This is not a paper I would turn into grad school that was proofread, spell checked, and cared about but never or barely read. This is a blog that people will actually read but not grade. I write like I think and talk, which is not organized or correct in many ways. I was diagnosed with chronic sarcasm as a child, its genetic.

The views expressed on this website are entirely my own and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Had some pretty epic runs the last two days, unfortunately, in both sense of the word. But let me stay censored and positive. 

Yesterday I was not excited about going for a run, and was thinking about how it has changed. I think most of my favorite runs have been in Florida. Running to the sun rise on Bayshore was always great, even with the tunnel that smelled of piss and corndogs and the sometimes gross smell of the water- I loved it. Especially the Gaspirilla Pirate Ship, I always was say something about “Grrrr I shall find my booty” when passing it. Other favorite runs were of course any race I did, and nothing will ever top Ragnar, Miami --> Key West. Even though I was recovering from the flu and the seven mile bridge was the bane of my existence, it was epic. 

Running was always my time. I would drown out my stress with some horrible dance/rap music and run for miles not thinking about anything that mattered. Honestly, I usually would day dream about ridiculous things- sometimes completely fictional fantasies and other times, a lot actually, would think about Peace Corps. Wondering where I was going, and then later worried about my rejection and medical holds. I thought about what it would be like, what continent I would be on and what language I would speak. I dreamed up the programs I would start and relationships I would form. 

Now that I am struggling to communicate and working on a needs assessment that is much easier in theory, my runs are much less stress relieving as they are stressful. I think I have finally figured out the streets to avoid because of Taverns and Shebeens, but now am facing my fan clubs and jokes. 

Yesterday’s run was so cliché ‘PC’ it was cheesy. If only there was a camera I would be plastered on a billboard with the slogan “Never have to say ‘I should’ve’” My glowing Lekgowa-ness would radiate on the 17 little South African children giggling and following me. 

As I approached my usual spot where I turn I heard “LEKGOWA” which is normal, but this time saw a crowd of children running at me like I was Angelina Jolie and Madonna all rolled up into one miracle worker. One little toddler had a stick. It was scary. 

The kids ran with me for a couple minutes-I slowed down to try and entertain them for a bit, and as I could hear the toddler with the stick wheezing I had the realization I might kill this little pot licker so i stopped. Some of the laggards caught up and I did some stretching with them, jumping jacks, and other random stuff. I told them I was going to keep running, combining my little Tsonga and Sepedi, and instead of them leaving they continued with me. We ran a total of 1.5 miles together, it took forever. I kept stopping for the little ones, sometimes carry a couple at a time. I tried talking to them and got some of their names. We laughed, me out of nerves and confusion, then at me. The sun was setting so I tried telling them they needed to go home, so I ran in the direction where they met me- and told them to stay. Actually I think I said sit, but whatever. 

Anyway. It was fun, I enjoyed being around humans as after work I am always by myself, but I thought about how much my runs have changed. My 1 to 2 hours of alone time I enjoyed so much in Tampa is now my time of constant attention, drunks trying to run with me, constantly calculating where to go to avoid masses just to find a pop up Shebeen I have to go around, and having to greet everyone.  A lot of “where are you going?” “why are you running” but mostly laughs and me ignoring the not so funny ones . Oh, and I can’t forget the cows. Oh the cows. I do find myself laughing, a lot, during my runs!

I love the kids, the ones that are used to me know I will high five them- so I often have lines of cheerleaders with their little sticky palms out- giggling as I say ‘Thobela’ and slap all the hands. 

I guess it’s ok that running is no longer my mental time, as that is now pretty much every other waking minute. If I am not running and not at work I am alone so I have plenty of time with my cluttered mind space. 

I have to admit it is hard to get out of the door sometimes, knowing all eyes are on me. Today I went a new route and was happy to not have kids follow me for more than 3 minutes- I enjoy my Lekgowa Kitima clubs, but I really wanted to get in a good workout. I also very much enjoy seeing the progress of people knowing my name, and gogo’s not looking so shocked to see me, but rather pleased to greet me.

I miss wearing my running shorts and listening to my iPod, but the sunsets I see over the mountains and laughs I share I guess trump that. I also love the rough terrain to change things up a bit. Today’s new route had its pros and cons, but the sunset was especially amazing.

The area I am in is so small and sun setting earlier everyday so I find it difficult to get a long run in, but soon I’ll figure it out.

For now, I’ll be proud of my 3 miles, and call the days where I don’t go too far b/c of my Lekgowa Kitima fan club ‘integration’.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If rhymes were a drug, I'd sell em by the gram

I would like to give a shout out to Mr. Garfield- don’t worry I’m taking wonderful care of your daughter.

I have had a lot of time to evaluate my music selection. I am a little disappointed in myself. Much of my music got corrupted, and more is on my laptop that I don’t use because it needs a power source- so I am left with only my iPod. It does not have nearly enough Elton John or 2Pac- this got me thinking. I think Elton and 2Pac would have been great together. The little stunt with Elton and Eminem was overrated, but I think Elton and 2Pac could really do something good. It would rival the Aerosmith and Run DMC duo. 

This is what I think about. Epic cultural stuff. 

I started working on a remix to “You Don’t Know Me” by TI, I really don’t have to change too many words. We can call it poetry right? Hippy Peace Corps stuff-I mean, I’m wearing my birks while doing it.

This all spawned after a solo dance party in my room, but my friend Samantha explained that we should call it an “exercise session” I like it, makes it sound way less pathetic. 

But really, I have been thinking how PC could make training more useful, and a couple of us were talking about it when we met in town. Cate had a great point- PCVs need to talk more about what to do when there is nothing to do. Tips like, spread your laundry out for three days, or never cook more than you need, because that means the next day making dinner does not take NEARLY long enough. I think that should be our classes contribution to PC-SA. So far other things to when you have nothing to do include learning how to fold clothes like they do in the stores and practicing how to French braid. I have found that it is important to make yourself FEEL like you’re doing something, like “man, I REALLY need know how to properly make a bed to be a good PCV, I will spend an hour doing it” or "I did NOT sweep the dirt outside well enough, I must do it again". I think maybe we should put a book together, call it, “Where there is no stimulation” and it really is NOT supposed to sound dirty. 

There have far too many holidays in this last 2 weeks, I have had one work day that was about 3 hours long. I guess I could do something productive, like study language, but dance parties are way more fun. I am trying to integrate, went to church this morning. That was 4 hours of my day, and it is kind of fun. It’s like a free concert every week. 

Hhhmm…what other PC things have I done? My run on Friday had 12 giggling children screaming ‘LEGKOWA’ so I stopped and did a little impromptu workout session with them- that was fun. Then my asthma was worse than when I was an overweight 7 year old trying to play soccer. Eish…love the air quality! 

Ok. Met my blogging quota for a while. 

This is my life. Now I will go make dinner. 

Sami aka Tinyiko, but mostly Lekgowa