Reaching Out 2 The World

Meeting the Family 9/11

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Today I woke up pretty early to have a breakfast with the Germans and Norwegian one last time before we all went our separate ways. I packed up all my things and then got in a van to Kayamandi. I think the drive took about an hour or so but I’m not really sure. It was a little difficult finding the home but we did eventually find it. I met mama zulu and her 3 year old grandson first. I can’t say his name yet but I think it starts with an B. She took me to the house/shack that I’ll be living in for the next three months. Her property is made up of a few small buildings all crammed together. She has her main home and then I think 2 or 3 extra small buildings that she uses to house volunteers. My flat is just a bathroom and two bedrooms, each with two beds in it. She was telling me that back in January she housed 10 people form Ireland. So with it just being me here for the time being it’s relatively quiet. After I got settled in she showed me to the main home. There was a nice kitchen and eating area and a surprisingly very nice family room. The furniture was nicer then what we have at home haha. I met her 17 year old granddaughter lethulu (can’t say her name yet either), and one of her sons, as well as another guy who comes and goes. I think she said her son will also be staying in my flat with me. They were tuned into the Springbok game when I arrived so I joined them. The Springboks played terrible but pulled out the victory. The whole family speaks Xhosa but can speak a bit of English too so communicating is a little difficult, but mostly just slow. The grandson is adorable though and I spent a lot of time playing with him. At one point he whispered in my hear, “mobile” Papa Zulu laughed and told me he wants me to buy him a car haha. Papa Zulu’s favorite thing to do is watch sports. His favorites are tennis, rugby, soccer, and cricket, but he said he also likes baseball. Maybe I can convince him to be a Phillies fan. That reminds me, I gave the family presents, I got Mama Zulu a candle set and some Hershey candies, Papa Zulu a Phillies hat and an Eagles puzzle, and Lethulu a shoulder bag with some Hershey candies. But they didn’t open them in front of me L. They told me, after I asked, that they really loved the presents though… The customs are a little odd getting used to but things have been interesting. I was asked when I wanted lunch today and she told me that she would serve me whenever I was ready. I think it’s also customary for the males to eat separate from the females, to basically for the females to wait on the males. Contrary to what most of you are thinking right now, it felt a bit uncomfortable for me but I did try to help by clearing the table after each meal. For lunch we had some beef stew that had potatoes in it, cabbage, and white rice. It was all really good. For dinner we actually had the same stuff but in addition we also had fried chicken, and some sort of baked bean side dish. We had Pepsi for our drinks and I couldn’t even tell you what I had for dessert, but it was good. It was just me and Papa Zulu at meals and we had a very in depth conversation about the Springboks… I think. See, not only is it difficult to have a conversation because of the language barrier but I don’t know a think about rugby. Rugby talk mine as well be a language on its own. I just agreed a lot with him. After dinner we watched some sports, and a bit of South African Idle. Rather interesting because the songs they sing are all American and the voices aren’t really that great :/. We also watched some of the news today on the USA memorial stuff for 9/11. That was pretty interesting from this perspective. Mama Zulu asked me if I’ve ever talked to Obama. I’m beginning to think I should have a word with him. At around 9pm I found Mama Zulu in the kitchen and asked if she needed any help. She misunderstood me and thought I was saying goodnight for the evening. Sooo now I’m back in my shack with no connection to the outside world haha. It’s ok though, I’ll finish writing in my journal, write some postcards (again, please let me know when you’ve received one in the mail), transfer some pictures to my computer, maybe read another letter!! Tomorrow around 8am I’ll wake up and Vuyo will take me around, and bring me to my school. I’ll have to ask him about where to go to get internet and where the nearest post office is. I’m excited to meet my class tomorrow but I’m also a bit nervous and currently kind of lonely. I’m sure by the time you’ve read this it’ll be further into the week and my program will be underway. Here’s to hoping it goes well! Cheers 🙂

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One thought on “Meeting the Family 9/11

  1. Don’t worry. The first few days are always a little shakey, but you will get into the swing of things. Is your host family expecting more volunteers?

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