I just got back from my 8 hour bus ride from Qacha’s Nek! We got to stay with current volunteers to see how they live and what their site is like. Meg and I stayed with Kylie, a primary resource teacher. We left at 5:30 on Monday morning to take public transportation to her village. I knew that the transportation was not the most comfortable, but actually experiencing it is completely different.
We got on our Sprinter, which is a van that seats about 15 people. The Sprinter makes fewer stops because it holds less people, so it gets to its destination much more quickly. Other means of transportation hold more people and make more stops, so we really lucked out getting the van. When we got to it, some people were already on the van waiting to leave. The vans do not leave until they are full, so sometimes people have to wait for an hour or two for them to fill up. Ours filled up very quickly and then we left! Brett and I sat in the front row of seats, which is probably the worst spot. I had to stand up and let people through every time we stopped! After about 20 minutes, the van was full and people were standing. A few stops later, the van was very full. I already had a child on my knee, a woman’s purse on my lap, and my head was being supported by an older woman’s chest. Just when I didn’t think I could get more uncomfortable, we stopped and let several more people on! The driver drove sooo fast through the windy roads of the mountains, which made the ride even more uncomfortable. After about 5 hours, we stopped for a stretch in a small camp town. During our 15 minute break in the drive, an older woman asked me to switch her seats. She could tell by the look on my face that I wanted nothing to do with it, so she let me know that it was the passenger seat. I agreed and jumped in the front seat with my new van driver friend! Right after we pulled out of the camp town, an old man asked me to hand him the dark bag that was next to me. He didn’t speak any English, so it took me a while to figure out that he wanted the cooked pig foot that was sitting next to me!!! He also thought it would be fun to eat it with his hands right behind me! When he was finished, he started talking to me in Sesotho. I didn’t know what he was saying, but I did understand when everyone in the front of the bus started laughing! Apparently, he wanted to take me to get circumcised! Awkward!
Once we got to Kylie’s community, we ate lunch and checked out the camp town, which is the capital of the district. Later we made our way to her village and hiked up a small cliff/mountain to her rondoval. It was really cool to stay in her place. I took tons of pictures and am going to try to put them up soon! Yesterday we visited her school, so she asked us if we wanted to bathe in her bucket. I figured I would have to do it eventually, so said OK! Kylie doesn’t have electricity, so I found myself standing in the dark with an empty bucket and a bucket with a gallon of warm water. A few minutes later I had soap in my eyes and mouth and jumped when her cat jumped through the window. I can only imagine how much I talked to myself through that process.
Well I think I’ve blogged long enough. Once I get some pictures up, my blog will be more interesting! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! We will be spending it at the Ambassador’s house.
Later that day, we visited one of the three schools that Kylie works in. Her job is to work with the teachers to improve their lessons and act as a resource as much as possible. The kids were great and were so excited to see us. I can’t wait to post pictures of her site and what the landscape looks like. Kylie’s house is surrounded by huge mountains that are so close to the clouds. The view is really incredible. I took a few steps outside once it got dark and couldn’t stop staring at the stars. I have never seen so many stars! I also saw a shooting star!!