Saturday, December 10, 2011

Week 1 in Hukuntsi – Nov. 20 2011

I finally got a chance to get on the internet for a minute and am catching up the blog on four posts I have written over the last month. I apologize for any odd formatting, but some things are not copy/pasting well. So here goes:

So we have now been in Hukuntsi for over a week now and it has been quite eventful. We spent the first few days settling into a tiny space (10 ft x 10 ft) that has a double bed and a stove. We are supposed to have a refrigerator and a table too, but there is definitely no room. This should be temporary yet it seems difficult to find housing here as most govt. employees are two to a house. We are staying on the Junior Secondary School (JSS) property which is nice while the kids are in session because we can go play cards in one of the outdoor classrooms and some kids will arrive and hang out with us. We have taught a couple of them how to play a game called golf. Our neighbors are also really nice as are the people in the community. Everyone is willing to talk to us yet it takes time to really become friends with someone and even more so when you do not fully speak their language. I definitely need to spend more time learning Setswana as well as Sekhalagadi. It will help once we find a tutor.

So a quick overview of our week included:
• Our first days of work
• Meeting the Kgosi for an interview
• Attempting a few runs and realizing we are not eating right and out of shape.
• Found all the shopping in the village
• Found a makwinya spot…mmm mmm
• Played cards at the outdoor classroom almost daily and met lots of great kids
• I (Tracy) went to Zutswa for a meeting about an AIDS day event
• Started interviewing coworkers
• Found ways to hang our stuff from the ceiling
• Started a map of Hukuntsi
• Two water outages
• Electric outages
• Killed two black spiders with red hour glasses (black widows??)
• Killed lots of random insects and arachnids
• John got stung by a bee from the hive our neighbor keeps
• 3 broken plastic bowls and 1 coffee mug
• Hand washed every other day
• Met lots of people and forgot lots of names
• Watched 2 movies and finished Battlestar Galactica
• Bought 48 clothes pins
• Wrote 4 letters and 2 post cards…lots more to go
• Talked about all the food we miss multiple times a day
• Mainlined coffee to get to work at 7:30 am then walked 30 minutes back home to go to the bathroom during lunch because water was out and there are no pit latrines at the RAC

Lessons learned:
• If the light is on at night you need to have the doors and windows closed no matter how hot it is – a monster beetle flew in and we both ducked and screamed like small children
• When form 3 graduates from JSS madness ensues – there are papers everywhere and John broke up a fight
• Asking people’s names is a good formality but it is impossible to remember everyone
• You can never have enough water stored
• Nighttime is the worst time to lose electric – the fan stops, I wake up then John groggily asks why I turned the fan off
• Yes means maybe, maybe means no and you will never hear no from anyone
• Transport is always an issue and kids are the most likely to be on time anywhere
• There is no anonymity and if you feel the need to just hide out at home, it’s ok
• We now know where all of America’s MSG went (what is it supposed to do to you anyway??)
• When you live with a family for two months you become an intricate part of it – talked to our family in Kanye and realized they are worried about us and miss us as much as we miss them

We miss you all! Please eat some sushi for me. 

1 comment:

  1. i love the wire !! and psych !! and lie to me is my favorite!!! battlestar galactica is now on my list. my friends say it is epic sci fi!! xoxoxo i think you are both so brave and fierce. hang in there!!! xoxoxoxo leah