Sunday, October 11, 2009

10 on the Tenth (on the Eleventh)

Ten Things I regularly see in Africa

Edited to add: Pictures of women. This young
girl with a case of cokes has not yet learned
the art of hands free walking....but give her a
few years, she will. In pic #2 the lady (behind
the lady in pink) is carrying a bag of charcoal
on her head. The lady in pic #3 has a tank of
cooking gas on her head. I hope to goodness
it is empty as the full ones are very heavy.

1. Seeing baboons when we drive across the border to South Africa.
2. Crossing the border to another country (S.A.) in the same amount of time it might take you to drive from Magnolia, AR to Conway, AR or from Tyler, TX to Stephenville, TX .
3. Seeing all the things that African women carry on their heads (and backs). You rarely see a woman carrying things in her arms - her arms are free - she carries her burdens on her head. You can find them carrying anything from a case of cokes to a Bible to firewood to an axe - and usually she has a baby tied on her back.
4. People buying chicken beaks and chicken feet - to eat! They really do eat these.
5. Seeing signs cautioning drivers they are in a hippo crossing area.
6. Seeing poinsettias growing and blooming in huge bushes along the roadside.
7. That no one is really surprised when the water or electricity or both is off for long periods of time. (You just keep water stored up to use to flush the toilets.) Let me just say, even though it's not surprising, it is still very annoying.
8. You must greet people you meet with hello, how are you......whether it's the immigration officer at the border, the person you are buying bread from or the person pumping your gas. You are considered rude if you do not greet.
9. You aren't allowed to pump your own gas at the gas station. A gas station attendant does that. That is his (or her) job!
10. October means it's starting to warm up down here in the southern hemisphere! Summer's a comin soon!


Carpool Queen said...

Did you know that K'ek'chi women in Guatemala also carry everything on their head? I used to practice walking with a basket on my head when I was younger. I'm sure if I would have continued, I'd have better posture today.

Kecia said...

I feel so blessed that I have been able to see some of the things you describe.
And I expect to see you carrying your suitcase on your head the next time you come to the States.
With Abby on your back. ;)
(btw, did you know you're not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon, either? It's against the law. And they have no sales tax!)

Mich said...

In some of the Asian places I lived, there were a few similar I use to hate the power going off. Reading by candlelight or lantern was NORMAL.

And then there was the exotic foods.

Of course the cows had free reign of the streets.

Loved your list!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

See, 10 on the 10th is not only fun but educational. I had no idea about some of these hippo crossings and baboons!

I'm with Kecia. Fully expect you to carry your suitcase on your head in the US. BTW, what do you typically carry on your head anyway? If I had to carry a case of cokes, I'm pretty sure that case would NOT make it much further than a few feet without expoding into a giant mess!

Dee Dee said...

I just put Todd's pictures in a book from his trip to Moz last summer and was amazed at the things the women carry on their heads! Is there a class for this?? I'm thinking this has to be much easier on your back??

Also, would love to see poinsettias growing wild - how neat!

Anonymous said...

This was one of the best 10 on the 10th lists I've read...even if it was on the 11th. Thanks for giving us glimpses into your life.

Gretchen said...

So very cool, Angie. Thanks for the glimpse! I, for one, think it would be grand if folks greeted one another. And did you know that the great state of OR doesn't allow self pumping at the gas station, either? It's a bit of an adjustment when we visit "down south".