acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Friday, February 27, 2009

Desert Diamonds

I am sitting in a hotel garden in Gaborones surfing on wifi and feeling very sophisticated. Two hours to kill. I remembered this as a quiet place, but now coming from a quiet place i am astounded by the level of noise pollution.
Not that Bob Marley can ever be described as such - i love his sound, but there is music, football on TV, voices trying to conquer the decibels, kids in the pool, fans and generators humming. Its a lot.

Anyhow its kind of nice to sit here on the periphery and watch the world in progress. lunchtime, big city. The sun is shining but the day is bright and fresh after a big rainstorm in the night. There is a multi cultural feel as various nationalities are represented, mingled with regional accents. I am enjoying trying to work out where in the world they are from; and the body language...

Botswana is a semi desert country - land of drought and diamonds; sand rivers and salt lakes; the worlds only inland delta flows in a blue green ribbon from the Angolan highlands bringing life to kalahari sands, fanning out between exotic islands of palm trees and acres of papyrus. It can be seen from space. From a small plane it is a giant stained glass window reflecting skies, moved by Africas great animals that inhabit its waterways. Lit by flocks of white birds that circle and wheel.
A kaleidoscope of light and colour and life. This is the last journey of the Okavango River as the delta fans out and drains into the kalahari sand. Beyond the deltar is a basin of ancient lake beds filled with fossils of creatures lost in climatic events over aeons of time. Shimmering salt white in the midday sun. Place of mirages. At night a wonderland of star scapes dangle tantalisingly out of reach - unaffected by light polution. It is the place to travel the milky way in your dreams and wonder at the giant moon.

A desert home filled with subtle life forms and the tools for survival if you know where to look. The San Bushmen know where to look. They have been here for ever.

This is a mineral rich land too. Diamonds. Lucy in the sky with Diamonds. The hardest substance known to man. Multifaceted they reflect the spectrum of colours. Sparkling on wealthy necks and fingers worldwide. They lie in the ground here. They bought wealth to this country. With responsible government and use of revenue, the country has prospered and grown. It is as if the wealth of clean water, soaked into the ground, and hardened eternally into fossilised ice.

Diamonds built this city. Brought the first world to the desert. Made this polyglot of people in this moment in time. How would it be here if there had not been diamonds? would i be sitting sweating under a small shepherds tree, batting flies and wondering where to find some water to drink? Watching out for snakes and scorpions. Hoping to tag along with a band of San people who know what to do in the wilderness? My laptop would have no more use than a hat, or stone to sit on.

oh waiter, can you bring me a glass of cold cold water. Thank you.


Rosaria Williams said...

This is a luminous description of a place I now want to visit. Thsnk you for the verbal photography. I'm one of your new followers.

Lori ann said...

Val? are you looking for Mama Ramotswe?

Wow, what a gorgeous post,again! Ice water is nice, but woulden't a cold Tusker's go better with Bob?...

someday i'll see the delta, thank you for this!

xxx love,lori

Kristin said...

I think I understand, now, how it is that I wanted to go back before I even left. I didn't have nearly enough time to appreciate Botswana. I'm not sure I ever could.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully described Val. I'm right there in the cacophony of Gabs listening to you describe the Okavango. Enchanting!

Angela said...

I devotedly sit at your feet, listening, the sounds, the klinkering ice in your glass, and to your voice describing what you see and know about the place you are in. I see the huge African moon, and I look at my diamond ring which my husband gave me...are you from Botswana? Did you help bring some wealth to the San people? I wish you`d sing your African song on and on, Vallie!

karen said...

lovely, Val.. yes, it's true, so much of what we love and enjoy in this country is thanks to diamonds. Bad news there regarding our diamond sales in creditcrunch time, but we remain hopeful as ever! :)

Anonymous said...

I love diamonds, wish I owned some more! Your hotel garden sounds very tranquil even with the noise.

CJ xx

e said...

Thanks so much for another beautiful post, Val. I too wish I could visit...

Val said...

thanks for your lovely comments all xx

Lakeviewer - i am honoured!

Lori Ann - you are right - a cold Tusker would have been good :-)

Kristin - when are you coming back?

Rob - good to have you with me :-)

Angela - it could be a Botswana diamond! wow!

Karen - thanks x yes i heard diamond sales are down at the moment :-(
c'mon ladies!

CJ - it was a fun spot to people watch. would have been more fun if my blogger pals were all there too

e - yes, come visit Bots!!

tam said...

Gorgeous posts of late, Val. I've never been much of a jewellery girl, and even now that i have an excuse for it i'm not opting for a diamond. can't quite say why. For me Tanzanites and aquamaraines are miracles. Have you read Ekhard Tolle's New Earth?

And thank you so much for my award!!

e said...

Thanks for your kind remark regarding my recent posting!

pink dogwood said...

great post. Thanks for the tag in your previous post - I promise to get to it soon.

Reya Mellicker said...

I should check here more often because I always feel I am standing or sitting right next to you as you describe what you're doing, what you're thinking.

Water, yes, but how about a chilled glass of something a bit stronger. It helps with all the extraneous noise.

The world's only inland delta? Wow!!

Val said...

hi Tam - yes i did read that book. some great stuff in there! i am with you on the stones but diamonds are sparkly and more durable probably. always astounds me that these fabulous things come out of the ground - all of them!

greetings e and pink dogwood!
i look forward to your next postings :-)

Reya - the natural world of Botswana is awesome! haha yes - something stronger - Lori also suggested. now if you guys had been there........
i think my blog is about denial and focusing away from the world of human complications and stresses; recharging from the power of the earths natural energies? escapism? there must be some reason....

thanks for your comments - always appreciatedxx

Miranda said...

Val, I have been a very very naughty commenter. I am smacking myself on the wrist as I write this. Especially after your lovely tag and all the nice things you said about me - you are too kind! So I have that tag to do AND the letter D - I have not forgotten but just been, well, you know. Crap!

Anyway, great post, as ever.