Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey and Post-Turkey

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. I certainly did, but ever since then I've been suffering from a mild viral infection. Being sick in a village setting is draining, especially when I'm busy trying to wrap up my schoolwork and domestic chores in time for my vacation. So, if you've been trying to get in touch with me lately, thank you, I always enjoy hearing from you, but I've been a little too wiped out lately to formulate a coherent response.

Anyways... Thanksgiving!

Just like last year, I went into Kuruman to a guesthouse where the owner prepared a fabulous feast for about a dozen Americans (all volunteers). There were not one, not two, but three whole turkeys and we ate all of them over the course of the day. I baked four loaves of psimo spitiko (sp), and they were a hit. Other volunteers prepared banana bread and apple pies, everything was delicious. It was such a refreshing change from my regular village fare of rice and beans or bread and peanut butter. After the meal, and the Christmas crackers which contained both very self-explanatory crowns and completely inexplicable pink plastic bits, E brought out a surprise. It was a hand-drawn board game.

E is a fantastic artist, as well as my roommate during staging. Her board game was loosely based on Monopoly. Each player started out with R500 and had to make their way around the board without going bankrupt. Each place on the board was somehow related to Peace Corps and/or South Africa, and there were both PC acronym cards and Ga Ke Itse (I don't know) question cards as well. I took several pictures of the board. It was almost too beautiful to play on, especially considering the dirty rocks we were using as pieces. Anyway, I suffered a brutal loss after being sent back to PST and then spending a few too many nights clubbing in Pretoria. Other players suffered such fates as being trapped at taxi ranks, tied to other volunteers in a relationship and being stuck on indefinite medical leave in Pretoria. Such is life.

After Thanksgiving was, of course, Black Friday, which K and I duly celebrated with a trip to uber-cheap clothing retailer, Mr Price. Afterwards I made my way to a classier part of town to spend the rest of my weekend with some Afrikaaner friends. I went swimming, played chess, worked on my language skills, watched rugby and cricket and generally lazed about. The feasting continued with a braai Saturday night with several other families. (SA rubgy played England and won, finally.) As much as I love a good bacon roll washed down by cheesecake, all the rich food left me feeling less than well. That, combined with whatever virus I picked up, led to my spending most of Sunday sleeping off the previous few days.

I'm feeling a bit better, but still a little rough around the edges. I hope to spend as much time resting as possible between now and next week in order to be in tip-top shape for my upcoming vacation.

Oh, and one last thing that some of you may get a kick out of. It's been raining quite a bit lately, and the pit toilet in the backyard could not take it any more. It has caved in. So if you were thinking about how "Posh Corps" SA is based on my long weekends spent eating, shopping and swimming, let me say that right now, I would trade in everything for a decent hole in the ground.

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