Today was one of those days which reminded me why I actually joined Peace Corps. It gets tiring being in a struggling primary school all of the time, and it is all to easy to identify the flaws seen there with the culture at large. As of yesterday, I was seriously ready to wring someone’s neck over “cultural differences” which often amount to empty formalism, hypocrisy, or just plain nosiness.
So it was good that I had some work scheduled in a different location today. I talked with different people, including a friend in town whom I haven’t seen for a while. I practiced isiZulu, far more than I have been recently, and even started the first line in my isiZulu translation of the Iliad (start taking bets on whether I make it past line 3). I made some teachers laugh when I did a traditional dance to Juluka. I started to set up some programs which I want to begin next year. I walked through my amazingly beautiful mountain village with all of its hills, valleys, and summer verdure. I greeted everyone I saw. It basically felt like how a cross-cultural experience working in a village is supposed to feel like, at least in my mind – and I’ve had almost none of that for a while now. So a nice refresher, and a foretaste of what it might be like when I start a more stable schedule next year. (Though of course, round, aaand round, and round, and round we go.)
It’s enough that even hearing deafening hail pounding on my tin roof and falling on me (yes, I am inside) isn’t enough to depress me.