The opinions expressed in this blog are mine, and mine alone. They do not represent the views of the Peace Corps or the United States Government.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Old Shoshong

Susan and I had an eventful weekend.  Saturday afternoon, we investigated Old Shoshong.  In the late 1800s, Shoshong was an important trading post for southern Africa.  The Bangwato tribe initially set up in Shoshong.  Botswana's current president is Seretse Khama Ian Khama.  He is the son of Seretse Khama, the first president after independence from the British in 1966.  Their bloodline is part of the Bangwato tribe.  Old Shoshong is where their forefathers set up shop.  David Livingstone and other European missionaries also settled here.  The Bangwato later moved to Palapye after all of the resources in Old Shoshong were depleted.  There is a great opportunity for tourism in Shoshong--around this historical site and others.

Susan and I decided to take the scenic route to Old Shoshong.  You can get there by walking by the main kgotla (customary court).  Instead, we took the road less traveled by

Dried up river.  Susan and I figured that perhaps these were functional back in the 1800s when Shoshong was a trading center

Plaque outside of Chief Sekgoma I's Royal House

My friend Polao, who consented to be our tour for the day.  She is standing in the old cemetery.  Relatives of the initial inhabitants of Old Shoshong are still being buried here

The three of us walked over to the missionary side of the site.  They used this ironstone to summon their servants.  Pounding the rock that's in my hand creates a really loud sound.  Apparently part of this bell is being kept in the National Museum in Gaborone

Susan and I with the bell

Explanation of the missionary side

Some locals still use this site for religious purposes

These stone walls are the remnants of the missionary houses

Susan and Polao walking through the site.  It is set right up against the hill

We had a great time!  If you have some decent hiking shoes and don't mind trying to evade plants with spikes, this is a really interesting little day trip.  We also saw baboons sitting high up on the cliff.  Maybe we will get a closer view of them next time.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Amelia. Really makes me want to come visit. Have to work out details of when mom and I can come. The history is moving. Exploration is mind and soul expanding. Thanks for the pics. How do locals feel about the site? Indifferent? Reverent? Respectful? is there vandalism in Botswana? what about the missionary heritage? dad