Wednesday, August 12, 2009

talked to su su

I talked to sus just now and this is what she said:

She's at a volunteers house right now, while she's checking out the new site that she'll be at for 2 years.

at the new place there is a little baby 2-3month old goat. it's the size of a small cat but with longer legs. she named it Annabelle. people there don't really pet animals, and sus really wanted to fit in and not be rude or anything, so she didnt pet Annabelle. But today she was writing in her journal and Annabelle was pretty close, so Sus got a piece of grass and waved it so Annabelle would come eat it, she would walk a couple feet and then lay down, and sus would wave the grass, and annabelle would walk another couple feet and then lay down, finally sus just walked over to her, and annabelle nuzzled her and wanted to be pet and loved on. so sus loved on her. annabelle nibbled on her fingers and ate the grass. she has teeth like ninnah (sus's pug in OK). and she has a mouth like schnoozeberry (when schnooze has no beard). she's really dirty, so when sus gets there full time, she'll give her a bath if she's allowed :).

the people don't really use goats for milk, they kind of use animals like a bank, if they need money, they just sell one, or if it's a special occasion, they will kill a goat/cow to eat.
her family uses a cow for milk but not a goat. when sus gets into her permanant place, she will have a goat and use it for milk and chickens and use them for eggs.

their mom said she could have a hen and cock to start out in their new place. i asked her how they would transport a chicken on a bus, and sus said people just put them in a plastic bag and tie them up, but have their head sticking out, she said it's the weirdest thing :).

Nsubane is where they are right now (and will be their perm. place soon); they are just there trying to get used to it.
They catch a bus that goes into the community and there are only 1-2 busses that go from where there is shopping/groceries/post office/internet to their community.
they drive on a tar road for 20 minutes, thn some busses drop them off there, 1 will take them down a gravel road 5 KM. they will get off and then walk 3km (30 minutes) to their place.
they will only see 2-3 homesteads, it's really spread out and really rural.

they have powerlines that just got put up 3 months ago, but none of them are connected.
people only have power now if they have a solar panel or generator.

their house (if they get electricity) will have a light and a plug :)

her family is:
a mom and a dad; a brother and his wife (about sus's age); 18 yo girl; 15 yo girl; lots of kiddos.
the dad's brother is the chief.
in swaziland there is a king & chiefs of big regions & chiefs of little regions, the dad's bro is the chief of their little region and is also president of several different churches that are zionest priest churches (a charismatic christian church with traditional african things).

no one speaks english in the family and onloy 1-2 people in the community do.
she said it's hard but they like it.
her dad didnt go to school. and some kids even now dont get to go to school b/c of not having enough $ or b/c they have to stay and farm all day.
everyone is a farmer.

sunday they met the chief and today they had to go back to his house and say they were leaving, but would be back soon.

the life expectancy is only 35, because of AIDS.

the chief is in his 60's, but she sayd he's super old.
when they went to his house it was like Indiana Jones, they walked up and he was sitting around a fire with a stick and wrapped up in a blanket with all his wifes at his feet; and they rolled out a mat for sus and chris to sit on. they had to whisper and kinda keep their head bowed. they had to follow a strict protocol and only speak when he spoke to them. she said he was very nice though. she said his big toe sticks out at a 90 degree angle, and it's soooo weird.
and sometimes the people change clothes; and when they saw him next, he had changed clothes and had somehow crammed his toe into a pair of converse :) she said a lot of people wear converse :).

when the chief comes into a room, all the men stand up, and one will sing his praise.

their house is small with 2 small rooms. its made out of rock and cement, with a tin roof. on the inside there are rocks covered with cement, like a cave.

it's really pretty where they are. it's different weather b/c there arent any mountains. it's sunnier, hotter, and drier. there is a mountain range 1 km behind them and that's the border of South Africa. you can see for miles and miles b/c its so flat.

water is an issue there, sometimes people have to walk for several km to get water. unless there is rain water. they have pumps for water, but you never know when they work and when they will break. they make their roofs slanted and they go into a gutter that leads into a tank to hold the water. sus and chris will use a filter.

to bathe, she has a 2.5ft across basin that she gets into and heats water up and pour it on yourself, but she sayd you never really get THAT clean. she will have a sink for their gray water and use it to water their garden when they get one. she says most people bathe 2x/day. and the place she is now, the people are really clean, and they even iron their clothes.

how do they iron you ask??? that have irons that you can put coals into, but her family has an electric iron. she says her new family will probably not iron clothes.

the can keep food for a couple days (since to fridge) in tupperware (yes they have tupperware). sus and chris bought metal-ware. and she says they try to just make enough food to eat, and try not to have to save it. but since it's cold where they are now, it's not a problem, but when they go to the new place, they can probably leave it on the floor on the cement that will stay colder or in water.

they do drink coffee there, but the locals drink nescafe instant coffee, and sus introduced fresh coffee to her mom, and she liked it.

she needs:
dresses that are to her knees or lower that are sleeveless/tanktop
theyre good on food :)

more updates soon!!!

1 comment:

Leslie said...

wow. i REALLY enjoy hearing about their adventures!!!