Her name is Tebogo (pronounced Te-Bo-Ho). She is 71 years old and has lived in Botswana all of her life. Married to a farmer named Morris, they have several sons and a daughter and twelve grandchildren. Tebogo has had a good life. They are quite successful by anyone’s standards. They have travelled internationally. Her daughter is married to a man who worked in government and currently is Botswana’s ambassador to China. Tebogo owns several shops that are run by her son.
Tebogo’s husband, Morris, is a farmer who raises cattle, goats and other things. Tebogo tells us it is hard for Morris to find good help these days and so stays at the farm himself, for this reason she finds herself alone in the house. Her son Maatla, his wife and three kids are nearby, but Tebogo sometimes gets lonely. This is the reason she volunteered to host a Peace Corps volunteer. She specifically requested a married couple and the Peace Corps matched her with us.
One of the more interesting things I learned about Tebogo is that she used to own a construction company that was very successful and was hired to build a lot of homes and many government buildings here and in surrounding countries. Botswana is a male dominated society, even now. For her to own a construction company 30 years ago, competing against males is amazing and reminds me of Tish’s own mother (Granny) who 40 years ago was one of the more successful women in business in the male-dominated United States.
Back in March we were living in a room as a guest of Granny, who is a widow and lives alone. We kept her company when we are there and Tish cooked the meals; and now we find ourselves living in a room as a guest of Tebogo doing exactly the same thing. Though Granny and Tebogo will never meet and live on opposite sides of the world sometimes I feel like I never moved.