Botswana observations

Some interesting moments from my trip.  After arriving at the hotel from the airport (still with no luggage), I went into the room.  The hotel’s in Botswana were quite nice.  Granted, we probably stayed in the best hotel in the city.  Anyway, went back down to the lobby to get my un/pw for internet access. They asked “for how long” and I casually replied until “Monday” (was Wednesday).  I actually got a quizzical/blank look for about 45 seconds.  I was eventually told that they only have hourly plans.
2010-02 Botswana
Landing at the airport, the first thing you notice are all the constructions signs in Chinese.
The roads in Botswana (at least in the capital Gabarone) are all well built.  The traffic is horrendous and after the rains, you don’t want to take side streets as they aren’t as well maintained and have many potholes.  There is also construction on the roadway (thus leading to more traffic) that are either expanding the lanes and/or changing the roundabouts into signaled intersections.

More on roads – there are literally cows, goats and other farm animals that freely graze the sides of the roadway.  Of course, they have the right-of-way and its amazing the owners can keep track of them.

2010-02 Botswana

The city of Gabarone (the government center) feels very much like the Mexican city of Ensenada.  Except for the occasional termite mound, the housing, road width, etc… all look very similar.
There is gambling in Botswana.  The hotel we stayed in has as casino next door.  You have to pay an equivalent of $5 admission.  Unfortunately, at night, there are no open tables and the ones that have a seat or two open have too many serious/rude gamblers to make things fun.
Unfortunately, the local nature reserve did not have many animals.  It was also perhaps the time of day (around noon) so all the animals were asleep or not in the mood to come out near the truck trail.  The limited animals we did encounter, I have on my Flickr page

On this trip, there were more wild animals in the poolside of our hotel.  Apparently, the northern part of Botswana have A LOT more animals.  Next time, I hope to go there.

2010-02-28 Botswana
William Saito
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming at an early age and started his own company in high school. By the time he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he was recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on encryption, biometric authentication and cyber security.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm and consultancy that identifies innovative technologies, develops global talent and helps entrepreneurs become successful. In 2013, Saito was appointed a Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

Similarly, in 2012 he served as a council member on national strategy for the Cabinet-level National Policy Unit, and prior to that, was named as the Chief Technology Officer for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC). He is a Foundation Board Member at the World Economic Forum (WEF), and has been named by the WEF as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has also served as an advisor to METI, MIC, MEXT, MLIT, AIST, IPA and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), among others.

He teaches at multiple universities, serves on several corporate boards, appears as a commentator on national TV and is the author of numerous publications in addition to writing a weekly column for a prominent Japanese business newspaper. His best-selling management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP in 2012, his follow-on book, Is Your Thinking up to Global Standards?, was published by Daiwa Shobo in late 2013 and his autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, was published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.

Posted by whsaito

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