, the Bushmen and of course OJ. Sigh. I am sad to leave you like this...
Labels: Botswana vs Kenya, University of Botswana