Friday, 23 May 2008

John's great adventure: Chapter 6

This will be the last one until I get home, but I'll do a finishing off over the weekend.

It's strange how 2 days are never the same. Wednesday's presentations were very good and took nearly 3 hours to do. Thursday's were less so.

The two most difficult things were knowing what to pack and send in the advance boxes and what to put on the programme. I was commissioned to run a teacher training course which I did. I was commissioned to run a TD training programme. It's the second one that has proved to be the more challenging. You will recall how I demonstrated a Mitchell movement by having the folks play it out. We have mastered bids out of turn and insufficient bids, but there was quite a bit of difficulty with an opening lead out of turn.

Those who have followed the Club TD courses at home will remember that the OLOOT cannot easily be read from the law book, but it proved quite a challenge to get over the five options.

The T-shirts arrived today nicely printed with the EBU and BBF logos but they started to argue about the different sizes. Mine was okay.

This afternoon we had a media drop-in session. I was a bit shocked when two reporters from local radio stations arrived. And I was even more shocked when I was told I would be broadcasting live at 4.50pm. So at 4.25 we set off for Yarona FM 106.6 and sure enough there was a small radio station hidden away in a top corner of a shopping mall. I was whisked into the studio with Tangane — the BBF President and we did our slot that lasted for about 7 minutes — just long enough not to crash into the news. I'm promised a CD of the broadcast, which would be great to bring home.

Last day tomorrow.

There are still 6 presentations to do and I need to finish off the Book Rulings course — still got penalty cards and revokes to do. But I think I also need to do a teaching lesson as some of the play could do with some boosting and some of them will be off to China in the autumn for the U28 Championships. With one of the topics tomorrow being take-out double I think I'll elaborate on that and make a longer lesson than the 20 minute presentation.

I've been promised a brief trip to the local game reserve on Saturday before I leave.

One of them said to me today "What did I like about Botswana?"

Well I could answer the people, the countryside, and the game reserves (if I get to see one). I think my answer has to be the fact that I can just be here; of all the countries in southern Africa this is a hidden treasure. It is a stable, friendly country, that just gets on with its life and its business and for that reason goes largely unnoticed.

Before I left home someone said to me that Botswana was 'Africa for beginners' — perhaps a bit like bridge for beginners. I don't know whether I shall pass this way again but it would be nice to come back as an improver.

Further information on my travels can be found here.


  1. Thanks John

    I've enjoyed reading of your adventures - I hope that,as I write, you are enjoying the Friday night out the ex-pat ladies promised you!

    Best regards,
    Nigel Thompson
    Berks & Bucks

  2. John, I've also very much enjoyed your updates from Botswana. I think you may be giving Alexander McCall Smith ideas for his next book - maybe The Kalahari Bridge School for Men?

  3. John

    What a great experience ~ Thanks for keeping us up to date.

    Regards as ever

    Andrew Pettit
    West Sussex(Bridge for All)Club


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