July 10, 2012
As Peace Corps Volunteers, we’re not supposed to talk or blog about the politics of the country we live in. Political neutrality ensures our own safety and Peace Corps’ ability to continue working in country. But strikes and protests are the news around here, so I’ll try to be objective.
We recently went through a huge transport strike. The transport operators were protesting several issues and so there were weeks with almost no transport in or out. We did very little grocery shopping but it resulted in several luxury rides from the PC office when we couldn’t get home on our own. We didn’t even have to walk down our road from the main turn off, they drove us all the way to our own front door.
Now the teacher’s union has been striking which means no classes for us. The teachers are officially asking for a 4.5% raise. They’ve called the strike “waya waya” which means “ongoing.” There have been a few marches but mostly sit-ins. If you’re interested, you can look up the Swazi Times online.
Even though there are no classes, we’ve been able to work on a few things. Oliver has been connecting with people in the community that want to improve their gardens and has been out to see a few. He’s also helping co-facilitate Microsoft Word and Excel community classes with a woman from the area. The 7th grade has to do a practical arts project and some of them have chosen to paint a watercolor landscape which I’ve been able to help with. It’s something they’re supposed to do at home on their own time so we’ve been meeting after official school hours (to avoid any protest conflicts). I’m very excited about this project because there are not many opportunities for the kids at our school to participate in the arts. I’ll post some photos at the end of the project.
There has also been a lot of yahtzee and chess games in our house. And a fair amount of movie watching as well. Who knows what next week will bring.
Rebecca is Currently Reading: The Color Purple
Oliver is Currently Reading: Time Magazines
We are Currently Watching: Frazier, Season 5 and TED conference videos