Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So Wave Your Flag

Summer seems to finally be on the way out which though I'm not excited for winter weather, we're loving for the moment. There are actually clouds in the sky, today they are big fluffy cumulus ones which means that sunsets are beautiful again and sometimes the sun goes behind a cloud. At night, I start to freeze and need the mink (heavy blanket, not actually made of mink) around 2 a.m. But during the day it still gets hot, and the walk home from school is pretty sweaty. In between weather really is the best.

We've had to travel a lot recently, well mostly James went to Pretoria 3 times in the last week for the diversity committee meeting, medical stuff, and taking part in the fishbowl (a part of the training for new volunteers where volunteers talk about their experiences...he represented married volunteers). I'm off to Pretoria Thursday for a meeting of the volunteer advisory committee. After that, things will calm down a bit for a while, but it will only be 3 weeks until our next Peace Corps training.

It's interesting comparing experiences with other volunteers which James had a chance to do a lot of on his trips to Pretoria. I feel like our experience is pretty unique, and we are very lucky in a number of ways. One of which is that I don't get harassed. Most of the other female volunteers deal a lot with harassment, and I'm not quite sure why I don't get harassed. I think it's because I'm ugly. I've actually wondered if I do get harassed and just don't call it that because it is less extreme than harassment I experienced in Chad. I'm constantly wowed by the respect that people show us, and the lack of the mocking that I experienced constantly in Chad. But I think a lot of it is in your mind. Today I was walking home and some children called me Mme Mmabatho (the name of an old volunteer) and I said 'Mme whooooo, it's Lebogang' and then listened to them repeating the conversation (especially the word 'whoooo') like 50 times. So I guess I could get annoyed by that, but when it's not malicious I think it's rather cute.

I think it's interesting the things we watch on TV here. A lot of cartoons, Oprah, and things like Make Me a Supermodel. And it's not like we are watching these with our host family so we have no excuse for the quality of tv we are watching. I also really really like South African coke commercials and feel kind of guilty for that since I'm pretty anti-Coca Cola in general. They are just so catchy. I wish we had a way to exercise more than sitting around and watching TV in the afternoon. It's hard because I have no desire to start running and with no bike or swimming pool, I don't know of another way to get cardiovascular exercise.

Work is just fine. It's pretty busy in general with teaching computers to teachers and school governing body members, working in the library, 2 after-school clubs, maybe starting to teach natural science, making the area office newsletter, starting an old age home, and more that I can't think of. I think the business that we experience during the day definitely contributes to our laziness in the evenings.

Also, I should mention that we are participating the Longtom Marathon (walking a half marathon) to raise money for the KLM Foundation which some of our friends started a few years ago when they were volunteers here. If you want to learn more about it or donate, you can visit their website www.klm-foundation.org and be sure to put one of our names in the Longtom Marathon Field if you are donating.

And that's the end of my long rambly entry.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

fruit philosophy

I've decided recently that there are a number of ways to see fruit in life. One is that you can and do buy it when you want it at wherever you choose to buy fruit...whether it's organic or just regular...a subset of this is whether you wait for it to be in season or not, but there is a tendency to buy whatever fruit you happen to like regardless of the season. Then there's the only buy in season, maybe at farmers' markets. Then there's us...when we first got to our village, oranges were still in season and we have 4 or 5 orange trees in our yard so we only ate oranges. When the oranges ended, our fruit consumption dwindled and we may have bought an apple or banana or two. When there were peaches, we ate those. Figs. Grapes. Etc. But now we don't have any fresh fruit in our yard, and it's been a while since we have so the question arises, do we buy fruit? To most people it would be an obvious yes, yet we continue not to buy fruit. Somehow it keeps coming though. People keep giving us mangoes, watermelon, bananas, pomegranates from their yards or even that they bought. And it's not like we are out there asking or begging for fruit, it's just luck. And we appreciate it so much more now. But I don't think our fruit philosophy is for everyone as we might not always get our two servings a day. In fact, we can go days with no fruit at all. But our fruit philosophy seems to line up at least with our ma's as I've never seen her purchase a piece of fruit.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Eat some pap

I hit a kid with a discus at a track meet.

I bruised my ribs playing capture the flag.

South Africa has an under 10 javelin throw.

I watched twilight and new moon and thought they were spinoffs of Charmed because the plot and technical effects screamed TNT quality.

Got my tickets to the gun show and the US vs UK world cup this week.

The maple will now make a run for the Stanley cup because giguere and Phaneuf are worth at least 20 points in the rankings right.

I really hope that the Steelers resign Casey Hampton and that they draft Spiller in the first round.

New Haven Connecticut looks like a strong candidate for being our new home despite the lack of a curling rink.

Found a thrift store in Brits but I dont want to dress like a 50 year old Afrikaaner woman so the point is moot.

Is fairly sure that Omo could take the paint off a car.

I think that people who make viruses should be ashamed of themselves because they are just hampering people in rural Africa.