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Friday, July 27, 2012

Chapter 3: First Contact

The Force:  There is a phone ringing in your backpack.  

You take your backpack off and begin to look for a ringing phone.   Reaching inside, you feel several items.  Some are soft to the touch and some are hard.  You search for a phone.  Not being able to find one, you begin to think that perhaps it was not a phone that is ringing, and that it could be anything.  You remove your hand and look inside the bag searching for the source of the ringing.  You see a book, a whistle, a blanket, a bottle of water, pens, a medical kit, a bag of money, a laptop computer, a ukulele, a multi-purpose tool and a ringing cellular phone.

As you pull the phone from the bag, the person walking towards you comes up and stands beside you.  You immediately recognize Natalie, a PCV that came with you to Botswana.  You remember that she’s from Los Angeles, California and everyone calls her Nat.  You also remember that she expressed her interest in being close friends with you during your time in Botswana, and that she studied English in The States.  She waits as you answer the phone.

Self:  Hello…

Person on the phone:  Dummela Neo.  Ke nna Omphametse.  O tsogile jang?

You recognize Omphametse’s voice.  He is your motswana program manager.  He is an employee of Peace Corps, and a Botswana national that oversees the work in your field.

Self:  I’m fine.  I…

Omphametse interrupts:  Good.  They are looking for you in your village.  I informed them that you are still at the cave and they remembered that you told them you were going.  I also reminded them of when to expect your return.  I’m not sure why they called me.

It’s difficult to hear what he is saying, but you piece it together by asking him to repeat himself several times.  There is background noise and the sounds of honking donkeys all around.

Omphametse:  Don’t forget to write your report about your time in the cave upon your return to site.  It’s due in 3 days.  Goodbye.

Omphametse disconnects the call.  It took 2 minutes, which was to long for Nat to wait.  She has wandered off and is no longer in sight.

The Force:  You have 3 days until you are due back in your village.  It will take 1 full day of travel to get there. 

It’s late afternoon, not quite evening.

You feel hungry.

Nat reappears in front of you.

Nat:  Neo!  I’m going to this real cool bar on the outskirts of town.  You should come with me.

What do you do?

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