So there is a rooster that sits on my step and calls every night at 10pm. I think he is confused about the time. Roosters are supposed to call in the morning. This rooster though is an alarm clock but for people who work a midnight shift. A fellow volunteer mentioned that her host family ate the annoying rooster at their homestead. I wonder if that will happen for me as well. I won’t participate in the eating of the rooster but I won’t mind if he feeds my family.
I am finishing up week three of PST this weekend. How has it only been three weeks? Time here feels so different. I can’t really explain it. I think because my days are spent it such a different way than I am used to days feel longer yet shorter at the same time. Longer because I don’t have the same distractions of the internet and media in my face all the time, shorter because when you have to do everything by hand it takes a lot longer. As trainees we are not allowed to be off of our homesteads after dark. This wouldn’t be a problem except it’s winter and dark happens at 6pm. It happens quickly too. The sun starts to go down so early but then the mountains cause it to go from kind of dark to very dark within minutes. I constantly feel like I am fighting the clock for daylight because it is hard to do a lot of what needs to get done in the dark. I am sure I will have a different opinion on this when summer comes and it is light out for so much longer.
Meals have been interesting here in Swaziland. For the first two weeks with our families, the PC staff instructed the families to cook for us so we could share Swazi meals and food culture. I have mixed feelings about Swazi food. Some of it is good and some not so good. My family eats either rice or liphalishi (a corn based porrage) at every meal. I don’t mind that part, liphalishi actually tastes pretty good. The part I am not the biggest fan of it Aromat. Aromat is MSG. I have ingested more MSG in the last few weeks than I think I have in all my years in the States. Part of the role the PC sees for us as volunteers is working on nutrition. I have talked with my host family about the Aromat and it is only used sometimes now so progress is being made.
I haven’t eaten any meat here in Swaziland. I was able to learn the phrase, “Angiyidli inyama”, which means “I don’t eat meat.” The whole family was a bit confused at first. It helped that I agreed to eat fish and that I explained I it was fine with me if they eat meat but that I just choose not to eat it. My sisi was actually excited because she said fish is her favorite food and I gave her an opportunity to buy/eat fish since no one else in the family likes it.
This week I started cooking for myself. It has pros and cons. It’s hard because of the limited storage/cooking space and because I don’t have a frig. I have to cook just enough to eat or be prepared to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. Luckily it is winter and food storage is a little easier because without heat my room doesn’t get very warm at night. I am actually sleeping in my sleeping bag under my blankets for my heat.
I really appreciate all the comments. I am sorry I can’t respond to all of them individually. Like I said, internet is hard to come by and really slow. Also sorry about not getting pictures up. Pictures are going to be rare right now until I get a better internet connection. Love and miss you all!