I am in South Africa. It is Tuesday. It is midday and it is raining. Outside a medley of raindrops and running water are keeping time to the beat in my head. and me.. I’m sitting in my room in what has finally somewhat become home. September is just around the corner and with it beckons promises of heat and more sunshine than I can hold. I can’t believe I’ve been here two months. The weather here is as unpredictable as weather back home. A double feature of warm brilliant sunshine gives way to a week and a half of heavy relentless downpour. I talk about the weather because so often it is a reflection on my attitude. Except today. The rain brings with it thoughts of home, friends and family, calls for something familiar and substantial. It also brings newfound friendships and experiences, journeys to come and untold stories.
Two months ago I became the proud new tenant of a bedroom in a house half a world away from home. It took exactly four and half minutes for me to unpack my clothes, loose a pair of sandals and discover my favorite cup in the kitchen. Maggie and I (being the only two females) and living with nine boys have established through vigilante war tactics a somewhat functional environment. Granted these boys do bring more joy than grief but boys will be boys. Some concepts I’ve learned are difficult and nearly impossible for our male counterparts to understand:
-the seat in our bathroom must STAY down.
-a rinsed cup does not constitute a clean cup
-arctic is not room temperature
-items that are no longer recognizable in the fridge = garbage
-loud music is lovely EXCEPT at dawn.
-my ice cream, chocolate and nutella are ABSOLUTELY off limits.
-three am is NOT an acceptable time for pillow talk and/or trips down memory lane
On common sense:
Two months and I still think I have the right of way. No. No. No. cars WILL run you over. You move they don’t. A one rand coin is exactly the same as a two rand coin give or take a couple micrometers which is quite obvious to pretty much all south africans.The Indian ocean is not warmer than the Atlantic down here. Know your clicks! Each one is a different pronunciation. Children are the same everywhere-curious and loveable. 1300-2300 are numbers as well as times. If the sign says do not approach baboons, do not DO NOT approach the baboon. It is not Rafiki reincarnate. Wild animals are not your friends.
FOUND: poisonous, exotic spider in back yard
FOUND: what an 8am class looks like
FOUND: guitar playing abilities
FOUND: our somewhat stupid cat. believes he’s a lion, fights shadows. loses
FOUND: dysfunctional, entertaining neighbors to the right
FOUND: obnoxious “endangered” bird that “chirps” between 6am and 10am
FOUND: an addiction to south africa’s fruit juices
peace. love. grace.