Our Ocho de Mayo party was a blast! 9 of us got together at Jasen's (The same Jasen who came to help with our language class during training, turns out he lives 30 minutes away) place. We managed to get all the ingredients for an amazing Mexican Fiesta. Mexican food is hard to find here and expensive when you do find it. I was ecstatic that after two months of searching I was able to find dried frijoles negros! We really did have way way too much food, but it was so good! Especially the fresh salsa and guacamole. :)
Last Monday the staff at Wisani asked me to help them in the kitchen where the water man had just inserted a huge hose through the window to fill up our water jugs. Needless to say it was an instant disaster as we were not ready and he had the hose on riot disbursing strength. They didn't have the other water jugs ready and in the process of me yelling at the top of my lungs for the man to turn off the water(which he didn't understand cause of course I was yelling in English) I got completely soaked. Good thing I decided to wear a white skirt that day huh?!... Sigh...
...AND then I found out that while I was in there getting soaked, my supervisor left because she got a call that her niece died. And that same morning the cook quit. It was a very interesting day!
A few days before that I got a text from my language teacher telling me that her father had passed away and she invited all of us in her group to come to the funeral. Even though I've heard about a death almost every day (there really is too much of it here) this was the first funeral I was invited to. The funeral was held on sat and since two of us live really close to where the funeral was, the other four from our language group travelled here and stayed the weekend. Her dad was a regional magistrate (judge) and so there were A LOT of people there. It started at 6am and the service itself didn't finish till 10 am. We didn't leave until about 2. It was a long day.
I had a very interesting surprise during the funeral. So, I'm sitting at the funeral service and they start to play a recording of some choir singing hymns. It catches my attention and I think 'whoa! I think this is motab' so I start listening really close and think 'naw can't be, we're in the middle of rural SA and I'm the only Mormon around for miles'. THEN 'Come Come ye Saints' starts playing!!!!!!!!! What the random!!!!!?????? I couldn't believe it! They were playing Mormon Tabernacle Choir!
So after a very long day Wendy (one of two girls from the group who slept at my place) and I fell asleep at 7:30 pm (don't tell anyone, I feel retarded and old!!).
Yesterday I went to church with one of the orphans, Jordan. He's 19 and still in 10th grade. The education system is here is a bit messed up and often it itself is the reason kids don't graduate or why they stay behind. He's the one I chose to be my Shangaan tutor and he's really stepped up to the challenge. He's doing much better than I expected and is a disciplined and demanding tutor :) Anyways, he invited me to his church (I think he assumed I wasn't Christian or Religious or something. It was a cool experience.
So then we come to today :) I went to town before work to purchase some paint tint for a mural project the art teacher is going to do with the orphans. I got Medal Paint to donate 25 gallons of white paint and then the Huish's donated $100 for me to buy the tint and brushes etc. I hope it turns out to be a fun project for the kids.
On the way home I saw a huge crowd of people gathered in a field and people setting up food stands etc. I asked and found out that it was pension day. What happens is that portable cash machines are brought to a specific location in the village once a month so that people can collect their pensions ($ for kids and the disabled). After dropping the paint off at work I decided to walk over and take a look. Edith accompanied me and she got one of the government workers to show me how things work. It was fascinating! They electronically scan people's fingers as a signature (I guess because some people can't write).
When I returned I found out that we were out of food for the orphans for the rest of the month. Sigh... this is the frustrating part. I guess the cook that just quit has been stealing food or making more than was needed and then taking home the leftovers. We only get $150 a month to buy food for them in the first place. And I also discovered that that grant will finish in July and there's no backup after that. I need to start encouraging the staff to start writing grant requests. Lots of work to be done....
Kori, my APCD (Assistant Peace Corp Director) will be here in the morning to do a site visit. Should be interesting, this is my first one so I'm not sure what to expect. Joyce, my supervisor at Wisani, told me not to worry about Kori coming (I'm not) that she and Themby, my host mom, are proud of me:) it was really sweet and encouraging. I was beginning to think they might find me annoying and too vocal.
So there you are, you're now all caught up on my life:)
oh wait!! I almost forgot! I gave the orphans a class about Mexico and I made them quesadillas and guacamole to taste. They loved it! Coolest thing of all? I carried a sack of oranges all the way home from work on my head!!!! :) that was one of my goals while I'm here, to learn how to carry things on my head. It was awkward and a little difficult but I did it!!! :)