Sunday, November 1, 2009

Things I thought I'd never get used to... but did (and sometimes even enjoy)

Hi everyone.

Im in town for the quarterly VAC meeting. (volunteer advisory committee) Its been a really busy last few months, which is good.. to a point. Im getting really tired and after my nov 7th event next weekend (and all the reporting that goes with it) I plan to take a break. Im not sure what exactly. Maybe a day in bed reading, or hopping over to South Africa to Ladybrand for one slow afternoon to go to an awesome coffee shop called Living Life that has wonderful food and actual customer service. In December, I may go to Swaziland for a few days. There have been some extra challanges the last month and Im feeling a big pull to get out of the country for a bit. We'll see.

When I got off the Kombi this morning for the 30 minute walk to the Peace Corps training center this morning, I was noticing things and wondering about the fact that the things that just made me stop and start 17 months ago, I don't even notice any more (at least not too much) So I thought Id bore you and share the things that I thought I'd never get used to, but did:

-The sight of my family gathering cow poop to form into patties and dry them on the hill to use for fuel (and the smell that goes along with cooking with cow patties)
-Myself using cow patties to braii with (bar-b-que)
-27 people traveling together in a 15 seater Kombi
-toddlers naked from the waist down being put on my lap in Kombis
-live chickens on kombis
-toddlers running around naked and stopping anywhere to squat and poop
-Hauling water from 20 minutes away.
-Not bathing for ____ days because Im too lazy to haul water.
-Going to bed in the winter as soon as it gets dark in order to stay warm
-jumping up and down everytime I get a letter or package
-Being anxious and looking over my shoulder everytime I come into Maseru. (recently got mugged for the second time.. no fun)
-Maseru police not caring when someone mugs you and not even wanting to open a report. (unfortunately, I am getting used to that)
-Tab... (remember Tab?)
-Sitting outside my rondavel with my family in the winter, turning the chair to stay in the sun and keeping warm
-Having the cutest Basotho children in my rondavel to draw
-Marriage proposals from under 25 year old herd boys.
-Marriage proposals from over 25 year old herd boys.
-Papa and moroho (vegies)
-Papa and nama (meat)
-just papa... and more papa
-kids asking for candy and money
-people pointing and saying "lakhooa, lakhooa" (white person)
-hot russians from street vendors covered in vinegar
-really fun basotho youth who like to talk and dont even know what email is.

Just a few random thoughts. I hope all is well in America. Ill be back to email in a few weeks. Ill try and post pics from the event. Im also updating my wish list.. several people asked for me to do this.. but remember, letters, phone calls and emails rock!!!
Salang Hantle


Grace said...

I agree that taking a mini vacation would be a good idea. Its amazing how many things that seem so strange at first soon become normal. I am in barns pretty often so I know what the smell of manure is like, but cooking cow patties I can imagine would be much harder to get used to! Getting used to naked children sitting on my lap would also most likely take me a while! I think its great that you are helping so many people and I'm sure that they all appreciate you. I know that I would!

Megan said...

Its such an amazing thing you are doing for all these people,it makes such a difference in the long run. The things you first thought you would never get used to and are now normal are things that I cannot even imagine myself getting used to! The people whom you are helping must be very grateful for everything you have done, their life would be different without you.