Thursday, October 4, 2007

Brace yourself, this is going to be a long one.

So long in fact, that I am going to give an overview here of the things I will cover:
- The amazing stew I made, and the implications of said stew
- The cow that I saw give birth
- The soccer that I played yesterday
- A long overdue job description

So without further adieu, I will start with my amazing stew. Hah.

I have a new recipe. It's unbelievable. I wont bore you with the details about how good it tasted and how it was basically a spiritual experience eating it. No, no, I wont do that.
I only bring it up because I felt I had to tell someone. I can't tell anyone here in my village. I can't tell them, because it will only make them want me to marry them/their brother/their son even more! No! If they knew what I was capable of in the kitchen ... it would just break their hearts to know what my future holds- to know that I am going to live alone for the rest of my life (that's if you don't count the 14 cats.)
I tell you what, though- had they known, they may very well have changed my name again- I wonder what the Setswana word for "culinary genius" is?

Moving on, I saw a cow give birth. She's outside eating the placenta right now, and the calf is all wobbly. The whole scene is pretty charming, minus the slime. The slime's kinda gross. What do you say to that, Uncle Allen? Does it bring you back to the farm?

OKAY. NOW. SOCCER. I finally played in my new village.
Let me tell you about why I think that it was divine intervention that brought me here to Setlagole.

I have a soccer field here in my village.
Not only a field, but a stadium. I have a stadium.
The field has grass on it.
The goals have nets.

Just let that sink in for a couple of seconds.

Has it sunk in yet?

Maybe that doesn't really strike you as unusual, but let me give you a description of a typical rural South African field:
A large open patch of dirt, rocks and cow/goat/dog droppings. Sometimes there are goals, but there are NEVER nets. And there is never grass, but instead there are bushes with thorns on it that are about 2 inches long.
Of course, not all the fields are unkempt. Many fields are nice, decently level dirt with few rocks. Regardless, they are no where near the quality that I have here! I feel so privileged.
Anyway, I played yesterday for the first time. I showed up and learned that it was the teachers of the local high school playing the police station of Delereyville, a nearby town. There are games every Wednesday. Of course, the players are all men. Women rarely play soccer here- they play netball, which is a kind of variation on basketball. So when I asked them if I could play, they were highly amused.

"You play soccer, eh? Heh heh heh. You're going to play on our team, eh? Heh heh heh ..."

I ended up playing outside half, my very worst position, and the one I hate the most! The game was paused at one point, due to the heavy rain and then eventual hail- but resumed with hilarious results. The puddles made the game absolutely unpredictable.
I didn't show extremely well, but I could hang. They were pleasantly surprised and even invited me back. Hopefully, by the time that the novelty of this white chick playing soccer with them wears off, I'll be in shape and have my touch back so that I will be a welcome addition anyway!

I just decided that I don't want to type up my job description right now. It's too long and Generations is about to come on.
For those of you who don't know what Generations is, it is the best/worst soap opera you will ever watch. It is very popular and extremely addicting.
I have to keep my priorities, you know.


andrew said...

how is this field kept in such a condition? is it under the jurisdiction of the state or is it just some private soccer enthusiast's personal endeavor?

also birth is always totally gross.

texasuncle said...

Know about the slime; saw lots of it back on the farm. At the risk of being accused of one upmanship, let me say the most slime I ever saw was when my dad and i had to pull a breeched calf. Calf lived but the mother died. Sad tale

Fred said...

Howdy there. We're over here in Peace Corps Uganda and are wondering if there are any places that you or the people in Peace Corps South Africa recommend us to stay at when we go out on holiday around December 20th. We plan on visiting Pretoria (hopefully the PC office) and Cape Town. Any recommendations? I guess e-mail them to me. Thanks.

Megan said...

andrew, it is a government-run facility, yes. Which means we get to use it very rarely- once a week. BUT THATS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!

Uncle Allen, a solid contribution, as usual. Sad tale, indeed.

fred, I would love to help you out more, but I can't get your email address! your profile is not shared!
Though I'm afraid I wouldn't be of much help anyway, as I'm still on travel restriction and haven't been anywhere yet. But I should probably be in Durban around that time.