Monday, February 15, 2010

Being Lost and Found

This past Saturday Amanda, Joey, and I decided to visit a village called Oodi. Oodi is a small village famous for its weavers. As Amanda loves to knit and is in constant search for yarn, she thought it would be worth checking out. I, having nothing else to do on this particular Saturday, tagged along.
We left UB around nine in morning taking a combi to Station and then from Station to Oodi. At the sign that said "Oodi Weavers" with an arrow pointing to the left we asked the driver to drop us off. We start out along a small dirt path next to the sign. Right away we see a man working on a shed/building and we ask which direction the Weavers are. The man points us off to the left, we thank him, and we keep walking. About five or ten minutes later we come to a construction site. Amongst the usual greetings Joey asks where we can find the Weavers. One man, with a very confused look on his face, tells us that they are out and points to a building next to the one they are constructing. The building didn't quite look like what we had imagined, but it very well could have been the Weavers. We were then told to keep walking in the direction that we had been.
A few minutes after leaving the construction workers we ran into some boys. They explain to us that Oodi is in the opposite direction! So we head toward Oodi. We eventually come to some houses. Amanda makes the smart decision to walk towards the paved road. Shortly thereafter, a kind Motswana man, who had driven past us twice now in different directions, stops and asks us where we are going. We explain that we are trying to find the Weavers. The man laughs jovially and proceeds to give us detailed instructions. Amanda was right, we needed to follow the paved road.
Fifteen to twenty minutes later as we were walking on the paved road we saw yet another Oodi Weavers sign. this one, exactly like the first one. However, this one led us down another paved road. This was a good sign. Amanda realized that the previous sign probably meant, 'turn left on the next paved road." However, the sign did not explain that, it's just one of those things you have to know.
Finally, we make it to the Weavers. The looms were pretty cool and rather majestic looking. We also got to see where the women spin and dye their own yarn. Then we wandered across the yard to the shop and looked at the tapestries. I am continually amazed at what individuals can do with their hands alone. They were quite lovely; there were so many different colors and designs. Amanda bought some items and we started thinking about lunch.
We asked the women who showed us around where we could find some food. She vaguely waived her hand in a direction and said, "In town." We wandered in the direction she pointed. Joey speculated that if we followed the paved road we would find town. Amanda and I agreed that this made perfect sense, and we started off. For quite some time we followed the road slowly becoming more and more hot and thirsty (it was 95 degrees that day). Eventually we see fewer and fewer signs for random businesses among the houses. We stop to ask a young girl where town is. She gives us a confused look and points us back in the direction we came from. Slightly disheartened, confused, and a little bit amused, we turn around and head back towards "town." We turn right near a sign for a hardware business, which we had previously assumed was nothing but a small business in the middle of the houses we had just been visiting. Shortly along that dirt path, we find a very small convenience store. At this point we realize that we have been in "town" the entire time! The poor villagers must have thought we were crazy, no wonder they all looked so confused. Our preconceived ideas about what constitutes a town completely threw us through a loop. So far, we had been visiting larger villages with more retail shops and restaurants. Oodi only has the one little convenience store, a couple bars, and the Weavers. So, we bought ourselves some much needed beverages and caught a combi back to Gaborone.

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