Thursday, January 31, 2008
However, head office did not have power this morning, so I held a business meeting in the dark.
We went to a new place for lunch, and I had savory pancakes - i.e crepes filled with chicken and onions, with feta cheese & cheddar cheese on top.
Then for supper we went to a Portugese restaurant. I had trinchado - strips of beef in a garlic sauce.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
As well, on the way to Nandos we were walking through the mall parking lot and heard a strange sound. We looked across the street, and saw traditional African dancers practicing (or something) on a hill. Unfortunately, they were just finishing up, so I've only got one picture (and they're a little out of formation) - they had all been in a line.
Today's new things are all food related.
First, I had Marula flavoured water. (I have no idea what Marula is supposed to taste like, but the water was good.)
Then I had lunch at a burger place called Wimpy's. It's apparently a UK chain. It's a little odd in that it feels like a typical burger place, but sit down & order off of menus.
Finally, we went to a restaurant that I could have driven by without knowing it was there. It's the Bull and Bush, and it's off a gravel road somewhere in town. I would not have known it was there if I hadn't been with a local. It's the Bull and Bush, and it's off a gravel road somewhere in town. I would not have known it was there if I hadn't been with a local.
Monday, January 28, 2008
For some reason, the hotel was without power from when I woke up (well, probably from before I woke up) until well past noon. I'm not sure exactly when it came back on. Hopefully it will stay on long enough for me to upload this.
Today I got a pass (with my picture on it) that allow me to access our customer's site.
And one more new thing today: I sent laundry out (via the hotel) and it re-appeared (clean) in my room (even with the power outage). Wow, that's a lot of parenthesis in one sentence.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
We saw more warthogs, including some babies:
Today I also saw some unusual insects.
Later I went and read a book by the pool, where I saw the first mosquito I've seen in Africa. The book was set in Botswana, and talked about snakes more than I would have liked.
Editted to add:
I also learned the difference between male and female ostriches. Male ostriches are black (because they sit on the eggs at night) and femail ostriches are grey (because they sit on the eggs during the day).
And giraffes get darker as they get older.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
We saw warthogs, and wild boars.
We saw ostriches:
Tonight we ate at an Irish pub. It served such Irish delicacies as samosas and peri-peri chicken (and some actual Irish-style food). There was live entertainment as well. People were dancing and singing.
On our way back to the hotel, we were wondering why we could see street light poles but there were no lights. Then we missed the hotel because it was totally dark, and realized that the power was out. So tonight I walked up to my hotel room by candlelight.
Edited to add: Today was also the first time I saw the stars in the Southern hemisphere. I was expecting them to look more different. Especially since I looked up and said "Oh, there's Orion" - which is one of only 3 constellations I can recognize at the best of time.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I was interrupted by hotel staff 4 times.
They came to make the bed.
Then they came to spray for ants (note that I have not seen a single ant since I got here - I'm seen a couple of moths, a few wasps, and a beetle, but no ants).
Then they came to clean the rest of the room.
Then they came to turn down the bed.
We had lunch at Braai. It's a fast-food-ish place that serves things like steak, pork chops, chicken, and hamburgers. (I should note that there's no real fast food here - everything seems to get cooked after you order it).
That's about it for today. I'm off to watch a DVD on my laptop.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
And, for Jennifer, the bill at dinner came in this:
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
A lot of buildings have parking lots with parking spots covered by canopies.
Edited to add: Today was also the first day I was in a vehicle that had to stop so that a couple of dozen goats could cross the road. No idea where they were going, but we were on that road 4 times today, and they were only there once.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Today I read the Daily News. It's a local paper.
Some headlines you won't see in Canada:
"Diarrhoea claims eleven lives"
"Kenya crisis hit local banking?"
"Motse o fetwa ke lenaneo" - I assume that is in Setswana.
It rained on and off all day. The flooding here isn't as bad as in Mozambique, for example, but there is a bridge that we need to cross to get to the airport that is almost flooded. If it floods we will need to take a different route (and will probably get lost).
I also met with the customer face to face. We had a meeting this afternoon for me to present what I've been working on.
Monday, January 21, 2008
However, I was sick all last night. I'm the second in my group to get sick. I'm starting to feel better now, but basically I ended up sleeping all day.
However, in the interests of doing something new, I went to the restaurant, ordered toast, and charged it to my room.
My luggage is still misplaced. I really hope it shows up soon.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I started the day on the flight from London to Johannesburg. It was about 12 hours, and we were delayed slightly in London because we had to wait for a runway (since we couldn't use the usual runway due to the "incident" last week).
