Thursday, July 9, 2015

...has a learning curve.

"I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then." 
-Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday, July 7th: We killed a chicken today. Okay, well we actually didn't kill it, Nozipho did. And because the word kill seems so harsh I will change my words. Nozipho cooked a chicken for dinner tonight that was previously alive in our front yard. To say it was impressive is an understatement. Unless you are Nozipho or an avid chicken farmer, then you would find our curiosity and excitement underwhelming and possibly stupid. Sean is very interested in farming chickens at our permanent sight so it was a good lesson in catching, beheading, draining, and plucking a chicken. After all of the advice state side of how exactly to go about de-life-ing a chicken I feel pretty confident that Nozipho’s way will be our way. We told our bosisi that next time it is our turn. They laughed and laughed. Swazis laugh and laugh a lot. After the chicken happenings we invited our bosisi and a few volunteers over to watch a movie, drink tea, and eat popcorn. We learned that tea and popcorn are a hit but our movie choice could use improvement. There are the highlights of today, with the addition of trying to teach Khombi a new English word. We chose smorgasbord. 

Wednesday July 8th: Today has been one of those days that feels long but in reality when you lay your head on your pillow the day has flown by. We started our day in our language group for another great two hour session during which we mastered more greetings and introductions. After language we took a bus to the community health village of Nkamndzi. There we met with all of G13 to talk briefly about integration tools before launching into a great session on permagardening. Grace and I are very interested in permagardening and plan on planting one at our permanent site, as well as developing some potential projects around the idea. Permagardens are great for rural areas because they have a very high yield, they use minimal amounts of water, and, once established, maintenance is pretty low key. We are looking forward to the 17th when we will have a chance to get our hands dirty and put into practice the concepts we learned today. We ended our day with a bus ride back to Sihhohhweni which really just took the energy out of us. The cool mornings but hot afternoon sun does a great job of sapping your energy. That's why we’re calling it a night a little early tonight. Hope all is well back home! Lala kahle!

Thursday, July 9th: Do you think in English? I'm sure that the majority of those reading this do in fact think in English. However, for the children of Swaziland who are punished or publicly ridiculed in school for speaking in any language except English the question is worth a conversation. So that is what we had tonight at dinner, a conversation about thinking in English while being Swazi. It was a pretty good debate between the two sisters, each making valid points about “being a true Swazi” verse “if you think out loud do you say ‘wow’ instead of ‘how’ (the Swazi translation for wow)”. Did you know that we read the same books in school? The Great Gatsby was a favorite. Argumentative writing is preferred over descriptive and history class is chosen as a favorite above home economics. I find it funny that we, as Americans, are labeled as the intelligent ones. I know I think in English because I have not learned any other way to think, and I think that is a problem. I know I speak for both myself and Sean, we are proud of our new sisters, they are so unbelievably intelligent. We are very honored to be the ones to remind them constantly of it.

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