My Most Recent South African Adventures

Since my last post was so very long ago, I want to try and convey in a condensed way some of what I’ve been doing with myself! Every night I write down something about my day that made it especially South African, my South African Adventures. Here are my favorite.

Nov. 1 – Walked through town today with Thembi to find all the components of my uniform for church. It’s month’s end – when all the government grants, a large percentage of most peoples’ income, are sent out – so the roads were packed. Ques lined most sidewalks. Somehow, we were able to find everything we needed. Somehow, we didn’t drown in the floods of people that are so uncommon on our small town roads.

Nov. 3 – Mndeni and I didn’t have a ride to church today. We started walking into town to try and catch a taxi out to the Township. On the way, Mndeni flagged down a friend and she drove us into town. We flagged down a taxi when we got there and made it to church. Mama Mathupha gave us a ride home. I rarely have concrete plans on how I’m getting to church or how I’m getting home, but I get there every Sunday. There’s something so great about never knowing how I’m getting there, but never doubting that I’ll get there. (Sounds like some deeper life lesson there.)

Nov. 15 – Auntie asked me to do her hair today. I have no idea if she actually liked it because she’s just too sweet to say anything. But good news! She passed her test! We celebrated with some chocolate when she got home.

Nov. 18 – There’s a little boy at the hospital who doesn’t say anything, in Zulu or English. He has the most beautiful big eyes and smooth, dark, melted-chocolate skin, but he always looks scared. I’ve never heard a word out of him. I don’t even know his name. Today, as I was leaving, he gave me a timid smile and a hesitant wave. I think I’ve fallen in love.

Nov. 19 – My little lover boy wasn’t at hospital today. I asked the nurses where he went. They say he got better and went home. I was heartbroken – I had just gotten a wave out of him – until I got out of my own head and was able to feel excitement for his speedy recovery. It’s strange working with sick kids – I’m excited then sad when there are new ones and sad then excited when they leave.

Nov. 24 – Visited Lesotho today with the other YAGMs. Such extreme poverty. It was weird to play tourist for the day. But it was impossibly not to fall in love with the incredible mountain landscape.

Nov. 25 – Worshipped today in Natal National Park. Had to stop and take refuge in the car when a pack of baboons crashed the party. No big deal.

Nov. 28 – Celebrated Thanksgiving with my YAGMs today. So blessed to have yet another family to spend the holiday with. In the last four years, I’ve spent Thanksgiving surrounded by four different families, in four different places, in three different countries. This year’s was pushing to be the best one yet. Thanks to Mom, I was able to make green bean casserole happen in South Africa. Stuffed our faces, filled our hearts, and worked our abs as we laughed non-stop.

Dec. 5 – Nelson Mandela died today. Both Baba and Auntie seem saddened. Town doesn’t seem to have slowed down at all.

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