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Jun '10

Day 251-253: Friday to Sunday, 4 – 6 June 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal.

To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
GRIP (Mpumalanga)
StepThru (Gauteng)

Friday (4th June) proved to be something of a very busy day for ‘Buddy and Me’. We had three Beares stores to visit, one at the Station, where Yame’s office is situated, one at the Game Centre in Kgale Hill, and one in Broadhurst, and on top of this a lot of talking with a lot of people.

So with all of this in mind, ‘Buddy and Me’ set off immediately after breakfast and headed for the Beares store at the Station area. Here we were met a tremendous bunch of people in the form of the Beares staff as well as the ‘notorious’ Yame! I had a lengthy chat with everyone and this included a number of the members of the public who were sucked in by Buddy’s charisma and charm and who popped in and gave me their views on the subject of child rape, which I will mention later in this blog because there were so many throughout the day, and of course a lot of it is repetitive, and so I will rather raise all of these later.

<i><b>Beares</b> Gaborone Station staff</i>

Beares Gaborone Station staff

<i>And now, <b>eventually</b>, you get to meet, the one and only <b>YAME Kgarie, Beares</b> Operations Executive / Regional Director / character of note – for Botswana region, practising sitting in Buddy’s passenger seat for the next project</i>

And now, eventually, you get to meet, the one and only YAME Kgarie, Beares Operations Executive / Regional Director / character of note – for Botswana region, practising sitting in Buddy’s passenger seat for the next project

My next visit was to the Game City Beares store in the Kgale Hill region. Here once again I met a lot of people, this shopping centre being extremely busy and was once again involved in many discussions.

<i><b>Beares</b> staff Gaborone Game City/ Kgale Hill</i>

Beares staff Gaborone Game City/ Kgale Hill

From Kgale Hill ‘Buddy and Me’ set forth for the Broadhurst area, and this place was really busy. By the end of the day I had spoken so much my voice was hoarse and Buddy was struggling to keep up.

<i><b>Beares</b> staff from the Broadhurst store</b>

Beares staff from the Broadhurst store

The lady in the middle with the blue and white stripped blouse Phodisa, holding the ‘Buddy and Me’ flyer, and if you look carefully is also holding a green, what’s it called, the thing you attach your keys or cell phone to and hang it around your neck, donated this particular one to me. It is the first one with the Beares logo on it I have seen, so thanks Phodisa I will treasure it and put it to good use.

The driver from the Game City store, Duncan, had kindly driven with me to the Broadhurst store to show me the way, and so I returned to the Game City store to drop him off and then returned to the Station store to meet up with some other interesting people from the prison department. After dropping Duncan off and on the way to the Station store I kind of took a wrong turning and got slightly lost and was forced to take a couple of back roads and in the process of trying to avoid being wiped off the face of the earth by one oncoming truck and another one which was overtaking me and forced me off the narrow road in order to avoid the oncoming one as well which was halfway into our lane, I hit a massive pothole which shook Buddy to his roots.

By the time I reached the Station store, and for the rest of the afternoon I was detecting a strong petrol smell. I checked the engine compartment as well as the tank cap but could not find any trace of leaking petrol. I finished my discussions at a little after 5:30 and returned to my ‘Riverside Lodge’ lodgings and began settled down for the evening.

Saturday morning when I approached Buddy, he smelt like a petrol pump and the lodge’s security guard came up and commented on it. I checked underneath Buddy’s front left fender and got the shock of my life. The ground below Buddy’s tank was saturated in petrol and petrol was leaking at a mean rate from a hole in the tank. Fortunately my spare 20 litre jerry can was still empty after having used the petrol at ‘Elephant Sands’, but unfortunately I had filled up the tank after leaving the Broadhurst Beares store on Friday, so the tank had, had 38 litres in it, or close to it, when I had parked Buddy Friday night.

After siphoning out as much petrol as I could and then hurriedly ripping off Buddy’s bonnet to get to the tank and undoing the bolt holding the petrol pipe fitting below the tank, all this taking time, and catching as much petrol as I could through the exit hole, I managed to salvage twenty litres in the jerry can and a further 4 litres in a 5 litre plastic water bottle. After removing the tank, I discovered that when I had hit the pothole on Friday the tank had hit the steering bar thingy–ma–bob and had made a small hole as well as a crack in the tank.

The only stuff I had to fix the problem with was a tin of epoxy fibreglass resin, so after cleaning the damaged area, I applied a generous coating of the fibreglass resin hoping that this would bind and seal both the crack and hole. But alas after having left it for the rest of the day and night to harden, Sunday morning after trying it out I discovered that it had not worked, the fibreglass resin had cracked and peeled off. So I had dramas on my hands and the fact that it was now Sunday in Gaborone was not going to make matters any easier.

