I haven’t been able to start anything serious because everyone is preoccupied with the end-of-year exams, but it’s overdue that I write about my impressions here.
I don’t like to admit it, but Zululand is better than Venda in a lot of ways. There are a classier sort of people here. I went to an event at someone’s house, and instead of everyone asking me for money because I’m white, they asked me for jobs because I’m white.
More importantly, the food is amazing compared to what I’m used to. Something I immediately found odd is that they don’t absolutely need pap at every meal like people in Limpopo do. They do cook pap, but they make it with less water, so it has the texture of couscous. What makes it so good is that they’ve learned to incorporate Indian spices into their traditional Zulu foods. It really makes Limpopo food seem like a weak showing by comparison.
The people I work with here actually want to do their job, which isn’t to say that everyone at my old site was lazy, but there work ethic here is much stronger overall. They also understand technology better. I met the mathematics subject advisor here, which is saying something in and of itself, because in Limpopo the subject advisors just stay home when they’re supposed to visit schools and claim mileage for it anyway. The local mathematics teachers have a chat group on Whatsapp on their phones, and the subject advisor will send notices starting with something classy like “colleagues, please be advised…”
I’m coming home in a few weeks, but next year I’m going back to finish the job here, provided the government doesn’t shut down again. The place I am now is kind of a halfway step back to the society I’m used to.