Monday, September 22, 2008

Ngempelasanto (the weekend)

So, sorry I haven't updated. I don't really have computer access on the weekend and we left early on Friday afternoon so I couldn't update. The SIT computers don't have working internet, so a friend let me borrow her computer to update since the blogger website is only blocked on my computer for some reason (other people can't access certain sites on their computers, too. It's weird.) Anyway, Friday morning our whole group woke up extra early to go to a feeding scheme for a local primary and high school. We made well over 200 PB & J sandwiches for students there, and it was a lot of fun. Some people raced to see who could spread the fastest, and Halle, my friend who is allergic to nuts was proud of the fact that she sort of got to make PB & J (she spread the jelly) for the first time ever. Then, we came to SIT for our weekly group seminar discussion. Then our directors decided to take us to the Durban botanical gardens for a group dynamics discussion. Obviously, a lot of tension builds in such a large group, so it was nice to get outside and chill.

The botanical gardens were really neat, and I definitely want to go back there. They have a tree that is the only one of its kind, and this orchid room that has TONS of orchids in it. I'm pretty sure my mom would have been in heaven there because she has so many herself. And don't worry, mom, I took pictures of it for you because I knew you would want to see.

Later that afternoon we were supposed to go back to the schools to meet with youth from the area to talk about different issues, but no one really came because it was raining, and this woman in the library was on a power trip and wouldn't let us have the meeting room, so we went back home.

Saturday, we were supposed to go on a walk of Durban (to the markets, etc.) led by our academic director, who is quite possibly the coolest teacher ever. Unfortunately, it was extremely cold and rainy so it got canceled, but it will be rescheduled when we get back from the rural areas. Instead, I went to a mall with Halle and Daryl, and we sat in a bookshop/cafe and got some reading done. Later that evening a large group went back to Taco Zulu for dinner to celebrate a girl's birthday that had been the day before. It was a lot of fun!

On Sunday, I helped my sisi do some of the laundry. We don't have a washing machine, so we did it by hand. Although I'm pretty sure they don't trust me to do the laundry because my job was just rinsing and wringing things out. My mama laughed at my attempts to help, but I think she thought it was nice that I made an effort. Then Daryl and I took our sisis to see "Mamma Mia!" and that was a lot of fun. My sisi quickly picked up on all the songs and has started singing them all the time. And apparently, some worker at the theater told my sisi that he loved me. A lot of the girls in our program get comments like that. Some people have even been asked how many cows it would cost to marry them. It goes back to the tradition of lobola, where the groom's family paid the bride's family in cows in order to marry her. The practice still exists today, although they usually just give money instead of cows.

I made my spoon bread for my family last night, and they really liked it. I think my mama was a little skeptical at first because of the texture, but she enjoyed it and said she wished we could make more. I told her I would try to find a recipe.

Today was back to the SIT offices and class as usual. Nothing too exciting to report yet. Oh! I did take my first dose of malaria medicine on Saturday because we're leaving for the rural area this weekend. It's apparently supposed to give you really bizarre and vivid dreams, but I have yet to experience any. It's only been a few days, though. We'll see what happens. I better go read, though. I have a lot of work to do! Sala kahle!

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