Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Year Round-Up

It's been a year. And after looking over my blog, I have realized an unfortunate turn of events: the entries are longer and less funny (but still somehow less emo than my overall life). To counter that, I decided to do some Awards as an attempt to round up some random, anecdotal things about life here and what I have learned (usually the hard way) in the last year.

Ngwempisi Gorge Camping Trip

The 5 hour dance party. My favorite day in-country.

Can't go wrong at Kerry's table.

Lumka likes my headphones too.

Impala on the side of the road near Simunye.

Favorite thing about site: Not having electricity and being able to see the Milky Way every night, and all the shooting stars.

Favorite SiSwati Phrase: Unemanga (You're a liar). Even if I don't know what a bunch of guys are saying when I walk by, by saying "Unemanga" they will all laugh as if I caught them in whatever nonsense they were saying.

Favorite Take-Away Place: I am loyal to Melrose Nhlangano for a Coca-Cola and stew/pap but the rasta guy who sells chicken dust at Mahlanya is the best in the country.

Most Random Lie Told: Why, yes, I am Obama's daughter.

Worst Animal: The Goose. I am not a hateful person but everytime I see the 2 geese Babe wami and I bought for snake control last year, whom I now refer to as "Satane", I loathe them with every fiber of my being. Where snakes are vicious but non-agressive, geese are completely agressive all the time. The male one can be 50 yards away, see me, and rush me like Ray Lewis. Mind you, I feed these beasts, you'd think I'd  get some thanks and not just bites. (I heard there was a campaign to reduce Foie Gras availability due to it being inhumane, but I think it should be increased, if anything. I have already planted the idea to Babe that we braii the geese next year when I am leaving...)

Best Book Read: Fiction: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Nonfiction: Methland by Nick Reding

Most/Least Useful Thing Bought at Indali Shop: Wedding Rings and Firecrackers

Best Sign of Integration: My shining floors. Sweep, mop, polish, repeat.

Best Khumbi Name: I love "Jersey Queen" but "Please Try My Jesus" takes the cake.

Best Meal Out: Malandela's on Christmas Eve

Best Meal Cooked: Eish...this is tough. Definitely one of the feasts at Kerry's house, whose motto is "it's not what's on your table but who is at your table". Ironically, the things on the table are always the best too thanks to all the sweet cooks here!

Favorite Swazi Slang: Eish.

Worst Injury: 2nd degree burns sustained on my hands and wrist from trying to make fried chicken. Or 2nd degree burn from dancing near the fog machine at House on Fire.

Best Facebook Status Update: "Saw a falling star around dusk last night. My bhuti turned to me and said, ''In Swaziland, when we see a falling star we say it means...'', he hesitates and I wait for something highly romanticized out of a disney movie; ''we say it means... you will urinate in your bed tonight''. - Lubombo PCV

Worst Facebook Status Update: A Manzini region PCV discovering a Spitting Cobra underneath the chair that they were sitting in, reading.

Worst Transport Experience: Last Friday of the Month/holiday transport. Never again.

Best Transport Experience: Getting to see giraffes, gazelles, baboons, zebras on the side of the MR3, and even one time an elephant (I also had a high fever on this occasion so maybe there was no elephant)

Best Nickname: Skosh.

Worst Nickname: Cheese girl/boy.

Best Package Item: a stuffed Yoda (or dark chocolate peanut m&m's)

Worst Addiction: Game of Thrones. (or dark chocolate peanut m&m's)

Most Stuck in Your Head Song: Final Countdown. You're welcome.

Most Widely Applicable Catchphrase: And boom goes the dynamite.

Best Staycation: Ngwempisi Gorge.

Best Vacation: Tie between Tofo, Mozambique and Capetown, ZA.

Favorite Conversation Topic: Which celebrities are in the Illuminati.

Best Pickup Line: "I will build you a two-story house"

Best Pickup Line Deflection: "Babe says he wants 25 cows. Organize with him." So far, no one has.

Hardest Thing to Get Used to: Being told I am fat. Compliment or not, it's not something most of us like to hear.

Best Pool: The Orion Hotel's.

Most Epic Swazi-Themed Halloween Costume: Emily Swint as the Niknak man or Cameron Price's Can of Doom.

South African House Anthem: Lento by Professor

Best Going Out Location: Tinker's. 1/2 Carwash. 1/2 Restaurant. 100% Awesome. (Halal too!)

Best Thing to Always have in Backpack: PEPFAR Penis Model and condoms. You can do a condom demonstration just about anywhere.

Best Dairymilk Flavor: Cashew and Coconut

Best Thing Brought from America: Noise-cancelling headphones

Best Cross-Culture Moment: Anything involving dancing. Even though I am a terrible dancer, my family loves to have dance parties and I even taught them "the worm". Also getting to dance in the center of the line at a traditional wedding my first week at site.

Best Purchase: Mountain bike

Favorite Motto: The first thing my host family told me when I arrived, and continues to reiterate to this day, "Be free."

EDIT: Honorable mention for Best Khumbi Name: "Shalom" and "Who's Ur Daddy"
Also, Worst song to come on the radio while you are falling asleep: Party Rock Anthem

Cow head.
Random Fact of the Week: Cow head is a delicacy in Swaziland, traditionally reserved for men or boBabe. The head is severed and cooked whole, fur, eyes and all, in a huge pot with water and salt. The meat, especially the cheek, is extremely tender. But I had a hard time getting over the smell, the salt water made it kind of smell like seafood and this really bothered me because it was beef. I probably shouldn't have been so headstrong in insisting I wanted to eat it like the men.


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  2. Great Post!!!!! So many good highlights....:)

  3. Existen países como Swazilandia que parecieran condenados a desaparecer. Este pequeño territorio poblado por dos etnias predominantes, sin salida al mar; gobernado por una monarquía absoluta, un sistema de gobierno que conlleva en sí mismo corrupcción y pobreza, en el cual no se respetan los derechos humanos y con una expectativa de vida que no supera los 37 años a causa del SIDA que consume a más del 30% de su población, está abandonado a su suerte porque su pobre economía (fundamentada en una agricultura poco tecnificada) no llama la atención de inversionistas extranjeros. De otra parte, el analfabetismo esta cercano al 20%. Para completar el cuadro desolador, un estudio publicado por estos días asegura que su población ocupa el ningún envidiable segundo lugar entre los pueblos más perezosos del mundo. Cuando leemos los pocos "blogs" que se refieren a la situación de los habitantes del reino perdido del África meridional, nos parece casi una situación inverosímil. Hemos querido comunicarnos con algunos extranjeros que viven allí pero desgraciadamente ha sido imposible. No sabemos que clase de censura se impone, y cuáles son las restricciones que puedan darse a la libertad de expresión.