Sunday, November 30, 2008

the silliness, the randomness, and the pecularities of it all

having almost reached my three-month mark in south africa, i've been noticing interesting things and assimilating/developing new habits and mannerisms into my lifestyle.

- i love the names of some people here: Confidence, Pretty, Precious, Sunnyboy, Forgiven, Given, Mine, Enough.

- just as we have american slang and habitual speech that are idiomatic of the states, afrikaaner english is distinct. many north americans, including me, find it peculiar and amusing :p

  • "just now" = anytime in the near or distant future
    e.g. "we're going to the store just now" may mean 2-3 hours later... or tomorrow.
  • "now now" = now
    e.g. "we're going to the store now now" means Now.
  • "how is it?" = hey! or what's up? (a rhetorical question)
    i.e. "how is it?" elicits no response.
  • "is it?" = really?
    e.g. "there's a monkey in my bathroom." "is it?"
  • "hectic" = intense
    e.g. "that wasabi is hectic."
  • "what what what" = etcetera
    e.g. "as he goes out to meet people, fill out forms,and what what what..."

- except for the occasional phone conversations i have with my parents and the random words i spontaneously blurt out to myself, i haven't spoken korean since i've arrived. but i feel my spoken and perhaps written english are getting worse. it may be the afrikaaner english throwing me off or the portuguese i'm currently learning, but english grammar and phrase structure that seemed almost innate to me are not so obvious anymore. gerunds, past participles, contractions, appositives, comma splices -- should've payed more attention in class.

- i've developed an addiction for... chocolate milk! not coffee, not tea, not hot chocolate; chocolate milk. 3.5 teaspoons of nesquick chocolate powder + mug of cold 2% fat milk = perfect.

- i'm learning how to cut my own hair. trimming bangs = no problem.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

shell shock

i entered a meeting with george and carly yesterday believing it to be simply a "catch-up/how-are-you-doing" meeting. but as george spoke his first words, it occurred to me that things were going to change again.

"i'm just going to lay it on the table."

'lay What on the table??'

and sure enough!

i'm still going to mozambique.


without jessie.

i'll also be leaving sooner than expected!

there's a german family here that is planning to visit mozambique for about a month; they are leaving early december. i'll be leaving for mozambique with them, and so it looks like i only have 2.5 - 3 weeks left in south africa!! o_o

as for jessie..

it's been a process for her. she'll be staying in south africa, but there is a possibility for her to join me in mozambique next year.

and so it's a bit sad and scary at the same time. after the meeting, jessie and i were saying, "it's funny when you're with someone else to share all the cultural embarrassing situations with you, but it's scary when you're alone." of course, i'll be staying in a type of commune where there's plenty of people to meet and interact with, but i guess it's just not the same.

i'll be living with the current moz footprinters -- laura and dara -- until mid-ish january. this will be a kind of testing period on how well i manage and adjust. if i'm completely fine, i can stay in mozambique until july. if things are too overwhelming, i have the choice to return to south africa. if i do decide to stay, there'll be a period of 4-6 weeks living in the house by myself after dara and laura leave. then i'll be spending the next 4-6 weeks with the mozambique country rep (also a nurse) from south africa. we'll be going to the international conference together in march to see where i'm at and if everything's ok.

haa. so much to do now since time is running out!

the entire situation is a bit daunting,

but as much as i am scared,

i feel good about the decision :)

the right decision is never an easy one.

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
- Romans 4:20-21

Friday, November 14, 2008

children, children

don't know what to say, don't know what to do, don't know how to entertain them, don't know how to interact with them, don't know how to gently chide them, don't know how to keep them under control.

doesn't help that we don't speak the same language either.

haa, kind of stressful :p

but hey, how can you not love 'em?

threatening? dancing? :D

magnolia! the baby of babies :)

nap time at k2.

too cute.

the cutest.

children in transit.

princess and magnolia.

he has the saddest eyes.

magnolia and friend walking back home.

daycare center in bushbuckridge.

playing another game after my failed attempt to explain and initiate duck-duck goose :p

all the kids brought out their "animals" to show marj.

and this is what they did with their stuffed animals,

copying the mothers and gogos (grandmothers) here. too cute!

all eyes and smiles.

i love this :)

all photos, photo courtesy of steph and marj

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

relay with chariots

i went to sleep last night knowing that something will have changed back at home by the time i woke up.

and sure enough,

barack obama...!

one of the US volunteers here casted her vote via an absentee ballot. i could've voted also, but i was torn between the two candidates that i decided not to. i'm still a little torn by the result, not knowing what to think of it. i'm just glad this race is over!

the beginning of bible study this morning involved a brief discussion of our feelings/opinions on the result, our personal stances on certain issues. it's funny how south africans on this campus found out sooner than the americans here, but it goes to show that the entire world was following this presidential election. it seems everyone, not only americans, is expecting something to come out of this election and the newly elected president, especially at times like these: a new direction, a new plan, a new image for the nation that seems to impact so many others. "he has a lot of work to do. i wouldn't want to be in his shoes," someone said.

but really,

as much as we should care about the president's character, his policies on issues, and how these things will impact us and how we live,

all it really comes down to is,

God's will will be done

no matter whose hands the baton gets pass onto.

i am not a democrat or a republican;

i am a Christian.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
- Psalm 20:7

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
- Hebrews 12:28-29