Monday, May 3, 2010

a monday in may.

In many ways, I find it hard to believe that the first of May has come and gone.  Here in the Southern Hemisphere, the green is draining out of the trees and grasses and the flowering trees have long since shed their blooms.  But the weather continues to surprise us Northern Hemisphere natives, and with trips to the beach in what should be the onset of winter, I can't complain about the weather.

I find it really hard to keep up with this blog thing, which is hard to admit because I really enjoyed blogging previous to my arrival in South Africa, when my life was much more average and the most exciting things in my day were discoveries on the internet.  But the pace of my life as a volunteer has been very different than I'd expected coming into this year.

I have to take things one day at a time, because trying to think ahead, especially when I'm feeling stressed out or homesick and lonely makes the next seven months seem very long indeed.  Making lesson plans from one week to the next is about the furthest thing I can do in advance, and even that is a real effort most of the time.  With long workdays, language barriers (which are being broken down little by little, but still), and four hundred learners in the classroom a week, I'm exhausted when I get home at the end of a day, and by the time Friday rolls around, having a drink with my roommates and our South African friends is a real treat.  After laundry, a trip to the farmers' market, maybe some time at the beach or out in Durban on a Saturday night, and mass together with my community, all of a sudden Sunday night has come and gone and Monday rears its ugly head once again.

But I can't complain.  Though the days are long, weeks are flying by and I sometimes feel like time is passing too quickly.  Although I miss home very much, I'm very distracted most of the time which helps keep my mind off the many miles in between me and the people I love.  But I'm managing fine, and finding that I have very little trouble operating normally in a culture and society very different from that of the northeastern United States.  I had suspected in the past that I was adaptable, but I think being in South Africa has made me realize how grateful I am for the spectrum of experiences I've had thus far in foreign places, and how they've shaped me into a receptive, interested person.

In other, petty news...

1.  Our house is home to a mouse or two, one of whom I have named Wilbur.  He likes to scratch in the room where Becca and I sleep at night, just to let us know he's still around.  I wish he would eat the poison we left out for him but he doesn't seem to like it.
2.  We got two flat tires in one week in our big car, thus continuing to prove my theory that I have the world's worst luck with car tires.
3.  Though I've been much better at trying while here in South Africa, I still cannot dance, which my students love to point out every time we bring an iPod into class.
4.  South African avocados are huge, mutant things (photo to come), but have gotten me horrifically addicted to homemade guacamole.
5.  As my finances look quite shabby upon my return to the US come December, I have decided to bring the almighty bunny chow stateside.  Look for "Sinead's Bunny Chow Shack" franchises opening near you in 2011.

I feel quite guilty that my lovely family paid me an extended visit over the Easter holiday, and I have yet to prove that they were ever here... so as soon as I can, I'll get some photos up here and try to recap our whirlwind ten days together.
But I think I'm afraid to start looking through the pictures as it will just make me miss home (and Mum's cooking) all the more!

And thus ends the most scattered blog post ever.  Apologies.


  1. Me and Cara also have a mouse! His name is Derek though..

  2. Well we have fat Lily and timid frightened Nala, so no mice. Thanks for the cooking shout out, but the new rhubarb tart recipe will be around next spring too. I miss having you in the kitchen wanting to brave new recipes.........the memory of it keeps me warm and the prospect of it again keeps me smiling. By the way, any blog post from you is a good one-so like Nike..........Just Do It! Muah xxx

  3. - a kitty to brighten your day (especially his name... so philly)

    7 months seems like a long time, but can you believe it's already may?? you'll be enjoying (kinda) winter in PA before you know it. maybe you can bring some of that nice weather back with you.

    niamh's pictures were so amazing - i can't wait to see more!!


  4. Those big avocados...........forgot all about them and how, I too fell in love with them so much in SA.....sliced avocado on brown bread with pepper......Yummmmmmmmm......Love reading all about your adventures Sinead.......: )) Hope to see you in June....will be in touch.....Ruth xoox