The Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse....


The road to Magoriapitse...

"Travelling-it leaves you speechless, 
then turns you into a storyteller." 

Ibn Battuta

Today was a day for the Henriques storybooks, we travelled 100kms to a remote village outside of Gaborone, Botswana....where my daughter, Miss Claire, has been living for the past year as a Peace Corps volunteer. One year down and she is totally immersed into the culture and rhythm of village life... and the hearts of The Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse.

The Good Ladies of Magoriapitse, Miss Claire and me 

Mr. H and I were the honoured guests for the day, where we met Claire's extended family...a large part of the village, and enjoyed traditional Botswana hospitality. We walked, we talked, we laughed, we prayed and had a delicious traditional homemade feast on mdombi (boiled bread), seswa (pulled beef), tswana chicken (traditional spices) and beans with corn. It was one of the most genuine welcoming experiences Mr. H and I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. 

Laundry day...Magoriapitse

Miss Claire speaks the Setswana (Tswana) language with a natural 'hip' ease as she greets men with "dumela rra" and women with "dumela mma".  In my mind, to fully appreciate the rhythm of the language, you need to slow down the pace and kick into 'Botswana time' with ...ddduuuummmmeeeellllaaaa mmmmmaaaaa...and say it in the sing 'songy' kind of way that leaves you wanting more. If only I could..but I reckon the only way you could get me to slow down my speech pattern (which at times has been said to be faster than the speed of lightening) is to hit me up with a valium. I love the way Miss Claire rolls with and into the language. Does a mama proud!

Mindful Mama Elephant
South Luangwa National Park

Speaking of mama' was a matter of minutes into my first introduction of the Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse that I learned I was not Claire's only mother. I was told she is the daughter of many and sister to more and proudly so. I was delighted to see and hear it but admit to feeling a bit jealous as I tried to assert my ultimate role as 'the mother'...of all mother's to the Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse. By the end of the day, I was ready to embrace all the men and women we met as sisters, brothers, aunts and smile is all it took.

Mentoring Mother and Miss Claire
One of the Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse

Miss Claire and Little Donna,
sisters in arms.

Throughout the day, I couldn't help but think of the Alexander McCall Smith book series, No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. The characters in the book came to life all around me.. the heroine of the novels, Mma Precious Romotswe and her fastidious assistant Mma Grace Makutsi, the gentle soul, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and the list goes on. I was grinning from ear to ear...pure elation. If you haven't read the series and are curious or if you have read them and like me want to read them all over again, you can discover them here and better yet, watch the HBO TV series here and enjoy Alexander McCall Smiths 'Author's Diary' while on the production of the TV series here.  In my mind, you can never get enough of Mma Precious Romotswe and her adventures.

Village life...a homemade clothes line, a gentle warm breeze and an ax.
All in a day's work for The Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse.

"I would like to be known 
as an intelligent woman, 
a courageous woman, 
a loving woman, 
a woman who teaches by being." 

Maya Angelou

PS...Yes...that fast talking, squinting lady in the back row of the picture above is me. I had the brilliant idea to place everyone ourside of the shadows and in full blare of the sun...which managed to work for everyone but me. Ha! Lesson learned. ;)

More to follow
from our safari days in Zambia...

An elephant comes calling...

OH...the stories they tell!


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