“WTF is that?!” and other adventures during week 5

As you may have noticed from the picture, there was a spider in my room tonight. It was neither itsy nor bitsy. If you have ever met me, you probably know how much I despise/hate/LOATHE spiders with every fiber of my being. I am


of spiders (with the exception of Grandaddy Longlegs, which I still really strongly dislike). Naturally, I freaked out. A lot. “Khomotso!!!! (My sister) I have a problem. A very big problem!!! There is a HUGE spider in my room!!!” She laughed a lot, grabbed the can of Doom (insect killer) and went into my room. I told her that it was hiding behind my curtain, but I wasn’t brave enough to even touch the curtain. She pulled the curtain back and started spraying, at which point the spider effing jumped onto the floor and scurried under my dresser. My family thought the entire spectacle was hilarious, but I ran out of the room shrieking. The monster was effectively killed and my host dad picked it up and carried it outside like its terrifying carcass was nothing, repeatedly telling me “please be ok! Please be ok!” (His way of telling me to calm down) I wanted to scream “Nothing is ok!!!! What if the giant beast laid its disgusting eggs in my room and there are millions of tiny demons just waiting to bite me in my sleep?!!!!” Instead, I said “It’s dead now. I guess I am ok” and refused to go back in my room for 30 minutes.

In other news….

Week 5 (August 5 – 11):
On Monday, we learned about negative present tense and negative future tense in Sepedi, then walked to our village hub (a church in Magongoa Zone 2- I live in Magongoa Zone 3) and had a session on lesson planning with a current PCV. After lunch, we learned about student centered learning then had some time to create our lesson plans for our school visit the next day.

On Tuesday, our language group traveled to a local primary school that we visited last week to teach a lesson on American culture. Alex and I team taught a lesson to a fifth grade and seventh grade class. Teaching the fifth graders was like pulling teeth, but teaching the seventh graders went really well and they seemed to love the hokey pokey. We went back to Magongoa and learned about the negative past tense in Sepedi, then had lunch before a session on learning styles and some time to practice lesson planning. Our sessions ended around 3:30, but a group of us traveled into Mokopane to the volunteer house to have our second placement interviews with the APCDs. Many people learned more about their permanent sites, but I am still sadly very in the dark.

On Wednesday, I woke up feeling TERRIBLE. My temperature was very low, I was dizzy, I had a sore throat, I had a headache, I was achy, and I was coughing. I went to language lesson anyway, where we learned about clothing vocabulary then spoke to community members in Sepedi. I decided to go home instead of attending the sessions on the history of HIV in South Africa, even though I really wanted to go to the session. My language teacher suggested that I call the PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officer), who decided that I needed to go to the doctor. I was driven to the doctor’s office in Mokopane, where I waited for about an hour and a half before being seen. It was similar to seeing a doctor in America, except that the exam table was in his office and there was a medicine dispensary, so I didn’t have to go to the pharmacy. One of the PC staff members picked me up and made a few stops on the way home.

On Thursday, I decided to go against the PCMO’s advice and go to session, mostly because it was payday but also because I knew I needed my final rabies vaccination. I stayed for the diversity real talk on gender then got my money, got my shot, and went home. I took a nice long nap then relaxed around the house with my host family. My cousin, Rati (who is 10), is staying with us for the weekend and she got here on Thursday night with my host dad. She, Khomotso, and I spent some time playing Uno.

On Friday (today), I woke up at like 6:30 (CRAZY, right?) and made myself apple cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast again. I studied Sepedi and read The Long Walk to Freedom before walking to a friend’s house then to our language midterm exam together. I’m not sure yet how it went. I could have done better, but I also could have done a lot lot worse. Afterwards, my family and I went into town and had KFC for lunch as a special treat for me to thank them for being so amazing and welcoming to me. We then stopped a few places around town and back at our house before they took me to see the platinum mine, the concrete mine, and Khomotso’s school. I was so so sad to see the mine. I said “they are hurting our home” when I saw the giant pit in the Earth. Then they took me to visit with family and everyone in that village was shocked to see a Lekgowa (white person) there and even more shocked when I greeted them in Sepedi. We came home after a while and my mom made me fat cakes, one of my favorite South African treats. They are fried balls of dough and tonight I finally got to try rolling them in cinnamon sugar, which was DELICIOUS.

Tomorrow we will have a guest speaker to talk about internalized oppression then we will have another diversity panel. On Sunday, I will go with my language teacher and another volunteer to church in Polokwane. We are going to Moria (google it. Seriously.) To see and learn about ZCC, a church that is HUGE here in South Africa. I will probably devote an entire post to that experience.

I would like to note that as I learn Sepedi, my English spelling and grammar are becoming terrible. I am a self professed grammar and spelling freak, so it really bothers me that my mastery of the English language seems to be on a steady decline.

It is 10:23PM here, which is way past my bedtime (I know how surprising that is to most of you), so good night for now!!

1 thought on ““WTF is that?!” and other adventures during week 5”

  1. I enjoy reading your blogs & think it’s great that you’re keeping us up to date on your adventures. I’m impressed that you’re doing so well with all of this & know how proud your mom is of you. I’d be terrified of the spider, too! Glad your sister rescued you! You take care of yourself and get well soon! We’re all praying for you! Hugs, Anne Ammons

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