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Not Sure How To Feel About It

sunny 80 °F

WIFI IS BACK ON!!!! It came on right before dinner.

So my alarm went off this morning and every being in my body wanted to go back to bed. I didn't, though, because I was supposed to meet three other people to run. The sun began to rise, though, and no one had shown up, so I went off on my own. I ended up seeing one of them along the way. I'm glad I got out running, but I think I'm going to take the day off tomorrow and sleep in.

Running has been nice on this trip because it has kept me relaxed. We sit a lot and I would be so antsy if I didn't exercise. After running, I took my laundry in for the first time. It was washed, folded, and ready by 1PM. For morning project, I was on wound care. I thought it was going to be very gruesome, like an episode of Grey's Anatomy, but it was much more doable than I had expected. This project really made me question volunteering abroad though. There were four of us students with a caregiver. It felt like we were extra, in the way. It was also weird because they had so few supplies. Like latex gloves, for example. I really didn't feel comfortable working around the bloody/open wounds without using gloves. This made me question the work we were doing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized what bothered me about this experience in general. We spent an entire semester before leaving for the Africa learning about responsible volunteering, and it feels like we are breaking all of those rules. We never communicate with the locals. Of course, this is hard because of the language barrier, but we never listen to what the people actually want. For example, when we were giving a lesson on healthy eating at the clinic the other day, a woman said, "next time you come, bring healthy food for us". They don't want to be lectured about how to eat healthy; they want access to healthy foods. Obviously, the biggest problems require changes at a government level, but I feel like we would be doing more good if we built community gardens and taught yoga classes. Show them how to live healthy lives rather than just reading facts about it. Rant on that over.

New rant. The food situation. I feel like an animal because I'm always worried if there is going to be enough food. All of us feel that way, especially now that a new family just came to the Lodge. Also, there is never meat in the meals!!!! It's driving me crazy! I can't live off of meals of potatoes and rice! It's okay. Things are pretty good here. Before dinner, we took a walk to the beach and just sat there soaking in the last rays of daylight. That always makes for a good end to the day. We are currently watching Moana and I found some pretty good microwave popcorn to eat while I listen to the movie and play Sudoku. Feeling content, and having wifi definitely helps!

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Posted by kfkeane 11:50 Archived in South Africa Tagged sunset beach friends sun run hot relax experience volunteer movie exercise early Comments (6)

A Mix of Work and Fun

semi-overcast 66 °F

So it has been a busy last couple of days. On Friday, I spent some time at a preschool teaching shapes and the alphabet and playing games and singing songs with the local children. In the afternoon, I helped lead an information session on HIV/AIDS at the local clinic to the village caregivers. I learned SO much about it. Like I didn’t know that you can live with HIV if you get treatment but once it progresses to AIDS, which is the 3rd stage of the disease, it is completely fatal.

Saturday started off as a really great day. I FINALLY SLEPT IN!!!!! Went for a run and met the rest of my cohort at the beach. A couple waves demolished me, but still had the time of my life! The beach is my happy place here. Went for a nice, long walk along the beach and saw a family slaughtering chickens on the shore. Supposedly it’s cleaner, so that’s why they do it. We then walked back to the lodge, about 30 minutes, and I was able to FaceTime audio my parents!! Hearing their voices made me start to tear up; it has been so long. I was so happy! I rode that mood to Zulu Cultural Night…where it quickly faded. It started to rain as soon as we arrived. The beginning of the night was kind of interesting because we got to learn about the traditional Zulu culture; we wore some of the traditional dress, partook in dancing, and at dinner, but it felt like they were selling their culture, which was a bit of a turnoff. The activities ended at 7:30 but we were there until 9AM the next morning. We sat around a bonfire and played Mafia and most of us didn’t sleep at all. It was a bit uncomfortable because we were in a really unsafe area. I could hear EDM music all night, animals howling and cooing, and then when I was lying in bed, one of the male employees walked into our hut on accident (yes, we stayed in the traditional huts), and it was very awkward. None of us felt comfortable the entire night and barely slept. I did make me grateful for the lodge though :D

Today was pretty good as well. Took a relaxing morning. Ran and saw some monkeys having sex and a snake. Tried to do laundry but the not so “7 days/week” laundromat was closed…guess I’ll do it tomorrow? Made avocado toast and eggs for lunch then got to not only talk to my parents but see them as well today because I found strong enough wifi to FaceTime. Tried to see the sunset at the jetty but just missed it. Whatever. I have many more days to make it happen. I’m so sad that I have to wake up early again tomorrow, but then it’ll make me more grateful for sleeping in on the weekends. Hopefully everyone back home is doing well. I think of you all often. XOXO

Posted by kfkeane 11:48 Archived in South Africa Tagged monkeys sunset traditional hut south_africa zulu eggs preschool early avocado Comments (3)

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