Saturday, October 10, 2009
I went to church this morning—didn’t understand a word of the two hour mass. I caught “deus” every now and then but that’s it. Surprisingly I was the only Trainee in church this morning so of course everyone stared at the non-black stranger (the priest and two nuns were white though which surprised me). Afterwards my host mom taught me how to wash my clothes—I must be the only 23 year old she has ever met who doesn’t know how to wash her clothes. She kept telling me to do it with more force. She gave me clothespins to let me hang my clothes up by myself, but then as I was hanging my first shirt she giggled, said “no, no” and came over and corrected me. She is great, she is very helpful and approachable, but also lets me do things myself once she has taught me how. The ground here is red, redder than the clay/soil in Virginia. It covers everything, clothes, cars, shoes especially, with a reddish-orange tinge. On the way to church I some threes covered in the most beautiful blue-purple flowers, the color is so vibrant it seems to glow. I asked my host mom’s niece about them but either she didn’t know the name of the tree or didn’t understand what I was trying to say. In the afternoon we visited my host mom’s sister who is Ana’s host mom. It was such a relief to speak English and to compare host family stories. She lives literally on the border (within yards of the barbed wire fence) of Swaziland. My host mom is going to Swaziland next week and asked if I wanted to go also but we are not allowed to leave until we are sworn in. The more people I meet, the more I realize how clearly my host mom speaks and I am so grateful!