This past Thursday our group was able to
attend the 2019 Ghanzi Agricultural Fair, and as a Texas native, I have to say— it gave the Texas State Fair a run for its money.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the familiar sounds (and smells) of chickens, goats and cattle. We decided to take a look around, and while we couldn’t find a Ferris Wheel or anything resembling Big Tex, we were able to find a vendor who sold calculator watches and yo-yos. The watch lasted me an entire 24 hours before the band broke, but it has still proved to be useful for calculations in the field.
Our next stop was the Ministry of Education’s Youth Education booth that displayed artwork and science fair experiments done by local high school students from the Gantsi Senior Secondary School. We met Samuel from Gantsi Senior Secondary who explained his study of eggshells as a breakthrough wastewater treatment option, and of morama beans as a viable solution to malnutrition across Africa. My favorite piece of art was a drawing of the Botswana Boomslang, a venomous snake native to sub-Saharan Africa. Our class refers to ourselves as the ‘Boomslang Gang’ here in Botswana, so the drawing filled me with nostalgia thinking of all the incredible memories we’ve made during our time in Ghanzi so far.
By then it was mid-afternoon and our stomachs were craving our usual mid-lecture afternoon cookies so we moved along to the concession stands. They didn’t have any funnel cakes or turkey legs, but I was more than pleased with the soft serve ice cream cone and the boerewor roll that I ate. Some other delicacies that were consumed by the group included cappuccinos, pancakes, chips (french fries), donkey meat and fat cakes (a spherical form of fried bread that has become a fan favorite here.)
We ended our day at the Cheetah Conservation Botswana booth where Sarah, George and I had the honor of getting our faces painted like cheetahs. We learned that the global cheetah population has gone from 100,000+ in 1900 to roughly 6,700 in 2019. We also got to hear firsthand about the dynamics between cheetah conservationists and farmers in Botswana.
Peace n love,
Step 1 of the face painting process (ft the
Three cheetahs (Madi, George and Sarah) trying to disguise themselves as longhorns.