So, my dad has asked me to post some pictures. Well, fine. I'll do it. I hope you feel special, dad.
I suppose it is appropriate to start off with this picture of me looking awkward. It is appropriate because I more or less operate in a perpetual state of awkward. It's not so bad anymore- I've come to terms with it, and being awkward is just kinda normal now.
This picture was taken at my principal's brother's funeral, while I was being introduced to 200+ funeral attendees. I don't even need to tell you about how uncomfortable I felt up there while they talked about me for 20 minutes (did I mention I was at a funeral?) because you can see it pretty clearly on my face. I believe that at this point in the speech my principal is warning the men not to ask me to be their girlfriend.
While I was on my site visit seeing my permanent site for the first time, my principal's older brother died. So for my first weekend there, I attended a funeral. This was not the first funeral that I've been to here, and I know that this wont be the last one that I attend during my service. Death is so common around here, and funerals are a time for the community to come together. As with every event here, there was much beautiful singing. Again, as with every event here, there was much preaching.
For the funeral, they slaughtered a cow. Here are the men cutting her up! I'll link it, just because it is not 100% pleasant:
Men cutting up cow
I don't want to talk about funerals anymore. I hate them. Moving on.
Now we come to a picture of me with my best friend here, Erin aka Refilwe:
As you can maybe see in this picture, Erin is more or less 100% Irish Catholic. Over here, however, she's considered "coloured."
We decided she earned this classification because of her textured hair.
If you're not familiar with South Africa and the race classifications, here's a break down:
There are four races- white, black, Indian and coloured. Oh, and then there is "China," but I think they fit under coloured? I haven't quite figured it out. It's a bit of a catch-all category? Ultimately, it seems to be pretty arbitrary.
It was especially screwed up under the Apartheid when people were separated into groups according to race. If you so much looked like you had any mixed ancestry, you'd often be removed from your family and relocated to a coloured section.
Listening to some of the stories are mind-blowing. I might be a bit fuzzy on the details, but apparently they had some tests to determine whether or not you were considered coloured. One of those tests was if they stuck a pencil in your hair and it stayed, you were considered black; if it fell out, you were coloured. I can hardly imagine the idea of your entire life being determined by whether or not a pencil stayed in your hair ... completely absurd.
Anyway, onto a more pleasant subject- the children!
Children are pretty amazing, regardless of which continent you're on. With that being said, I will just post some pictures of children!
Starting with my host brother from my training site. Here he is as an 'old man.' He took some feathers from a duster for his beard.
He's a silly dude, constantly entertaining- singing, dancing, acting. I have some really great footage of him doing his old man dance, but alas, it takes too long to upload.
Then we come to the children at school. Here they are, all lined up for morning assembly. They sing and pray in the morning, and it's really quite beautiful. Of course, there's still a level of discomfort for me when it comes to the praying at school, but what're you gonna do.
Here are some children from my second schools, after they surrounded me. They do that sometimes. Flock to me.
And now for some pictures of some children around my hood.
We have a group of girls that come over to our yard a few times a week to pick mulberries from our mulberry tree.
Okay, I think that'll do.
Hope you're happy now!