Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Gods Must Be Crazy

Before I came here, I didn't watch the Gods Must Be Crazy (1980). I've only just seen it now. It's good. It's like an Adam Sandler movie. Funny, but with heart. I can't believe it's 32 years old. Everything in it is almost exactly like it is now. Of course there are some differences. Mainly, Botswana is a lot more flat and a lot less fertile, and the Batswana don't wear the kind of clothes they wear in that movie... and now the Bushmen drink a lot and no longer have the life they used to live... but other than that it is very accurate. Especially the trucks that don't have brakes and will stall if you let them and drive through puddles and get stuck in ditches, and the endless amount of rickety wooden gates that you have to stop and open on hot dusty roads, and the smiles. oh the smiles. The smiles of the people here will melt your heart and make you want to laugh and dance. I'll miss the smiles of the old men that see me at the clinic.I wish I could go "door to door" (except many of them don't have
doors...) and say bye one by one. But I don't know if they know who I am. Or if I have the energy for that, cause to be honest, when it's time to go, I'll be more than ready. in fact, I think my brain has
already left.

I have mixed feelings about this movie. I like the ideas in it. Ownership begets jealousy begets fighting begets evil. I understand it, I feel it. But unfortunately, we live in a world where ownership is necessary for survival. I see now why people here can't seem to get on their feet. Why they fight a lot. Why they drink a lot... ownership is something they don't do. We've already corrupted the world with our materialistic ways, it seems inevitable that the San should join us... or perish. Lest we stick them back into the reserve and let them fend on their own like a rare sort of animal, but that hardly seems fair. Nothing seems fair nowadays. I bet that's what these little girls are thinking who just left my house. They followed me home, babbled something to me in Setswana, grabbed my rake, cleaned up some poo, and five minutes later, came storming in here asking for money. I may not speak much Setswana but I do understand something that girl said as the other urged her to leave, "I'm going to get money from this lekhoa."

Now I smell like children and my arms are covered in something sticky. Not that I don't like children. I will love my own children, but they will smell like roses and will always be clean.

1 comment:

  1. I love The Gods Must be Crazy! It's what made me want to join the Peace Corps and go to Africa when I was a kid. Now I am grown up, did end up joining the Peace Corps but got sent to Fiji instead of Africa. I'll take what i can get. I was on the bus the other day and the the gods must be crazy was playing. Made me want to go to Africa all over again. Good luck with the rest of your service!