Heritage Day

My school loves to host celebrations for all South African holidays. Now that I’ve been here a whole year, I can say my favorite is Heritage Day by far. Heritage Day celebrates all the different cultures and traditions within South Africa. For our celebration, people from the village share all sorts of traditional artifacts, food, clothes, and dances.

Heritage Day last year. I had only been sworn in as a volunteer for a week!

This year, with teachers, the principal, and staff

Rugs made out of goat skin, little houses made out of straw, and animals made out of wood

I was able to try “motlhopi,” which is delicious traditional coffee. I also tried cooked watermelon seeds; I know that sounds unappetizing with zero nutritional benefits, but they were actually addicting. After the program, the guests were served goat and sheep hooves, intestines, and head.  There was none left over for me, but I insisted that was perfectly fine.

The coffee before it’s cooked.

The pots used for cooking for a large amount of guests.

Elders from the community talked about the history of the school as well the village, and luckily my host mother was there so she gave me the English version afterward. There was a traditional healer (“sangoma”) who talked about his tools and tricks, while others talked traditional beliefs concerning marriages and certain foods. (For example, eating certain parts of a cow can affect the growth and attitudes of your future children.) I also presented on American culture, and got to talk about baseball, our obsession with privacy, and our obsession with timeliness.

Speaking of baseball, my mom sent me a fantastic package with this little gem:

Thanks Mom! Mets World Series Champs ’13

School for this term is finishing up, so I’ll be headed to Pretoria for a mid-service training (AND DENTIST APPOINTMENT!!) After that training, it’s LSAT time, and I’ll be a free woman again.  Since our fundraising money was stolen during the break-in, I couldn’t start the World Map this term. I’m pretty disappointed about it, so it’ll be a priority when school starts up again, along with the school garden.

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