Thursday, October 9, 2008

And now for something completely different...

I wish I could somehow capture the sounds of my village at dusk, but I don’t think that any recording device could really do it justice. Tonight, I heard the serenades of two amorous birds, chirps and whistles and delicate little trills. Well, it was more like one bird serenading the other bird, who seemed to be playing hard-to-get. Then, the cows. Oh the cows. They seem to have an opinion about everything. “This kraal is too small. I’m not finished eating yet. No, YOU hurry up. What do you think about the possible split in the ANC? Is that a kick in the pants, or what?” Then, if you look up, you’ll see the bats fluttering around. For some reason, you have to see the bats in order to hear their high-pitched whistles. I don’t know why, but you do. Then, kids off in the distance. Someone’s whistling. Loud gossip in the next yard. The sub-sonic boom of the bass of some song in some shabeen.

Back home, the most common sounds are traffic, lawnmowers, and, if you’re lucky enough to live where I live, bird song. Oh, yes, and the dogs. I think dogs barking late at night is universal. But so much of life is lived indoors. Behind the wheel. Not herding cows or whistling at your donkeys to drive the cart a little faster. I am lucky to live in a place where the sound of a car is a big deal. Not that I haven’t thought about getting a car and camouflaging it as something common here. Like a group of giggling girls. But still. With every loss, there is a gain, and without a car, I can slow down to appreciate what I have.

I’m sorry I’ve been so lax in the blogging department. I don’t know who I’m apologizing to, but I’m sure I have a secret fan base who is sorely disappointed that I haven’t been sharing my life on-line with them, so, to you, I apologize. It’s not that I haven’t had something to write about. Too much, actually. It’s a little overwhelming now, to be honest. In fact, I started writing up my latest adventures over a month and a half ago, and the story got too long and I got too busy and my internet connection was too frustrating, so nothing. (I think that my frustrating internet connection is my most consistent them here. Maybe I need to rename this blog to “Difficulties with Technology. Oh, and I Live in South Africa.”) But, my procrastination is about to stop! At least for now. I have decided to give a little continuity to my life here and blog about the trials and triumphs of making improvements in our vegetable garden. It’s one of the most positive and inspiring things about my time here so far, and I don’t have to pull any weeds! Unless I want to, of course. So, this puppy will be spread out in installments so that I don’t have to write so much at any one time. Maybe that will keep me going! So, stay tuned. The best is yet to come (man, am I a cheesy self-promoter! This is what South Africa has done to me.)