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.