Life here continues to flourish, and I suspect before I know it days will begin to fly by. It feels like the last two weeks I have been pulling a giant wagon up a hill, and now I get to sit in it knowing that in any moment, someone is going to push me and I will begin, at rapid speed, the decent that is the rest of this trip. When this happens I imagine that I will have to do the only thing I know how, hold on tight and try to do everything in my power to retain all the images and experiences that will be flying by.
(commercial break: a monkey just ran in, took my professors banana off the stage, ran back out, and closed the door behind him…and it surprised no one! A fun fact about South African culture, when it rains here, but is still sunny out, its called a monkeys wedding. Its kind of like a local slang term)
In addition to lots of fascinating South African cultural things, I’m also learning quite a bit about other cultures all over the world in my Intercultural communication class. Like in Japan, they view their relationships with their parents in higher regard than that of their spouse. And in Australia, when there is really bad traffic, sometimes they sit on the side of the highway in lawn chairs in drink beer. Can you say awesome?? I also have been learning about culture shock, and re-entry shock. I asked my teacher what would happen if, with in a few weeks of re-entry, one was to leave again to another dramatically different culture for long period of time. He looked at me and said, well, good luck with that one. You may be messed up forever…While I suspect he was teasing, a part of me thinks he wasn’t, and now I may be a tad worried about my summer plans.
There is a saying around her: T-I-A. It stand for this is Africa, and the people here basically use is as an excuse for anything and everything. Oh no, my car broke down and now I’m late, oh well, this is Africa. Oh no, I’m going to miss my bus and not be able to make it to work, oh well, this is Africa. I am growing to love this little phrase, and am tempted to see to what extent I can abuse it. For instance: oh no, I fell asleep and couldn’t write my paper, oh well, this is Africa. Part of me things it’s a great idea, part of me things it’s a terrible idea. Either way, it’s a perfect excuse for lateness.
I have a bunch of fun animal pictures to post later from my last bio field trip, but I am heading out the door for a field trip, so it will simply just have to wait. Oh well, this is Africa!
February 5, 2010 at 11:39 am