The Adventures of Raquel

Monday, August 14, 2006

Things I should look forward too...

Ok, so now I have had a slight change of plan and am having to come home for a couple of weeks I have decided to make myself feel better by thinking of all the things that I can look forward to which I haven't had for the last 7 and 1/2 months.....

1.Seeing friends and family
2.Eating good cheese/food
3.Not living out of a rucksack
4.Not sleeping on a flea infested bed and having a duvet AND pillow
5.Watching MTV and catching up on all the music that I have missed
6.Playing my Oboe (sad I know!)
7.Having hot showers every day!!!
8. Getting my hair cut....

Ok, so now I have run out...... I suppose it did help a bit. But at the end of the day I'M NOT READY TO COME HOME YET!!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Rain, Rats and Ranting

Ok, anyone who has been in earshot of me recently (which to be honest isn't that many of you!) will be extrememly bored of me complaining about the lack of rain recently - over two months to be exact! The drought has seen our water tank run dry and the trek to the river begin, as well as the consuming of some very dodgy looking water. However, I never wanted to be completely drowned which is what happened this morning when I got off the taxi in Umtata. Granted, it didn't take much given that I was only wearing a vest and pair of crop trousers (from which the dye has now run and turned my legs a beautiful shade of blue) and flip flops!

As great as it is that my water tank will now be filling up nicely such an extremem weather change is going to have other consequences. Firstly no doubt there will be a mosquito infestaion tonight along with termites and no doubt the rat population which is currently living in my house will expand.....

Speaking of rats, does anyone know how to get rid of them?? They are driving Noxy and I completely insane. They have now, somehow, managed to figure out how to get into our food bag, somehow undoing the zip, and then munching through our fruit and veg! We have tried traps and poison but they still wake us up every night, suggestions on a postcard please........

Anyway, on a more serious note, I can't believe that my time in the community is nearly over, just over a week and a half to go1 We have one more big event this Saturday for Women's Day which is going to be awesome. We have the local Radio staion and people from other NGOs and the Nelson mandela museum coming, along with some awesome performers. We have managed to bag ourselves the cricket stadium for free so are expetcing around 500 young people.....

We will be taking lots of young women from our community and on a personal level this event is probably the most important to me as a woman who has been submerged in Xhosa culture for the past 8 months. There are many aspects of Xhosa life which I love but the treatment of women is the one which winds me up the most.....and several of the male YAG members have been at the wrong end of my wrath at times concerning this issue. I do not appreciate being ordered around, even if it is just a carrot. I have made it my personal mission to teach Siphilele, one of the guys, how to peel his own carrot by the time I leave.

Anyways, before I launch into a rant my time is almost up and I am heading back out into the tropical storm. I hope all is well and any suggestions for rats would be much appreciated!

Monday, July 10, 2006

For some reason (I blame the Mthatha computer) my last blog was posted twice so unfortunately you get twice as much of my inane african ramblings....sorry for you!!

Reality not that bad afterall....

Ok, so maybe the last post was a tad self-indulgent but I was feeling pretty depressed at the time...I hope you can forgive me. Anyway, the trip back to the ranch was not as bad as anticipated despite getting home to find that my house had been broken into. Luckily it looks like nothing was stolen, or at least nothing of notable importance! I think it was probably just some kids who were messing around trying to see if we were back yet and got a bit too excited and they pulled the lock off the door. Anyway, nothing too much to worry about.

Noxy still isn't back so I have had a few days to myself to settle back into community life. It has generally just involved chilling out with the YAG and catching up on all the gossip. I have also spent some time with Mr Rafuza, the gentleman in my community who was on Robben Island showing him my pictures of my visit. He is truly amazing and it made my visit so much more meaningful having spoken to him about his experiences beforehand.

I also discovered that our YRC was also broken into and all the condoms taken (which can't be a bad thing really) but also that all the paint I had managed to fundraise had gone. I didn't have to look far for the culprits seen as the flat next door had suddenly had all its doors and windows repainted a beautiful gloss red and 'knock before entering' written above the door! Very tactful boys....!!

Saturday night was the bi-weekly gospel concert which goes from 6pm till 6am in the nearby church. Hugh came over and we went and made fools of ourselves trying to boogie african style. Unfortunately, despite all the pap I have been eating my butt still pales in comparison to the rest of them and I just look like an animal in pain when I try and copy them!

The next five weeks are going to be pretty hectic as it is the final push. However, despite all my complaints, seeing all the young people again reminds me how attached I have grown to them and seeing their faces when I returned made me realise how hard it is going to be to leave. It is very odd to think that this time in 6 weeks I will be on my way to Mozambique.....

Anyway, I have to go to a meeting about a huge event we are planning in August, hopefully I will be able to blog again soon and I will try and get some pictures from Youth Day/holiday!

All of you who went on the Brass Tour I hope you had a reat time and for everyone who wis graduating this week I hope that you don't fall over and enjoy every minute - you all have to email me with what you are planning on doing next!

So bonana,