Sunday, January 12, 2014

Living quarters, languages, and hypersnortilating

Here are some pictures of where we are staying!

This is the closet/cupboard that I share with Alyssa. (My half.)

My bed (complete with blue pillow that Dana made)

And my little (kind of messy) nightstand

The bars on the door that we lock at night and when we go away

Our living room

The Evil Step of Doom that keeps conspiring (successfully) to trip me on the way to the bathroom...

Our kitchen (we use the oven in the baby home, another excuse to hang out. ;) )

Yup, if my sequin cup is sitting on the counter, it's home! =)

Funny moments over the last couple days...

Rebecca (playing a missions video by local missionaries with an African song in the background): This is really funny, I know this song. It is in Zulu. It has nothing to do with orphans, it is about somebody's daughter getting married and someone gossiping...

LOL. Guess you'd better be careful which random foreign-language song you pick off of Youtube...;)

Megan: Don't you have different flavors of coffee in America?
Me: Yeah...
Megan: I was thinking about going on a trip to America once, to work at a rehab...
Me: Your coffee addiction is that bad??? You need a coffee rehab??

Megan (who aspires to be a surgeon): I LOVE watching people get cut open. Because it's fun. I got to observe it in the theatre. They were doing a thyroidectomy (motions slitting her throat) (P.S. - is the thyroid even in your throat?)
Megan: Because that's what they DO there!
Me: BUT WHY WERE THEY CUTTING PEOPLE OPEN IN A THEATER???!!! (* Upon which my brain produces a mental image of something like President Lincoln being assassinated in the theater*)

Apparently, "theatre" is the word for operating  room over here. I have so much to learn!

Megan (on the phone to her boyfriend): I can't say that, I'm not sure what will offend the Americans.
Alyssa: Like, that statement. Yeah.

We all are having a lot of fun together. Consequentially, I may have welts from gummy bears being pelted at me. We woke Squishy up tonight when I told Megan she was "hypersnortilating" and she said, "No, it's hyperventilaughing." After which we both proceeded to laugh a lot louder than a hyperventilaugh. Hence the awakened Squishy...

 I've been informed that I need to learn to TALK with a SA accent in order to understand what is being said (well, ok, WE have the accents...) and not go around saying "Huh??" all the time. Which I do. A lot. Poor people. They are talking normally. I'm the crazy American who talks twice as fast as I should and I'm the TRULY unintelligible one. I've been working VERY hard at learning to talk more slowly and it feels very strange! Kind of like talking in slow motion. I do better up at the baby home, but when it's just me and Alyssa I forget and start talking fast again (Ok, she doesn't understand me either) and then I start talking fast all the time again...My level of comprehension is SOOO bad. Sometimes I'm listening and can't tell if people are speaking English or not! It doesn't help that everyone around here knows at least two languages and some of them know five or six. Ugh, I am SO jealous of that! My ears can't even seem to separate the sounds. I was just getting used to Bulgarian. I didn't know much but at least I could separate the sounds for the most part. Everyone told me, "Oh, Bulgarian is a very difficult language" like they were indoctrinated to say that, but I think it would be a picnic next to Chinese, or African tribal languages! Hopefully in five months I can at least learn a few words. =)

I've also had offers to teach me Shona and Zulu. Maybe by the time I leave I will learn something! I already struggle with even saying people's full names. It's a good thing they have nicknames! Character names are really big around here. There are typical names you would hear in America, like "Joy" or "Hope," but they take it a bit farther...I met a guy named Goodness today. Patience is also really popular. I wouldn't want to have to live up to that name. ;) 

Language difficulties nonetheless, it is so much fun to be around Christians from so many cultures. Sure, I'm in South Africa, but there are so many different cultures within this country. Megan is an English-speaking South African with a European background; the family we are living with is from Malawi; Joy is apparently moving in with us (fun fun!) and is from Zimbabwe; someone else is from the Congo; the Willoughbys were missionaries to Germany; Carlien (I finally learned how to spell her name) is Afrikaans; and there are multiple other cultures represented, I'm sure; I just forget them all! Being Christians really brings us together though. I feel like in America people spend way too much time tiptoeing around each other's differences instead of learning about them and loving them. We had a discussion today about bride prices...that was very interesting. Apparently it has pros (the husband has to pay for the wedding, not the bride...well, ok, that's only a pro for females...) and cons (he can later bring it up in an argument: "I bought you, you have to do what I say!)

Signing off for tonight!

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