Experience local village life and help to maintain a project in Mokatse, Botswana

  • Favourited 178 times
  • Last activity: 7 Apr 2024



 Min stay requested: No minimum



  • Description


    Welcome to a simple getaway and retreat space in a little village called Mokatse, 30 km away from Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. Down to earth, simple and natural, letting nature be as present as possible on the 1.4 hectares of semi-arid land.
    Grey louries cry 'go away', breezes gently flow past, scattering dust and leaves, barefoot steps imprint on the earth, and skies of blue decorated with fluffy clouds watch from high above.

    On this special piece of land, different activities are offered:
    -2 times a year Art at The Land art and craft exhibition
    -people come for a few hours to relax and rejuvenate, to have a wholesome and satisfying vegan lunch, and to enjoy just being present;
    -workshops on a variety of subjects: mainly food, health and wellness, qigong and taichi, animal wellness, and body, mind, heart, and spirit-oriented activities.
    -gatherings to meet and mingle, learn and grow.

    As I am also doing more other work that excludes the above, the upkeep of this place requires time and a few more hands, which I do not have. The major work requested is land maintenance: cutting the grass, pruning trees, cutting dead trees for firewood, removing enthusiastic agaves that grow where they are not wanted, and so on.
    Some of the other things, depending on whether I have the materials and the time to guide and help out, would be: a sensory/exercise area around a currently build 'maze", clearing of the pathways around the land, creating exercise obstacles with whatever is on hand, a high platform/hideaway, more shaded areas (laying simple clay brick flooring and shade netting), a few more proper swales (water catchment/guiding areas) for when the rains come so that the water goes back into land and does not erode the slights slopping earth, clearing and flattening of the dirt access road, a wood fired oven built using the clay present in the area, a small water catchment/pond/pool (hard work when the ground is dry...which is most of the year!), gutters on the roof to collect rainwater, and anything else that pops up!


    Being an animal lover is necessary to visit, as there are dogs and cats as well as the local wildlife such as tortoises, snakes and rock monitor lizards. Respect is what counts, as there is a harmonious relationship between us all.

    Down to earth and close to earth living is what it is all about.

    About me a bit: I am Nancy, and I am kind of multiskilled! I like to live a simple and down to earth life. I love animals (that's why I don't eat them...) and art and martial arts. Integrity and virtues are important to me.
    So too are sunrises and sunsets, honesty, gentle breezes, organic vegan chocolate, garlic (not in the chocolate...), nature, continuous self growth and awareness, chocolate (oh, did I already mention chocolate?).
    I enjoy creating delicious simple meals, baking sourdough bread, playing with my animals, reading, binge watching K-dramas, living life, walking barefoot, and eating chocolate (oh, chocolate again...)
    And if it is not obvious by now, I am also a chocolatière :-) and an artist of various mediums, especially watercolour and terracotta clay. I also create healthy foods and crafty products which I sell at the regular monthly markets.

    Life is my palette...

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    Art Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    The place is in the village of Mokatse. You can visit the village and meet the local Batswana people. There are also a few other places close by that offer local experiences.

  • Help


    -Please note my preferred maximum amount of time to have WorkAways is 2 weeks. There are exceptions, of course, but I find 2 weeks to be the best for me.-

    If you are inventive, good with your hands and with DIY, have a good work ethic, and are willing to get those hands of yours dirty, then welcome to my place. (Also good if you don't desire to hang out too much, as apart from this project, I am occupied with my other projects, so don't have a lot of time to spend with you. But I will not neglect you!)

    Note: Depending on the season and the activities that are happening, there might be different things to do or just one or two, so then I hope you do not get bored with the one or two! :-)

    Main things will be clearing and maintenance: tree pruning, bush clearing and some simple gardening.
    And then comes the more 'serious work'... :-) as mentioned above:
    -a sensory/exercise area around a currently build 'maze",
    -clearing of the pathways around the land,
    -creating exercise obstacles with whatever is on hand,
    -a high platform/hideaway (when I can help so most likely in the future),
    -shaded areas (laying simple brick flooring and shade netting),
    -swales for water catchment (mostly during the rainy season, spring and summer, because otherwise the ground is hard to dig),
    -clearing and flattening of the dirt access road,
    -a wood fired oven built using the clay present in the area (when I can help so most likely in the future),
    -a small water catchment/pond/pool (during spring and summer (September-ish to February-ish) so the ground is not too hard),
    -gutters on the roof to collect rainwater (when I can help so most likely in the future),
    ...and anything else that pops up!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    I am always up to improving my French:-) And I am also learning Korean (beginner), so would love to practice with someone...!

