Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 16th, 2010

After returning from training I decided to give the bake sale a go. We made exactly what we spent. But we learned a lot and think we're gonna try again in a couple weeks. The most frustrating part of being here is trying to get people to help do the projects they've wanted help with and then to get them to follow through and take ownership. I.e. Getting them to work for the compensation. You help bake the goodies and then you'll get money for transport. There's the notion that they want the money without having to do the work. I try my hardest not to give and say 'never mind, I'll do it myself'. :)

I got to go to part of a circumcision school closing ceremony with Rhandzu. I got to see the part where the young boys are brought home out of the bush where they have been for a couple months. The women will gather a ways away from a small arena of sorts and will start to dance and sing. The boys are led to the arena where older men who have already been to the bush will fight one another with a long willowy stick in one hand and a shield in the other. A little while after we arrive and were standing with the women and a very few men, Rhandzu turned to me and said 'I just want you to know that only men who have never been circumcised stand over here with the women' lol he was making a big sacrifice so that I wouldn't have to stand there alone:)

Last week I spent most of my time trying to hook up a new computer and then fix our two sick computers. Viruses abound here and most computers are not protected well. I’m still trying to encourage people to take ownership and responsibility for the garden. Between that and the lack of water it’s proving to be quite difficult. It's growing fast but could quickly die if there's not consistent care.

On Thursday the water truck destroyed our gate when they were backing out of the project. I calmly called the owner of the truck, who is hired by the municipality to deliver water, and asked him what he could do to rectify the situation. His response? 'Well then we just won't bring you water anymore'. What?????? He replies 'we were doing you a favor bringing you water and we just won't bring it anymore'. Ahhhh! Glad to say I remained calm and got him to consent to come out to see the damage the next day. I was just informed that he didn't come so we'll have to continue calling him, just like the Borehole guy, and hope he can fix it.

Friday I left again and travelled the 7 hours back to Kwandebele college to participate in diversity fishbowl training for the newest group of PCV's that have been here for about a month now. The concept of the fishbowl is to have some people represent different aspects of diversity, I.e. Race, color, religion etc. to show them the diversity of the PCV and to encourage them to support one another. They asked me to talk about my experiences with religion in South Africa. It went well.

After the session I travelled a little ways to Emily's site which happens to be in one of the two villages we lived in during our PST training when we first got to SA. We celebrated her birthday with Mexican Food and brownies and on Sunday we went to visit my home stay family.

Today I am on my way to Tzaneen, a beautiful city in Limpopo province. I'm going to be staying with Maggie (a lady who is often recruited by PC to be on the South African diversity panel representing the diversity of SA she represents the British population) for two nights before heading to a village about an hour from Tzaneen to visit Wendy and help her with her world map project.

As much as I love to travel, I feel like I've been gone a lot from my site the last couple months and long for the familiarity and comfort of my home in Rolle.

Anyways, that's it for now. Hope you are all well.

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