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Botswana & South Africa

City Tour

BOTSWANA | Friday, 28 February 2014 | Views [291]

I spent the day on a city tour with Tendai from Maroon Tour Company (recommended by Doc). He took me around all aspects of the city, providing history and discussing social dilemmas. Sadly, we visited a part of the city which was highly disappointing but reminiscent of many other parts of impoverished countries, including the US. In this area, my heart ached over the number of little ones, what appeared to be ages 2-5 roaming the streets, gathering to play alongside the road (no distinction between road or sidewalk for there are no sidewalks). The kids were walking around, no parents in sight, just roaming. Little ones, newly born, for the most part. I was really irritated as Tendai explained the social/cultural concerns, HIV/AIDS epidemic and apathy that has developed amongst teens and young adults. HIV/AIDS is a huge problem in this country. Despite the number of campaigns about safe sex, posters of condoms all over, promotion seems to have fallen on death ears. A level of desensitization has occurred. Same old story of these young people with nothing to lose or care for. Although education is free even up to the uni level, it is not widely valued or appreciated. Here I am, coming into this country, stoked about being at a uni, touring, meeting, loving and soaking up the "cultural" knowledge and sadly, those sentiments aren't shared amongst my younger brothers and sisters. Yes, I know it’s the same crap in the states as well.

Baby daddy dramas occur here as well. Tendai explained it wasn't until recently the government allowed non married women to include the name of the children's father on birth certificates. If children were not born to married couples, the woman could not list the father's name on the birth certificate! Therefore, the burden of supporting the child fell on the government. But lately, that band has been lifted thereby putting in place a "maintenance" fine (child support) on men who aren't taking care of their babies. Looking for love in all the wrong places, cheap thrills, lack of self worth, self value, or self love...again same story different country. Sex is a commodity so some sell a bit of tale to get a few crumbs beyond what the government can offer; while others, looking for love and protection. From Haiti, US, Japan, Cuba and beyond, women are undervalued or undervalue themselves although they are the backbones of their countries. When the men have been away, fighting wars, the women were the ones left behind to build their countries, and thrive. Yet, we still are undervalued and the mind games continue.

The woman without a man and children is not a woman such as the man without cattle and son(s) is not a man. To that I write, I AM WOMAN ENOUGH! I refuse to be a statistic. I refuse to feel unworthy or unloved because I am in my 40's, never been married, and childless. I am WOMAN! I come from a long line of strong women. Yes, sadly that lineage does give more value to men, which is sheer hypocrisy considering many of the women in my family are or have been single parents and tyrants even with their "man" at toe. Those that aren't are far and few. Yet, they continue to revere men, placing more value on the men's head than their own. They raise their daughters and spoil the crap out of their boys and when their "boys" fall short of expectations they wonder why, what happened. Yes, there is definitely a tone of animosity in my last few lines. Don't mistake that animosity for hatred of men. I love men but I have certain standards that I do not care to compromise on!

The evening ended with doc and I going to dinner at Rodizio Brazilian Restaurant where we got to know each other a bit better, allowing me to explain why I've been "stalking" her since 2008. It’s with utmost respect and appreciation for the global work she is doing, representing in ways that far and few women of African descent are seen doing internationally!! Her family is of Cape Verdean/Brazilian descent. Just when earlier I was thinking how, when I go to Senegal I definitely must go to Cape Verde. The only other Cape Verdean family I ever knew of was my high school buddy Marc W.

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