Posted: 2002-12-06 01:57:00
"The friend Mr Devin Hunt,
Well, It's my pleasure plus joy that have driven me into drafting you one! I just hope you are fine. Anyway Mr Devin Hunt, can you help me with a donation of money? I want to proceed my co-operative but otherwise he failed me under the problem of money to proceed that work. Do you remember me? I meet with you at Botwana during the time you came there on the 12th of November 2000. So try by all means Mr Devin Hunt. Please try by all means. I call you to come and see the project I will do after some day of the year. But it depend on what time you post that donation. If you have much money try to give some because I want to improve from the stage that I am. My friend Devin Hunt God bless you until amen. I wish you good luck with your next proposal. And I would like to thank God who give me this chance to communicate with you through this paper.
Yours in tears of love,
Fanuel Guwa was a boy that I met on an overcrowded bus whilst travelling though Botswana late last year. He was no more than 15 years of age but the way he spoke gave me the false impression that he was a lot older than he actually was. Fanuel worked hard to support his family and told me that his parents and siblings were very proud and happy that his wage ensured that they had three square meals a day. I was therefore quite taken back when I recieved the above letter from him last week. It sounds as if his life has been turned upside down, and unfortunately he's not alone as the problems being experienced in many countries in Southern Africa are affecting the masses. You meet plenty of great people when you're on the road although some of the friendliest that I've ever met were in Botswana. Unfortunately a lot of Botswanans, like Fanuel, are hard done by but they still manage to smile from ear to ear. Most travellers to Botswana tend to stick to the touristy nothern region of the country, visiting places like the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. Cities like the capital, Gaborone, are often overlooked by your average holiday maker - which is good if you want to do something different. Gabs, as it is affectionately known, is one of the fastest growning cities in the world and was described by my trusty guidebook as being 'expensive', 'having very few sights' and 'nothing to go out of your way for.' It sounded like a laugh so my cousin and I decided that we'd head there for a day or two so that we could check it out. We arrived in Gaborone in the middle of the night and with an exteme lack of hostels and relatively cheap hotels to stay in, finding accommodation in Gabs was a pain in the arse. We eventually stumbled upon a bed and breakfast near the centre of town and woke up the old lady that ran it. She wasn't at all fussed in having her beauty sleep interupted, in fact I think that she was overwhelmed to see us. A taxi was soon phoned and we were taken us to a seedy pub on the edge of Gabs. The cab driver was such a nice guy that he even came in and had a few drinks with us, introducing us to a few ladies of the night that had been looking us up and down. Another guy soon sat down at our table and said, "The girls in here they like to *****. This is my sister. Do you like my sister?" I looked around the bar, which was full of heavily made-up drunk girls draped over a handfull of ageing white guys. James and I soon realised that the taxi driver had taken us to brothel so we finished our beers and left. It appeared that white males have a reputation for shagging anything with a pulse in Gaborone, although we weren't interested in putting any toothless dinner ladies away at all. Our aim was to get pissed so we headed to a club which was ironically called Night Shift. It was a Friday night and there were a total of twelve people in the club. Nine of these people were asleep on the floor and the rest were trying to find somewhere to bed down for the evening. The music was crap and buying drinks was an impossibility as even the staff were catching some shut-eye behind the bar. It wasn't the liveliest of nightclubs but we were certainly given an taste of what the nightlife in Gabs is like - absolute shite. Gabs is a lot more interesting by day than it is by night. The city spreads out over the countryside for as far as the eye can see - an endless mass of dilapidated dwellings, red dust, rubbish and stray animals. The best way to see Gabs is to jump in a cab and offer the driver a bit of money for a few hours of his time. The cab driver that took James and I for a tour of Gaborone had never been to a safari park before so paid for him to take us around a reserve on the edge of town. The Gaborone Game Reserve isn't the greatest place to view animals as more wildlife can be found rummaging through piles of garbage in the city itself, however it's cheap to get to and a good way to pass the time. We saw plenty of monkeys, a few antelope and a number of ostrich running through the thorny scrub - and the taxi driver had an absolute ball going off-road in his banged-up little car. He really liked the Resin Dogs too so I gave him the tape that had been blasting out of his crackly car stereo during our little safari. After hooning around the dusty backstreets of Gabs for a few more hours, James and I decided that we'd pretty much seen and done everything in the Botswanan capital. We sat at the side of the road with our thumbs waving in the air, trying to hitch a ride to our next destination. The ink on the sign we used to indicate we were wanting a ride to Francistown hadn't even dried before we were piling into a car and heading out of Gabs - a city that I left with many memories. It appeared that my guidebook was right, yet at the same time incorrect about what it said about Gaborone in some respects. It is quite expensive compared to other African cities but still dirt cheap by our standards. There are very few things to see and do in Gaborone but it is an interesting place all the same. As for not bothering to go out of your way to visit Gaborone - if you do that then it's your loss, not mine. If you do go, then send my regards to Fanuel if you bump into him.
"what a long strange trip it's been...."