I would be delighted to meet Precious Ramotswe for a cup of red bush tea at The President Hotel but hopefully not with her assistant Grace Makutsi in tow, no, no, no. If I am lucky Mma Ramotswe will have thought ahead and brought two slices of Mma Potokswane’s fruit cake as a welcoming gift to Botswana. And I must remember to insist that we share in the gift because I know that sharing and generosity are old Botswana values dear to the heart of the daughter of Obed Ramotswe. Our topic I hope will not be on the authority of Clovis Anderson or the sickness hurting Botswana but rather the life and wisdom of her father who was known to all as a good and wise man.
Before she became as well known in America as in Gaborone I enjoyed introducing The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series to friends and strangers. Because of the HBO Original Series that bit of pleasure has been stripped from me but I must not fret about what is lost through no fault of my own. Yes, I believe a second cup of red bush tea should placate my wounded pride.
I buy my red bush tea at Sage Meadow in Clarion where as you would expect the tea bags are oxygen bleached, not chlorine treated. Red bush tea is made from Rooibos leaf that grows in the high mountain ranges of the South African Cape region. It is naturally caffeine-free and with less than half the tannins of regular tea. Can you imagine Mma Makutsi pumped with caffeine?
It is said to have a light sweetness to it so Precious drinks it with out honey but I like to indulge myself with a bit of honey. I shall try to remember, however, if I ever sit down to tea with her to drink it straight. Old courtesies and manners are to be remembered in Botswana. Charles Marlin