Friday, February 12, 2010

Yet one more bird and Happy Valentine's Day!

Do you have time for one more bird this week? This is the Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris). I see him whenever I’m riding in a taxi/bus/car. They are usually seen on the side of the road.

An interesting aside, to me anyway: I haven’t seen a lot of road kill in South Africa. I’m not sure why this is. Anyone?

On Wednesday, I’d gotten my college classes started, but there are no textbooks for students in sight. I killed an acre of trees having the first unit copied so the students have some information on hand. I begged the guy to copy 28 pages front-to-back, but he seemed unwilling to do so. (Or might not know how, or might not understand English well-enough to understand my request.)
So I died a little bit every time a neat, stapled, 28-page packet came off the press and then almost swooned when I carried the stack of 16 copies of 28-pages-each back to my room.
We have yet to work out my teaching schedule between the college and the primary school. So this was Wednesday morning:
7:30-8:30 at the college, staff meeting and trying to find textbooks

8:30-8:50 dash to primary school for my 9:00 class

8:55-9:15 quickly introduce material, give class work to students

9:15-9:30 dash back to college for 9:30 class

9:30 stand around waiting for college kids to show up, four finally do a half-hour late.

That was my morning! I went back to the primary school that afternoon for the primary school’s weekly meeting. Eish!

They did feed me, however, at the primary school: 5 pounds of beef, 3 pounds of mealie pap, and a teaspoon of spicy baked beans.

An educator watched me eating and commented, “You don’t eat all of the meat, do you?”

The South Africans I’ve encountered in my village eat every speck of meat on the bones. They are also unashamed to suck and gnaw bones. I felt more than a bit ashamed and noted back, “It’s wasteful, isn’t it?”

But guilt did not armor my stomach for eating gristle, fat, and bone. I just could not do it.

On this note, I am wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day, as I won’t be posting until after it!

Soon, Karen

Photos of the helmeted guineafowl “mined” from the internet:


  1. Say, that's a nice template you picked there. You, me and Noah ought to start a club.

  2. Did I do a copy-cat blog template? :-)

    It's only taken me six months to realize that my "pretty" blue template was costing gobs of ink--and therefore money!!--for those printing back home.

    When are you guys coming over to go hiking!!