I call this progress!

It was another scorcher today at the crèches, definitely reaching into the 40’s (it was 38 degrees at 10am!). At the first crèche, today’s tasks were to get part of the floor in the soup kitchen down. This consisted of a giant concrete slab. We had to go off site to pick up all the materials, sand, stones, cement and water by filling up trailers and tanks full. A lot of heavy shovelling! Once back if was time to mix mix mix and wheelbarrow wheelbarrow wheelbarrow! The slab is coming along nicely as well as the strong efforts of the brick makers who troop on with the backbreaking work. I think we could build a whole new crèche with all these bricks!

The the other groups were continuing the work at the second crèche. The toilet block is almost done and the inner ring is being dug for the race track and tyres are being put in. Again I can’t stress at home how hot it is out here and my continued respect for all of the volunteers hard work.

We left a little early today as we had an awesome activity to participate in. We were heading to a Zulu cultural village. Here, it is a mock village set up where you can see tradition Zulu huts, communal areas and learn some of their traditions. This included grass mat weaving which could take weeks or months to make, traditional weapons, language, and so much more. Upon arrival to the village we had to ask permission to enter in Zulu and were taken in to the boma (an area they would normally keep buffalo) and hear from some warriors. Now in Zulu culture the men are very much in charge, they must enter rooms first, eat first, they can have multiple wifes and much more…the girls in the group were not so impressed haha

Some of the single ladies in the group got the opportunity to dress up in traditional clothes/beads, and that if worn properly were very revealing! So we kept our clothes on underneath haha. Then it was onto learning about traditional beer, which we all got to try but I don’t think anyone loved…and the “married ladies” got to dress up in their traditional clothes which were much more covering and heavyIt was great fun to watch and learn about such a vastly different culture.

Next up was watching the Zulu men dance, sing and fight. Our boys got involved in the mix and had mock fights with the Zulu men. We still haven’t concluded if they won or lost. We also watched their traditional dances in which they kick their feet high above their heads and so fast! This act is almost impossible to capture on camera but I did my best. What I did capture however was the volunteers attempts at Zulu dancing. A great display of skills or at least confidence 🙂

Finally we had the option to visit a traditional sangorma (a traditional medicine woman). Here we learnt about some of the traditional medicines and also if you chose you could have your future told. Some interesting predictions for sure!

It was back to town where we relaxed, had dinner and were schedule to take a night drive at 8pm. At approximately 7:55 it started to absolutely pour down with rain! We umm’ed and ahh’ed and eventually decided that it’s only a little water, so let’s go out and find some hippos!! When I say a little water I really meant buckets coming from the sky! But I also had a tip off that some hippos where very close by. We rushed that way and what do you know…two hippos just casually wandering down the street! We followed them for a while amazed at being so close and seeing them out of the water. They are huge!
After that we were all drenched so figured we may as well keep going. As we continued to the estuary we saw many crocodiles just sitting ominously on the edge of the water line and a few possible bush babies (like possums but with huge eyes). Back to the accommodation to dry off and chill before bed because as always, tomorrow’s another day 🙂

Until tomorrow
~ Jess

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