Sunday, August 17, 2008

iZiki Zendota

One week ago today, with bags packed and excitement on our faces, we entered the iZiki Zendota bus for the ride of a lifetime. For those of you who don't speak siSwait, iZiki Zendota means "steps over men" and we have no doubts that this bus has stepped over men and will not hesitate to do so in the future. After a 2 and a half ride to a place in the country even the locals couldn't show you on a map, we arrived at what will be our home for the next 2 years. It's a small village nestled in the lugolweni hills, complete with a clinic, primary and secondary schools and 3 drying up rivers that leave Jay salivating for his boat imagining what they would be like in the rainy season. We will be living with the Simelane family, on a hill that overlooks the town and entire valley. We were told from the top of the hill we will live on we will be able to see Mozambique and South Africa on a clear day. Most of the family lives away from the homestead with the exceptionof the co-matriarchs, Bogogo. (grandmothers) The first morning we awoke to find one of our gogo sporting a hand sickle as a hat, recently returned from her sweet potatoe fields. Along with visiting the clinic and the schools the next 3 days consisted of an ongoing, very energetic game if charades intermixed with broken siSwati, as neither of our bogogo speaks a lick of english. Needless to say our visit went very well and we were sad to leave them the following Wednesday, especially when bogogo exclaimed, "Nyalo, sitawungesitunge!" (Now, we will be lonely) 2 more weeks of training and we will once again join bogogo to begin our work and create a home in Ntjanini.
-view from a hike in our community


Alex and Kelly said...

Alex's grandmother doesn't speak English either, but I think silent communication can sometimes be the sweetest and most authentic. Your Bogogo sound very sweet! What a wonderful home for you two to share during your time there. Glad to hear all is well!

Natasha said...

Hil...please put your email address up so I won't lose it again...thanks honey. Your excitement is so beautiful!!!