Saturday, May 22, 2010

5/16: Okay so today brought all sorts of fun little activities for me. So en route back from the water spout with a bucket on my head I was stopped by a group of kids playing soccer and was begged to join. I was one of about four(my three sisters being the other three) kids in my area growing up who were not on a soccer team. Though the fact that I was playing with a bunch of first graders meant I was almost at their level. I then went to church which had an All African theme and everyone was in their traditional garb. There was so much energy and singing and dancing and I wish I had enough Internet juice to show you, oh well. I then asked a 12 year old girl to be my Zulu tutor. She wakes up at 4:00am to go to school an hour and a half away so she's motivated to learn English and she's young enough to be patient with my embarrassingly small Zulu vocabulary.

5/17: I went to the primary school with the local volunteer security. I assumed I was there as the silent supporter of something or other but was told maybe two minutes before we walked into the all school assembly that I was going to give a talk on child sex trafficking and oh yeah, "could you do it in Zulu?" "How long?" I ask, "Oh, only an hour." Needless to say I begged for a translator. I later had several women praise the growth of my rear which spurred a discussion on my other body parts that have recently become more fleshy. I'm of course in complete denial of this and one of the women tells me flatly, "well it's because you eat too much." I do feel as though I'm in a perpetual state of carb coma. Luckily, my go go just got a spicket installed in our yard and I was able to do about five minutes of physical labor covering up the underground pipe before I retired to complete my transformation into 'a real South African woman' which is a nice way of saying they're going to have to roll me out of here in two years.

5/18: I was able to catch up on a huge back log of emails but I still haven't managed to do the IRC (library) committee application...

5/19: I filled my hut with the smells of rural central Illinois where my dad's family is from while I baked dozens and dozens of Snickerdoodles. This was in fact one of the best decisions I've made in a long time which is why I ate about half in one sitting and had an embarrassingly long conversation with myself, out loud mind you, about the necessity of bringing the remainder to my organization the next day. I grudgingly decided to bring most...okay about half where they were grossly underappreciated for being too sweet. I'm sorry but you are literally shoveling four heaping spoonfuls of sugar into your rather small cup of tea while you're saying that, so much in fact that there is now debatably more sugar in your tea than anything else. So please save your judgment for your fellow health nuts.

5/20: Today was a completely unproductive day where I maintained a state of low level confusion, complete with furrowed brow and feigned interest, the entire day. But I was greeted with an over enthusiastic Zindle and a go go whose every appliance has now conspired against her. We mourned this tragedy with tea of course and had wonderful conversation in my wonderful hut where luckily all of my appliances seem to like me.

5/21: So today was our school uniform distribution event. Despite the fact that we didn't actually distribute any uniforms and neither the children nor any of their family members were present it was a total blast and I would consider the event a huge success. The children who were receiving the uniforms were at school because we had it in the middle of the day on a school day and somehow the families were assumed to be invited (I know, I know why I continue to make blanket assumptions is beyond me) but never were. Instead, we had plently of local officials and members of the community unrelated to the event come and show their support. There was singing and dancing and lots of speeches and a whole lot of attention drawn to the fact that I wore a headscarf (in respect to the formality of the event). There are a few things I would improve for next time haha but it was a great day regardless. As an aside, the home based carers will give out the uniforms during their regularly scheduled home visits so it's not like the whole idea of the donation was scrapped just the physical exchange during the event was deemed unnecessary.

5/22: I attempted to make traditional Zulu steamed water bread by sort of winging it. Well needless to say an hour after it was suppose to rise it was still hard as a hockey puck. So I showed my go go and begged for some guidance. She burst out laughing, I'm talking she busted a gut, literally doubled over she was laughing so hard. She then proceeded to show passersby my sorry attempt at Zulu domesticity. I'm pretty sure making jeqe can be done by young girls in their sleep, standing on their heads, using only their left hand, before they know their right from left. It was just one of the now too numerable to count humbling moments for me here. But I did get a wonderful jeqe lesson after the parade of my failure was all said and done and if the lesson wasn't worth my embarrassment seeing my go go that happy definitely was.

1 comment:

  1. I really like these little snip-its of your day. Although not directly related, the cooking story brings me back to our cooking days in "the dungeon".