Saturday, January 30, 2010

what would you do for e-lec-tricity?

We got home from our IST (training) on Wednesday night to find out the power had been out since Tuesday when there was a big storm. We called Eskom about 50 times and they finally fixed it on Friday around 3. It stayed on until about 7 and then went out for the rest of the night. We called them again today and it came back around 12. Who knows how long it will stay on this time. It wouldn't be such a big deal if we hadn't gone straight from eating 5 meals a day at training to surviving mostly on bread and peanut butter since we've been home. And we came home with the computer battery basically dead so we could not take advantage of our normal cheating by actually having entertainment when the power is out. Yeah I think we're pretty spoiled.

But the highlight of this instance of power outages (which does not top our 6 days of no power record) is that the old man next door had no power for two weeks so ma told Eskom that one of the many times we called. So they came to fix his power yesterday. He does not own the house, he watches it for a woman who we have met a couple of times and she seems very nice. Anyway apparently she is a sangoma (according to wikipedia "a practitioner of herbal medicine, divination and counselling") and the Eskom man said that he will never go into that house again because he was so freaked out by the stuff inside. I asked if it was bones and such (if you want a pretty horrific "comedic" rendering of sangomas, watch of Leon Schuster's awful Mr. Bones movies) and ma said no, but didn't tell us exactly what was so scary in the house and we were napping at the time so we didn't get to peek inside ourselves. So now we are aching to figure out the mystery of the sangoma.

We had a great time with our fellow PCVs at IST. It was a little surreal to see everyone for the first time since September since we've mostly just seen Kristen and Gabi, but once we got over the initial shock we had a lot of fun. We planned some great evening activities...a PCV costume party (I was a pussy cat vixem and James was a punk cop voortrekker), talent show, capture the flag game, and of course Peace Corps Prom. There were some genuinely really fun moments including an amazing Bohemian Rhapsody sing a long and Autumn, Kristen and I singing and dancing at the talent show (which for at least 2 out of the 3 of us are not talents). We also got to go back to our training site for an afternoon and visit our host family from training who were very happy to see us and meet their new baby.

Anyway it looks like the family has shown up from Rustenburg so I'm off to say hello and inshallah we'll actually be able to cook dinner tonight.

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