Friday, July 18, 2008

I stole a Sudoku from the toilet

HELLO! Things here are still amazing. I'm starting to get into some sort of routine, which is nice, but as soon as that happens we always mix it up a bit and everything changes. I don't have my thoughts well-organized, but here's a bit of an update on my life.

- Shadowing was QUITE the experience. The Group 5 girl I was shadowing had two fantastic houses, one at her site in a rural community and one at Cabrini Ministries at a place called St. Phillip's. They were doing INCREDIBLE work with OVCs (orphans and vulnerable children) and we managed to teach 100 kids how to play dodge ball. It was a good time and, best of all, I got to take a HOT SHOWER. That's about all I can ask for these days.

- My family uses newspaper as TP in the pit latine and the other day I found a sudoku in there and stole it. It has provided hours of amusement and it was even a "super hard" one so I keep doing it over and over and over. But I think my family figured it out and now they're collecting them for me. Oh, free fun. We have also been gathering around the wind-up radio (on my flashlight) every evening and listening to stories in SiSwati (it's like soap operas, but on the radio) so I think I'll buy a REAL radio while I'm in town today. And a ton of batteries since we don't have electricity.

- Yesterday we went and visited the umphakatsi, or head of the chiefdom (it's a place, not a person). It was SO COLD but we learned a lot about what our role will be in the community and what the kagogo centers do (Google it). Apparently in my community alone there are 580 OVCs, meaning that they have lost both parents (usually because of AIDS)...I think my homestead houses about 15 of them. But I really haven't figured that out yet. We also visited a neighborhood care point (NCP) where they provide meals for OVCs, but it wasn't functioning becuase it's all run by volunteer power and there was nobody willing to volunteer. That seems to be the general way of things here.

- I cooked a meal for my family last night! I made a pasta with a vat of penne, 8 tomatoes, 2 onions, 2 huge carrots, one chili pepper and lots of oregano and salt. They LOVED it. Honestly, Gogo (grandma) kept coming in for more and more and I'm not sure if she was feeding it to the goats or something but she seemed to genuinely like it. That in itself is a huge feat because I assumed they would hate it. I'm proud.

This week we are officially getting our stoves and pots and pans and stuff, so we're in town today to do grocery shopping. It's good to see people who speak English as a first language after spending my evenings translating from English to English. It's frustrating at times, but my SiSwati is getting better and Mandisa's English is improving as well so I generally enjoy my time at home. And it helps that I have Sudoku!

I don't know what else to say...we've just been mostly studying SiSwati and learning how to function in Swazi culture. This weekend we're all hopefully escaping to Nhlangano (that's where I am now...southern Swaziland...look at a map) to buy some box wine and hang out with each other outside of the structured outings of Peace Corps. It will be amazing!

Salani Kahle (Stay Well),
J

3 comments:

Brittney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brittney said...

You have an incredible knack for finding things in random places. And I have a knack for misspelling things...hence the deleted comment.

I am glad you are enjoying it!

Erin said...

post! post! post!
the suspense is killing me!
please go somewhere with internet soon! :)