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Calm Christmas for greater Gaborone

All is bright, all is calm, the words of the Christmas carol Silent Night came to mind as one moved about Gaborone and the capital’s surrounds on Monday December 25, 2017, as rather muted celebrations took place.

Christians gathered at the capital’s oldest churches, including the Catholic Christ the King Cathedral, the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross and the Congregational (UCCSA) Trinity Church for the traditional Christmas day morning service.

At Christ the King mass, Catholic cleric, Father Jeremiah Mkhwanazi reminded congregants of the true meaning of Christmas - the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ - and exhorted the assembly to express the love and giving associated with the teachings of Christ as cited in the Bible.

But the church pews were not filled to the brim as the majority of the people gathered in their homes, the streets emptied of the normal bustling activity, and many city dwellers having made excursions to their home villages.

In contrast to the Gaborone city centre, the village of Ramotswa, the capital of the South East District was brimming with Christmas mood clearly visible in most households to the east of the Taung railway line.

The village centre was full of Balete kinsmen purchasing from modern retail stores while homesteads had families congregated for a traditional Christmas meal, some, including the Ramokhua family, having large gathering of relatives.

“We decided to have a family reunion with members of our extended family from within Ramotswa, and others who live, study or work in other parts of the country coming here to share a feast. We have branded t-shirts to mark this occasion as we brought together different generations of our family,” Gaeyo Moshodi, a member of the family said.

At the Ramotswa Border Gate, however, the situation was calm on Christmas day, with authorities pointing out to the previous days as having been busier.

“The volume of traffic was heavier over the three days preceding Christmas, but the day itself (Monday) has been calm.  

Over the weekend, we had 2 778 arrivals, 1 817 being citizens, 961 being non-citizens.

We also had 2 745 citizens and 825 non-citizens making up the 3 570 departures,” Rimo Moetlo, principal immigration officer at Ramotswa Border Post said.

Back in Gaborone, Princess Marina Hospital provided Christmas presents including clothing and toiletry to patients, particularly those in the maternity ward.

“This is an annual thing, the hospital itself makes an effort but given budgetary constraints we normally rely on good Samaritans who provide gifts to the hospital.  Every year on Christmas day we then pass on the gifts to the mothers who are with us during the holiday,” Semakaleng Gombalomba, principal registered nurse in the post-natal ward said.

Thapelo Motshaba of the labour and delivery ward said they were used to spending Christmas at work, only joining their families later.  

The first child they delivered on Christmas day, baby boy Lister, was born to Sharon Sethole at 10 minutes after midnight.

“In terms of the number of babies born we have experienced a similar volume compared to previous years although this year we also have clinics involved in maternal care,” Boitumelo More, principal nursing officer at Princess Marina noted.

Outside the hospital, the tranquility of Christmas day in Gaborone with the normally traffic-filled roads now open pathways clearly indicated that people were enjoying the holiday in the seclusion of their households with their families, or away from town in their rural homes.ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Pako Lebanna

Location : GABORONE

Event : Christmas eve

Date : Dec 27 Wed,2017

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