After a smooth but very long flight we arrived at the Iankhama International Airport in Gaboronne, Botswana. We were met by six SCNs /SCNA with open arms and many smiles. We spent our first nights at Mesimotlhabe, getting to know the Sisters and Tootsie. We had a wonderful orientation covering the geography, history, culture, education and Church in this developing country. We spent some very moving time with Sister Vinaya, visiting the patients at Pabalelong Mission, the hospice directed by our Sisters. These were truly very ill patients but it was wonderful to see the tender and professional care they were given. Without this hospice many would be left alone to die in very desperate circumstances. There was not much we could do for them but we gave them our presence and prayers. Sunday was the Feast of Divine Mercy. We celebrated at Divine Mercy Church by the hospice. It was truly a grand celebration with beautiful music and even more beautiful people who welcomed us to this special liturgical celebration followed by a reception in the Church yard. That afternoon we were treated to a get-together with our Associates of Botswana. What a fun group with caring hearts that showed so clearly the SCN charism blossoming in Botswana. We also had some great prayer and sharing, not only with the Associates but also with Kamogalo, our candidate.
From Mesimotlhabe were traveled on to Lobatse with Sister Ann and Tootsie. We stayed with them in their precious little house, placing mats on the floor and finding couches and beds in which to sleep. Here we experienced the challenges of the water shortage in Botswana but our Sisters were able to teach us how to manage. We spent our first night there planning in more detail for the two day workshop we are giving to the pre-school teachers in the area. It was really fun to see how our group found ways to share stories, music and crafts. Well the day finally arrived and with great anticipation we met the teachers at St. Mary’s for our workshop. What a delight. They are so gifted and so eager to learn new materials and ways of teaching their students. From “Even A Worm Can Learn” to “What Can make a Hippopotamus Smile” we sang, danced and made crafts for and with pre-school teachers. In no time at all it seemed as if we had been together for many days. Even the simplest of songs, the teachers, in their own distinct and amazing style, added harmonies and rhythms which delighted us all. We continue the workshop tomorrow and everyone seemed very happy to be returning.
Oh yes, Tootsie and Sharon did watch the Uof L final game which came on at 3:30AM Botswana time. Go Cards!!!