I managed to get a lift with a fellow guest at the lodge, also Steve, to the Riverside Walk shopping centre praying that I could find a shop which sold some sort of metal epoxy glue, and low and behold after cruising the isles of the Pick ʼn Pay found a two pack mix of metal epoxy glue by Pattex, and according to the container this stuff will stick anything metal, so walla this must solve my problem. I walked the three kilometres back to the lodge, all the while praying that it would work, and after applying it, it definitely appeared to have done the job.

<i>In this photo you can see where the tank hit the steering rod thingy-ma-bob</i>

In this photo you can see where the tank hit the steering rod thingy-ma-bob

<i>Mmmmm Mr. Mechanic himself, becoming quite the pro</i>

Mmmmm Mr. Mechanic himself, becoming quite the pro

<i>Not only did I have to fix Buddy’s problem, but I had the usual washing chores to attend to as well, note the washing in the background</i>

Not only did I have to fix Buddy’s problem, but I had the usual washing chores to attend to as well, note the washing in the background

Fortunately the wonder epoxy metal glue worked like a charm and the tank was back in by two thirty and there was not a leak insight. Soon after having arrived at my accommodation on Friday night, a friend in the form of a young cat arrived at my front door. After flattening a tin of Portuguese sardines we were pretty good buddies and he stuck around my room for the remainder of my stay, although initially he would not come into the room, but by the time Saturday came and he had flattened another two tins of sardines he ventured in.

<i>Meet ‘Puddy’ as in ‘Puddy Tat’, enjoying a tin of sardines</i>

Meet ‘Puddy’ as in ‘Puddy Tat’, enjoying a tin of sardines

<i>He also took a keen interest in the work I was undertaking on Buddy and every now and then gave off a “Meow” after closing inspecting the job, I took it as a meow of confidence</i>

He also took a keen interest in the work I was undertaking on Buddy and every now and then gave off a “Meow” after closing inspecting the job, I took it as a meow of confidence

<i>Meet ‘Puddy’ close up</i>

Meet ‘Puddy’ close up

And so with Buddy back in one piece, and the leaking tank problem solved, I celebrated the job well done with a chicken curry and cold beer.

<i>Buddy looking like himself again and ready to tackle the final stage of this project</i>

Buddy looking like himself again and ready to tackle the final stage of this project

So now down to the comments and opinions I was given by the many individuals I have spoken to since arriving in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone. The best news I received is the fact that the prison department, unlike our South African ‘Correctional Services’, here they still refer to it as a “prison”, does not take nonsense and the sentences which are being passed down and the manner in which they are carried out, is as was told to me by the Senior Superintendent in Selebi Phikwe the other day. (See my blog for 1st June day 248)

It was confirmed that the sentences for rapists passed down by the courts on being convicted are based on their HIV/Aids status and the sentences and early release requirements I mentioned in my blog on the 1st of June, day 248 are being applied. So that is good news.

While on the point of convicted prisoners, a comment was made regarding the South African governments decision to provide ‘in-mates’ as in convicted villains with television sets in all the ‘Correctional Services’ facilities. I personally did not hear of this ridiculous decision due to the fact that I have been out of touch with the news in South Africa for the past couple of months.

This I find really mind boggling due to the fact that they – our South African government – in their ‘wisdom’, elected to close all the schools during the 2010 World Cup Soccer fiasco and this after having spent millions of Rands on seminars around South Africa warning the public and in particular, parents of the massive threat of human trafficking which is expected to take pace during this six week period. By closing the schools they have placed two and a half millions children on our streets, un-supervised, because no parent will be able to get six weeks leave to look after their kids.

Perhaps it would have been wiser to provide the schools with all the television sets and have kept the children in school and allowed them the opportunity of watching the soccer, and rather deprive the convicted criminals of their ability to watch the soccer; after all they have committed crimes against society and should be deprived of their normal civilian rights.

The other comments made by many individuals was the fact that child rape is happening on a pretty large scale here in Botswana and that it is not, as is occurring in South Africa, being reported due to the fact that the far majority of perpetrators are family members as in fathers, step-fathers, uncles and grandfathers, and due to the economic/financial implications the mothers are not reporting it.

Over the past few weeks my mind has been working overtime planning what I intend focussing on in my next project, and I now know exactly what I will be doing in order to achieve my ultimate goal, which is to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa.

But I still have four days to complete on this project and so will be fine tuning my plans for the next project and so will write about these plans before finally signing off in four days time, so stay tuned.

For now, ‘Buddy and Me’ are going to wish you farewell, and so until next I get to sit down and write about our daily escapades, we will say good night, God bless, stay safe and keep all children safe.

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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