Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Halfway Update FAQ

I'm thinking an update is in order, since I'm halfway through my stay in South Africa (unless all works out changing my flights and I can stay - fingers crossed).

The baby with the burn is much better - the infection is gone and it's healing quite nicely. The boy who was really ill that one day is back now and although he cries, I've been assured it's just because he gets homesick during the day. We've been planting lately and have seen some great improvements at the clinic's garden and with the farming project. Many of the veggies have started to grow and will probably be harvested within the next couple of weeks. The entire inside of the Nazareth church has been painted, and half of the outside. The new day care centre is almost ready to have the roof put on.

Last week, six people passed their HIV tests, and within the next two weeks we're going to start teaching HIV education in schools.

We don't hear much about the ongoing violence in South Africa. The radio stations say there is little violence, though they've just begun to admit a problem of anger towards immigrant workers. We haven't seen any animosity here surrounding the subject.

Apparently some questions have been asked about various subjects, hopefully this answers them all:

It's winter in South Africa, but the weather is still quite warm. It gets up to 30C in the sun during the day. I wear a sweater in the mornings mainly because we drive to the day care in an open truck and it gets cold with the wind. At night, a lighter sweater and jeans are enough.


Our cook's name is Katrina, and she's amazing. Sometimes she cooks more traditional Zulu meals, like special puddings and meat sauces. Normally though, she cooks quite western food, like pasta, fruit salads, chicken and tuna sandwiches. When we go out, there is a lot of really good seafood in town, but it's easy to find a burger or even vegetarian options.

Day Care

The children at the day care receive breakfast and lunch. Both are made out of a substance called "pap" made from mais meal. It has low nutritional value, but it is usually mixed with beans or onions for lunch. It is a substance no child would ever eat back home, but the kids happily share extras if they are ever made, and lick their plates clean. We feed the babies ourselves. I'm told it's probably the only food some of the kids receive, and many malnourished babies flourish off the day care's diet.


So far at our gardening and farming projects we have planted carrots, beans, onions, lettuce, and cabbage. We plan on planting some potatoes later on this week, I believe.


At the house, we drink bottled water, the tap water is fine for the locals to drink, but it would probably make us sick. The water in Khula is apparently good, though I'm not convinced many don't drink from the streams instead of getting it from proper wells.


I've already mentionned our cook, Katrina. We pick up her son, Sandile, on our way to the day care. She lives in Khula (where the day care centre is), along with the maids Snele and Nanklakla. Lucky, who does all of the maintenence work on the house, and helps with some of the projects is 27, from Khula also, and is currently saving up his money to buy the eleven cows he needs to marry his wife. Theo is a bush guide who mostly works in the photography project. Mpho manages our community projects and teaches with Nanklakla. Finally, Senzo is our driver and also works with the community volunteers, often as a translator.

Hopefully that's an adequate update!!

Until Next Time,

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