Even the Stars are Different

Coming to South Africa, I knew everything would be different, a whole new world if you will. And while, yes, I can find a McDonalds or the Seattle Coffee Company (still no Starbucks though), life here is a completely different ballgame. Here are some examples.
I have discovered that living without running water is easier than living with it-at least, a latrine cannot break or run out of water, like a real toilet can.
I am likely to hear at least two or three languages in the course of the day-and often more than that.
I eat a ton of bread. It’s a cultural thing.
Lekgoa has become a nickname for me, and almost all PCTs. It means “white person”.
I do fancy handshakes with random strangers. When you see me again, ask me to demonstrate.
It’s fun to see the surprise and happiness when you speak to someone in something other than English or Afrikaans.
I eat oatmeal. And canned fish.
I am extremely grateful for electricity, and don’t mind when it goes out.
Pap is eaten with your hands-and I’m becoming good at doing that. Except tonight when we had pap with baked beans. Beans are really, really hard to eat with your hands.
I wake up early-with the chickens. I also go to bed around 8:30pm, every night.
I greet everyone I see, even strangers. It’s the right thing to do.
I have not left home after dark since I left the states.
The USA is not called the USA….it is America.
I often walk around or alongside goats, donkeys, chickens, or cows. Or am stalked.
I rarely watch tv, but I have read probably a dozen books since being here.
And the stars are different.
Oh yes, I am famous here. Everyone on the street wants to talk to me, and it’s not uncommon to have a literal crowd of kids following me. It’s awesome.
Random, but the Setswana word for donkey is “tonki.” Fun, huh?
These are just a few differences. To truly see how different my life is, check out the tab on my blog called “The Village Life”. It highlights what life in a South African village is like day by day. Come on, have YOU ever been offered a roadkill porcupine? I thought not.


About Jen Lamos

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Gardener. Keeper of Chickens. Daughter of God.

One thought on “Even the Stars are Different

  1. Hey Jen! I ran across your blog on Facebook, and I am already hooked! I think it’s awesome that you joined the Peace Corps. I heard from one of my colleagues this summer that it is a worthwhile experience; she was in the Philippines. Have fun, and keep up the good work! I’ll be following along!

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