  • Accommodation


    There are two standalone rooms available, next to the Hall where people come for their retreat and activities:
    Both rooms have 2 beds and some other furniture.
    There is electricity in the rooms, and a tap is just outside, where the outdoor 'kitchen'/washing area is.
    A pit/composting toilet is a short way outside, as is a simple washroom. It is a bucket washroom: heat your water in the bucket and splash the dirt away to your heart's content. (That's how I wash as well, so no showers around here to waste water!!!) Well, there is a hose pipe in case you want to get a cold wash...

    In the larger room there is an electrical stove where you can cook for yourself. This is a shared 'kitchen'.
    I will not cook for you (unless we share a few meals together), so I will provide you with the items so you can create your own meals (rice, lentils, veggies, fruits...). Please note that this is a vegan space, so if you buy your own food, keep it vegan. Let's keep this space as kind to all beings as possible.

    So in addition to this being a vegan/ space, it is also a no smoking, no drinking, and no drugs space.
    Silliness and playfulness are allowed :-)

    (Accommodation might seem really simple, especially in terms of toilet and washing, but remember that most people take things for granted, so here you have an opportunity to respect the water that you use for washing, just by having to make some effort to heat it (if you need to), and by minimizing the amount you use by washing from a pail. It brings you back to a pure connection to earth, and to recognize just how special and precious water really is.)

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    For travel to Gaborone (30 km's away), there are local combi's (minivans used as transport), (taxi's as well, but they cost between BWP 200 to go to Gaborone), or I can give a lift when I go there once a week.
    Hitchhiking is safe (however always be aware wherever you go) and mostly quite easy.
    The closest major shopping is 15 km (15/20 minutes) away by car at Phakalane, and I pass there every Thursday.
    There is also a very little basic shop with the regulars like flour, oil, salt, tins of beans, etc that is just a couple of minutes walk away from The Land.
    And also a few shops within Mokatse, and a larger Choppies in the next village Oodi (7 kms). However, in general, apart from Choppies, they only stock the basics and are more expensive.

    Please do not be misguided into a 'romantic' idea of what village life is like here. Most buildings are modern, cars abound, some rubbish is strewn around, and people are just living the best they can with what money they earn. Unfortunately, some people chose to use their money at the local bar over the weekends, but is that not the case everywhere around the world?
    But yes, there are a few thatched huts, with chickens pecking, goats and cows and donkeys a wandering, and playing kids...:-)

    There are various activities available around the area of Gaborone, but it is best to ask me what you are looking for so I can advise.

    Important notes to be aware of:
    -For an internet connection, the best is to get a Data Bundle for your phone to be able to go online. You could also buy an Orange SIM card and Data Bundle here (Orange because they have a shop close by).
    -The local bar, 500 or so meters away, sometimes plays music during the weekends, and they can sometimes be loud, so be ready to be annoyed! The quietest nights are Monday to Thursday.
    -There are mosquitoes, coming to visit after the rains, but not the malaria ones. If the music above does not annoy you, then the mosquitos will, so be ready with your citronella, although I do have a mosquito net to help you out.
    -Apart from the dogs and cats, I live alone, so if you are someone that needs enough human companionship, you might suffer a bit here! I am occupied with my own work most days, so I cannot be spending a lot of time with you, and most days, it will just be a good morning and good evening small chat. (And of course a check to make sure you are working well!! :-))
    -If you are open to experiencing something simple and different, with nature right at your doorstep and the wind and clouds to keep you company, then you have come to the right place. :-)

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    I have another space close by that is fenced and separate from main plot, so if you are okay to sleep in your tent or car, then you are welcome to come with your pet. Just maybe not your elephant or kangaroo... My dogs are also friendly so should not cause any issues if they like your animal companion/s.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 474447635724

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