I got into Johannesburg around 7 a.m. local time (midnight in Ottawa) and spent an hour in the Johannesburg airport. Then it was time for a quick flight over to Gabaronne. (I have no idea if I'm spelling any of this right, and I'm too lazy to look it up, so bear with me).
The airline lost my luggage. I miss clean clothes. :(
I then met our agent in Botswana, Ex. He brought me to the hotel, and then off to an ATM to get local cash. (Minor issue there - one bank machine told me both my bank cards had expired. Luckily, the other bank machine worked.)
I'm now in my room, and just hoping my luggage shows up.
My colleagues are on a later flight, so they should be here this afternoon.
The view from my hotel room window:
The view looking out the door:
Edited to add: My colleagues arrived. Their luggage is also MIA. We are going to look pretty funny at the customer meeting tomorrow.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I took an anti-malaria pill for the first time.
I'm also flying South African airlines for the first time, and I'm in terminal 1 at Heathrow for the first time.
We got hotel rooms for the day, so I was able to get some sleep.
Two more flights to go before I get to Gabarone.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Well, technically none of that has happened yet, but barring unforseen disasters, it will.
In related news, updates may not happen every day for the next little while. Rest assured that new things will continue to happen and that I will update when I can.
Updated to add: I also went into the Maple Leaf Lounge for the first time.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
One of the side effects of travel for me is that I'm always about 10% convinced that something will go wrong (e.g. plane crash) and I won't make it back. Rationally, I'm probably in more danger driving to work in the morning. It's not a serious worry, and it's not enough to stop me from travelling, but it's there.
Today I wrote an "if you're reading this" letter. Basically, it's just a way for me to tell people who are important to me that they are important to me if I'm not around to do it myself.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I also learned that the Kalahari desert is in Botswana, and that Botswana is a democratic country headed by a President. (In defence of my former teachers, I'm pretty sure that they tried to teach me some of this stuff. My brain does not store history or geography unless it's somehow relevant to my life.)
I do not plan to purchase a traditional dance costume.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I pass it every day on my way to & from work, but didn't really know what it was. The sign outside advertises a driving range, but I had heard something about indoor soccer.
Today I visited the superdome at Ben Franklin Park ( http://www.benfranklinpark.ca/). I felt a little weird taking pictures of random strangers playing soccer, so I only took the exterior shot.
There are 3 fields, and you can completely tell that it's a giant balloon if you are in the field area. (The entrance is in the concrete section, so it's relatively normal.)
Friday, January 11, 2008
As well, the different locations have different policies. At this one, I had to get a ticket before going into the class. Again, it sounds minor but it was a little confusing since I'm not used to it.
And my final gym related new thing for today is I was in a class in which one of my regular instructors (for a different type of class) was also a participant.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Anyway, I thought I had a solution to the soreness - today I did a gliding class. It's a class where you use two discs (that look like cloth frisbees) either under your feet or under your hands, depending on what you are working.
(For information about gliding, you can check out http://www.savvierfitness.com/gliding_about.asp .)
It was pretty challenging, but I am pleased to report that I didn't fall down. :) I'll have to try it a couple of more times before I decide whether or not to make it a regular event.
Monday, January 7, 2008
First of all, I spent today in a literal fog. This morning when I went to work it was foggy. This happens on occasion. However, the unusual part was that it stayed foggy all day (and since I sit by a window, I got to notice that every time I managed to make it to my desk today).
Also, I got a yellow fever vaccination. This is the only vaccination I've ever received where the doctor says "Ok, don't move until I come back & tell you you can ... unless you feel dizzy, then you can lie down." They take that vaccination very, very seriously. I'm happy to report that I'm still relatively functional. (I have a headache, but that probably has more to do with the 5 hours of meetings I had today than the vaccination.)
Then, when I got back to work, there were no parking spots (parking is scarce because 5 spots are currently full of snowbanks), so I parked in a spot not really intended for parking & used a door that I previously didn't know existed to go into the building.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
The Fred Flintstone slippers stayed home when I went to the grocery store, though.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
http://www.jen365.blogspot.com/ . As a result, I'm going to do something new each day in 2008.
Today I self-administered an oral vacination (specifically for cholera & traveller's diarhea). It's ... unpleasant, and you can't eat or drink anything for an hour afterwards. :( Oh well, it's new. And it's probably better than cholera.