It’s make-it-work time. I went to Ghanzi to scope out our material options. On the list was sheet metal, rod, hardened steel blades. These things exist, but not necessarily in the dimensions desired. There are three hardware stores and they all carry similar stock.
We also stock up on groceries, and it is in the supermarket where we encounter the glory of the openness of where we are. I was told upon arrival in Botswana that people say hello even to strangers. Since then I’ve been saying “Dumela” to people I make eye contact with and I register a warm feeling when they respond with a smile. Now in the market, a complete stranger asks me what happened to my neck (I have chronic excema), and Anirudh is being told that he as beautiful hair, hair like a woman’s. I find this open directness absolutely refreshing. What is on my neck is not some shameful thing that you can’t ask about – ask if you want to know! And the backwards compliment to Anirudh’s hair has an air of playful joking, and brings a laugh to my lips anyway.
We all depend on Aaron’s welding. Did anyone document his hard work in progress? The fodder chopper is an impressive thing, sturdy as all-get-out. Our own weeder drum, made out of thick steel is also an impressive feat of brute force – the bit of steel is cut with an angle grinder, and Lulu pounded the steel held in a makeshift wooden vise made out of 2x4s and c-clamps. it may not be a thing of beauty, but it is a thing.
Written by: Claudine Chen