Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Tag Archive for ‘Botswana’

“Naledi in the the Underworld: A New African Folktale,” by Janet Grace Riehl

When I lived in Botswana during the 1970s, my name in Setwana was (and is) “Naledi”–which means “star.” Although it sounds exalted, it’s not an uncommon name. Here’s how I got my name. During the first weeks of Peace Corps language and cultural training, I asked my teachers if I could have a name in […]

My little moments with Alexander McCall Smith

Tea drinking. I started in earnest in Africa during my five years in Ghana and Botswana. Alexander McCall Smith’s Number One Ladies Detective Agency series catches the gentle humor and graciousness in this Southern African country with one of the most stable democracies in the world (not just in Africa). Tea is the drink that […]

Riehlife Review: “Twenty Chickens for a Saddle,” by Robyn Scott

I reviewed this book for Story Circle Book Reviews (reviewing books by, for, and about women) and the review appears on Amazon. It’s good for the book and the whole shebang whenever you mark a review “helpful” there. Love it, if you would…..Janet ____________________ A Coming of Age Story of a Girl and a Country […]

Botswana’s Bessie Head: A Meeting with Barbara Bamberger Scott

A refugee is a person whose heart has been broken. “My daughter, who was 11 at the time, also loves Bessie’s books and was deeply influenced by living for two years in Botswana. One of my favorite expressions from there is Ke moto fela – “I’m just a person.”–Barbara Bamberg Scott (Read her impressive bio […]

“Water Ceremonies,” Part II, Africa—a poem by Janet Grace Riehl (Tales from Maun, Botswana; Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana; Kalahari Desert in Western Botswna)

II. Africa Maun, Botswana Afternoons, I teach schoolchildren to swim in the flooded waters of the Tamalakane. Two fingers support wiry bodies that sink every chance they get. “Arch your back! Spread out your limbs! Float! Kick! Paddle!” Until one student travels under her own speed. We collapse on the bank, gasping with sputtered water […]

(African Culture of Story Series) Damaria Senne: Stories from The Place of the Mist, Part 2

For me, the difficult part of storytelling as a career was telling the stories I wanted to tell, in my own way. Locally, there is a growing movement towards the telling of indigenous stories. You’d think I would fit within that movement, wouldn’t you? Yet, I feel like a square peg in a round hole. […]