Thursday, October 9, 2008

What I do when Not Working

Hi there, folks!

I think that we should have "Question Time" of sorts. If you are curious about anything related to Swaziland or my service here, write it in the comments to this post! I'll get back to you in my next post or privately if I can't talk about the subject in this forum.

I am still holding up okay. I have some tables now, so I am not breaking my back when I try to cook, which makes life a lot better.
EVERYONE is in the office today to vote, like half our group in Swaziland.

I read a fair amount here, but I spend more time walking, probably. My community is pretty far flung - 2 hours one way to the furthest school. The stories about volunteers sitting in their houses, doing jack shit for hours on end, are not entirely true. We have a fair amount of time to ourselves, but not quite as much as the stories tell.

I visit a large city (by which I mean town of 20,000 people) maybe every week-and-a-half or so, for internet access, research, and invisibility. This is an unbelievably small country, and everyone in my hometown either knows me or calls me "Bonkhosi" (the name of the volunteer in the next town over, because they hear about a white person in the area of that name and on seeing one, assume that they are that person). One is obliged to greet EVERYONE one encounters on the road, and to stop and talk if one is acquainted with them. It's not terribly uncomfortable most of the time, but it is slightly suffocating, and one does occasionally wish to walk around without talking to everyone, and for that, there is Manzini.

I would like to report that I have embarked on a lot of improving activities in my hut alone, but in truth, I haven't. I read occasionally, cook, and fret. I still hope to come back able to some useful stuff, but I dunno if it'll pan out; I'm hella lazy when it comes to self-improvement.

So I hope youse all are coming through the economic situation Stateside in decent form - I've been worried to hear that things are not going well. Take care of yourselves, be happy!


Greg said...

What would happen if you omitted to greet a random person on the streets? Like, how bad of taboo are we talking here? What if you're in a hurry? How is it possible to go anywhere on a day when lots of people are about, since you have to stop and talk to everyone?

Jalal said...

Sounds like you are having an adventure. I'm glad you like it. Are you getting to teach?

currentlymusing said...

I would be interested to see how US culture compares to the rest of the world in terms of general expectations of "keeping to oneself." I remember in France being disoriented that it was rude not to say "have a good evening" to people exiting the elevator . . .

Anyway, it sounds like you are doing well, which I'm glad to hear. I don't have any particularly interesting questions for you, though. :)