Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ranting and Raving


Yes, that is hola spelled without an h and is used as a greeting here. Strange.

So I have been away from my site for the last week or so. A few of us went to another volunteers site to build these things called keyhole gardens. They consist of a rock wall filled in with layers of dirt, manure, and other fertilizer. They are shaped like a keyhole, thus the name. They last a few years and are better for growing plants than straight in the ground. My friend, Rory, had found a few support groups near his village and they gathered the materials to build these gardens to support orphans, both from the food and from selling the food grown in the garden. A pretty great project. We had built one such a garden during our training and it took 20ish of us a few hours to build it. I was very skeptical that we would be able to finish all the gardens in the time allowed. When we showed up, however, many of the materials were already gathered and there were many community members there working along side us. It never took us more than a few hours. I was very inspired by the community's involvement because a lot of complaints here by PCVs is how hard it is to find reliable community support.

After the hard work we helped Rory paint his house. He gave us each a space on his wall. Aliens, dinosaurs, flowers, suns, and walugui were all painted by my artistic collegues. Not being as artistic, i chose to cover my body in plastic, paint myself blue, and bodyslam the wall. The bodyslam didn't quite work out, so I sorta just leaned against it, but my print was definitely there.

Ok onto the title of the post. I need a minute to rant and rave a bit. I am pretty glad I have no aspirations to be a celebrity. Because that's what it feels like here. Little kids stop and stare at me. I am called mokhotsi (friend) by everyone and their mothers and am asked for candy, money, or jobs by many people who I don't know (those i do know have realized that's not what I'm here for). At first this was exciting to be asked all the time, but I have grown a bit tired of it. Another thing is that people ask you where you are going and where you are coming from. I know this is not a rude question here, but it rubs me the wrong way a lot of times. Imagine if you were walking down the street in say New York or Chicago and people asked you where you were going. You would probably give them a funny look, tell them to buzz off (or something more profane), and ignore them. So in short, some cultural differences are proving difficult.

Ok, that's all for now. School starts a week from monday and more regular posts will come with stories from school. I will also try to put more pics on shutterfly at that time. Thanks for all the love and support!


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