12 July 2009

Back in RSA

I've been home for about 24 hours, and it really has been a bizarre reverse culture shock.

I arrived home to an empty house and felt quite awkward switching on the lights, boiling water in the cordless kettle, and using a toilet that flushes. Most distressing of all for me, being able to turn a tap and not only have water, but drinkable water!

The television was an issue I had to resolve with some prayer. I didn't simply want to veg out as soon as returning home, but based on the circumstances (my illness and exhausted physical state) I felt it was forgiveable.

The loneliness factor was quite obvious to me. Having spent pretty much every waking (and sleeping) moment with the team, it was quite an adjustment to come back to an empty home.

One other thing I've picked up - Zulu people, in general, are insanely aggressive when compared to their Moçambiquan counterparts, whom in contrast are very humble, reserved, and QUIET. Zulu people generally tend to be loud and determined, whereas the Picoco people are simple and community-focused, always helpful and allowing us to go in front of them in a queue etc.

All-in-all, living off pap and mealie meals for a week, having to pump water for washing, having bucket-baths around an old and used long-drop out in the cold midnight air, waiting for a gas kettle to boil drinkable water in the mornings, being grateful for a full moon to shine some light in the evenings, and long-dropping all seem to have helped me yet-again realise how fortunate we are on this side of the border. I'm not going to cut off my hot-water supply any time soon, and I'm sure in about a month I'm going to be mostly back to normal, but one thing I am going to change is I'm going to grow my own vegetables!

The experience always changes you; one week with the poorest of the poor, you can't help but be changed. Right now I'm struggling to accept the "entitlement attitude" so many jerks have in this country; they need only sniff what's going on over the border and then they'll change their tune!

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