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.


  1. Tim and I were just talking about this today, too, the not getting harassed thing. I also think it's because I'm not easily bothered. Certainly I found men were worse in the midwest than any I've met here, as were those in north Africa, etc. :P

  2. Get a Wii Fit! Obviously that would be excessive and I'm not serious at all, but you get to run around and punch at the air in your living room. Then the Wii tells you that your Wii Fit age is 40 and you want to die...
    Otherwise...Omo will take the paint off a car and the skin off your hands. Its like lye.

  3. The funny thing about that is that we totally could go out and buy a Wii fit in pretoria, but probably not because I feel like it would be too hard to hide and then we'd have a bunch of people coming over trying to exercise (though maybe that wouldn't be THAT bad of a thing). Omo has caused my fingers to peel multiple times.