A Travellerspoint blog

Till Death Do Us Part

sunny 85 °F

I am currently stuffed. We have a lot of heavy seeming meals, like meals with sauces and rice or pasta. I then continue to snack until it’s time for bed. It’s just a way to pass the time, especially since the wifi went out again. I’m resigned to the fact that it will never be a constant in my time here.

Today was my first day off of exercise since being here. I swear when I don’t exercise my body becomes lethargic and I feel like a zombie. Feeling this way makes me nervous that I’m getting iron deficient, though, because my meals here haven’t included a lot of meat. Luckily, tonight’s dinner was chicken-based!!! Yay! I think it was good to take the day off though, even though I barely slept in because my internal clock is set to wake up early now.

My first session today was support group. Only two women came today because there is a flu going around. It was a little slow at first because the women were speaking in Zulu for about an hour, but after that, the translator explained their conversation. They were talking about marriage in Zulu culture. Once the woman is married, she is no longer part of her birth family; she is part of her husband’s family. Also, marriage is permanent; divorce doesn’t occur. So, the woman knows going into the marriage that if the husband cheats or forces the woman to quit her job to stay home and take care of the house and children, then she has to be strong and put up with it. Although divorce doesn’t happen, separation is becoming more popular among younger generations. I asked how it made the women feel, being in a relationship where the man has all of the control, and the response was that it made them feel badly. The problem is that even though they may not be happy, they value and respect their culture, which says marriage is permanent. It was really interesting to learn about.

Later we went to the community garden to work. This garden is for people in the support group facilitated by African Impact. I was in leggings and a t-shirt to cover my shoulders, in order to be respectful of the Zulu culture, so it was quite hot out there. We used a garden fork to lift the grass, hoed rows, and planted new seedlings in the rows. Working in the garden was my favorite session so far. I love being in the fresh air and being able to move around and not be confined to a chair for 4 hours.

Pretty good day. I still think about home, though. I’m not terribly sad, but I miss it and look forward to coming home.

Posted by kfkeane 10:34 Archived in South Africa Tagged food culture garden weather meat sad volunteer zulu wifi support protein mental_health

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I liked your comments in an earlier blog posting about asking the community of where you can be of service. It sounds like there could be the potential for you to provide greater service to the community. Every little bit helps though. You are also learning a lot. Your understanding of their culture is a great thing as well. It will help you to understand the poverty, culture and risks of a third world country and be more understanding of the needs of others throughout the world.

by Kevin Keane

Glad you had a good day. The garden session sounded really nice, although a little hot. It's been 100 degrees the past couple days here, so I've been driving to work. I didn't realize the weather change happened the first day, so I walked to and from work and basically melted! I've been driving the past few days and the temperatures are slowly dropping lower - to the mid 80's. But I have made a personal commitment to myself to only walk to work when the temp. is below 90 all day! Then, I don't show up to work looking like a just finished a workout.

Anyways, every day is a little closer to when you come home! Enjoy and look forward to talking soon.

by Kaitlin

Kaitlin: WOW!!! 100 degrees?!!? That's insane! I hope it rains to get the heat down a bit. I'd drive too. At that point, you go outside and start sweating. I love your personal commitment :D That's actually very cool. Maybe we can talk tomorrow if you have time :)

by Kayla Keane

yeah - i have a meeting tomorrow morning but if you plan on staying up later or maybe sunday for you?

by kaitlin

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