Wednesday, February 3, 2010

5 random things I think you should know

1. The kids here call me “miss”. Not Miss Tina, just Miss. And they say it constantly. And they use it in the third person when talking to me as in “Does Miss have a brother?” or “Is Miss tired?” It took me about a week to not ask “is who tired?”
2. Obama is everywhere here. People love him. In Windhoek, the cool boys/ men wore huge, baggy T-shirs with his face on it and at my school you can tell the wealth kids because they have Obama backpacks. You don’t see any Miley Cyrus paraphernalia here, it’s all Obama.
3. My housemate is moving to the hostel at the high school. I think it’s only mostly because I’m a terrible roommate ;) she will be a paid supervisor there and I’m only a little concerned about things getting lonelier.
4. Sorry for the teaser in the last post, here’s the story of the racial incident. When we were at dinner, the women we were with were, as you may have picked up, quite drunk. And loud. After about twenty minutes an older white woman (all the women we were with were either black or basters which is half white) came and said “could you please just be a little quieter.” After the initial shock, they freaked out and went into a long conversation about racism and how even though apartheid is over whites are still trying to keep them down. Not that I don’t think racism doesn’t still exist here, quite the contrary, it is present and a big problem. While this may have been partially racially motivated, I think she was perfectly reasonable to ask them to be quieter and the four of us who were sober enough were very uncomfortable with the situation.
5. A quick story about the house where I live. Apparently in 2007 a male student came to visit his teacher here and he must have come at night because the teacher’s boyfriend thought he was a robber and shot him. The young man took two bullets to the kidneys and died. The kids tell this story as a very sad one but think that the house is bad luck (it doesn’t stop them from playing here though…). We’ll see if this story freaks me out when I’m living alone.

That seems like such an awful note to end on! So here’s one last thing: I think I figured out why the kids follow me so much. The only two other Americans to ever visit were two guys about my age who came for 5 days and taught art and P.E. Apparently, they spent the entire time just playing with the kids, so I think there’s a combination of the expectation that I will play all the time and the thinking that Americans are just fun, friendly people. I’ll take it ☺

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