April 14

We take a bus on a 1 1/2 hr. drive to Botswana. It is a former British Protectorate; it never was a colony. The British never even set up an office here. It officially became its own country in 1966. It is the most sparsely populated country in the world. It is about the size of Texas but has only 1.8 million people. Diamonds were discovered in Botswana in the late 1960’s and DeBeers company started mining which brought great wealth to Botswana. The new government required the diamond mines to pay 60% royalty to the country. If you measure wealth by GDP divided by population, Botswana is the wealthiest country in Africa; the average citizen is a millionaire.

We stop at the border to have our shoes treated with insecticide to control foot and mouth disease. Tyler says that he puts his foot in his mouth every day. They make us walk through a pan full of muddy insecticide with our shoes on. They don’t bother treating the hundreds of buffalo that cross the border every day. This is an example of bureaucracy gone crazy.

We are staying at the Chobe Marina Lodge which feels like living in a treehouse next to a river.

Here is a video of my room. It has a living room with a deck and with a couch and 2 chairs. A kitchen table, sink and counter are adjacent. The bedroom has a king size bed, wardrobe closet and a deck overlooking the Chobe River. The bath has a tile shower and tub with tile surround. All meals are smorgasbord style served outside under the jungle of trees and vines. Corrie and Glenn enjoyed the blue infinity swimming pool near the river.

Here are some tropical flowers and a warthog that mows the grass.

It was Tyler’s birthday today so the lodge made a cake for him and we all sang Happy Birthday.

Next: Giraffes in Chobe National Park

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