10 days in South Africa and I have had quite an education so far. Here are 5 fun things I've learned since I've been here:
1) I've learned that Pretoria is no longer called Pretoria. The new name of this city is Tshwane, which makes much more sense given that it is in a region that speaks mostly the tribal language of Tshwana. I've tried to learn as much Tswana as I can, but there are lots of sounds that are not in English. Last weekend we had a training in the region of Hammanskraal with the pastors of the churches we'll be working with in the area. We spent all of Saturday training their church volunteers to run programs within their churches, and many of the volunteers had fun trying to teach me Tswana. I have "thank you" down, and I'm definitely ok with "hello" (dumela) but a few of the other important words like "good morning", "good evening" and "good bye" I'm still practicing. My pronunciation of those is very white girl American. But the churches have been really excited about building children's programs and soccer programs, and it's exciting that we get to be a part of helping resource their ideas.
2) I've also learned a few important Afrikaans phrases, most specifically, "Gaan kotz in die bos." This means "Go puke in the bush." It can be used in it's literal form, but mostly is used to dismiss anyone who is being ridiculous.
3) Many South Africans (particularly taxi drivers) consider driving laws optional, particularly stop signs and robots (aka stoplights). Also, merging is a vehicular demonstration of Survival of the Fittest; Darwin would be proud.
4) God can, and does, provide for His people in miraculous ways. We had about 120 people to feed lunch to on Saturday, and there is no way that the gas to cook the rice or the rice itself should have lasted. But as we scooped out rice, it continued to extend, and we ended up with two small bowls left over. It was awesome to watch. Those same meals will be what we're bringing with our trailers during the World Cup. We want to feed every child that comes to a Holiday Club, and we are doing it with this rice meal that is supplemented with vitamins. We can feed 6 kids for just 36 US cents; it's quite a product. We're still about $3500 short, but God has already shown up, and we believe he will continue to do so.
5) Cricket is a very odd game. Two guys run back and forth between three sticks on each side and have to hit a ball that is bowled by a guy who pitches kind of like fast-pitch softball. Saturday afternoon I put these big leg protectors on and giant squishy gloves and learned to bat in some batting cages. It's quite an odd hitting motion, particularly with all the gear on. But honestly, more odd than that is the fact that in the original form of the game, it lasts 5 days, 8 hours each day. What kind of spectator sport lasts 40 straight hours? And, within those 8 hours there are two tea breaks and a lunch break. I'm not convinced it should be permissible to have a tea break during a sporting event. However, Greg is playing on a team that plays a short version of the game called 20/20 Cricket. It only took about 2 1/2 hours to play. This was much more tolerable than 8 hours with tea breaks.
You can see a few of my pictures from the first week are up (just click on the slideshow and they'll come up full screen). I'll post more later in the week (uploading just uses a lot of bandwidth).
Thanks for all your prayers - keep praying for more food, blankets, and volunteers.
9 months ago