Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things I will miss (in no particular order)

Taxi adventures

Waiting for taxis

Waiting for taxis to fill

Waiting for taxis to leave

My favorite SA farmer and his lovely wife

My YAGM family

My South African family


Google and Sherry

The Drakensberg Mountains

Morning chapel

YAGM retreats

Braais on the farm

Braais in general


Five roses

11:00 tea break

Rump steaks

Dragon Peaks, the adventure crew, the Ch√Ęteau De Rus, and the many random nights



My kids at the Kwethu Cottages

The never ending Kwethu drama

My flat at the Kwaz


SA rainstorms…particularly those that made my kitchen flood

Seeing little Afrikaner boys walking barefoot everywhere

Sharks Rugby…BEAST…Sharkies for life

Pirates Vs. Chiefs soccer matches

Running out of petrol multiple times in the Kwethu Kombi

Smell of the Kwaz wafer bakery

4hr+ long church services and not understanding one word the whole time

Midweek adventures

Going to the butcher and having them know exactly what im going to purchase


SA sunsets over the Berg

Snow capped Berg peaks

Understanding only 30% of the conversations going on around me


Amandelenkosi (local shebeen)

Playing snooker (shooting pool) at the aforementioned establishment

Having lots of free time and quiet nights

Seeing the Milky Way on clear nights

My porch at the kwaz

Bromance 2010-2011


Smelly Kwaz water

Dodgy Kwaz shath (half bath half shower)

Estcourt taxi rank

SA accent

SA slang

R9 Hansa quarts

Dodgy unreliable often down Kwaz internet

Poaching high speed internet off friends

Zulu Gogos singing and dancing

SA house music all taxi music in general (def. Not going to miss trad. Afrikaner music)

Hearing vuvuzelas in the distance after a big soccer game

DJ Mufti

Post world cup buzz…long after the world cup was over

Not having to worry about anything that was going on back home

Getting chased by ostrich on my bike (true story)

Going for a run through the Emphangeni community and having kids run along side me

Having the pastor tell me he will pick me up just now only to not show up until a weeks time had passed


SA in general

and many many more things....

10 Suggestons for Helping your YAGM Return Home

Written by Andrea Roske-Metcalfe, the Mexico Country Coordinator
Borrowed From A. Steele's Blog: http://andrewsteelesa.blogspot.com

1. Don’t ask the question, “So how was it?” Your YAGM cannot function in one-word answers right now, especially ones intended to sum up their entire year’s experience, and being asked to do so may cause them to start laughing or crying uncontrollably. Ask more specific questions, like “Who was your closest friend?” or “What did you do in your free time?” or “What was the food like?” or “Tell me about your typical day.”

2. If you wish to spend time with your YAGM, let them take the lead on where to go and what to do. Recognize that seemingly mundane rituals, like grocery shopping or going to the movies, may be extremely difficult for someone who has just spent a year living without a wide array of material goods. One former YAGM, for example, faced with the daunting task of choosing a tube of toothpaste from the 70-odd kinds available, simply threw up in the middle of the drugstore.

3. Expect some feelings of jealousy and resentment, especially if your YAGM lived with a host family. Relationships that form during periods of uncertainty and vulnerability (the first few months in a foreign country, for example) form quickly and deeply. The fact that your YAGM talks non-stop about their friends and family from their country of service doesn’t mean that they don’t love you, too. It simply means that they’re mourning the loss (at least in part) of the deep, meaningful, important relationships that helped them to survive and to thrive during this last year. In this regard, treat them as you would anyone else mourning a loss.

4. You may be horrified by the way your YAGM dresses; both because their clothes are old and raggedy and because they insist on wearing the same outfit three days in a row. Upon encountering their closet at home, returning YAGMs tend to experience two different emotions: (1) jubilation at the fact that they can stop rotating the same 2 pairs of jeans and 4 shirts, and (2) dismay at the amount of clothing they own, and yet clearly lived without for an entire year. Some YAGMs may deal with this by giving away entire car loads of clothing and other items to people in need. Do not “save them from themselves” by offering to drive the items to the donation center, only to hide them away in your garage. Let your YAGM do what they need to do. Once they realize, after the fact, that you do indeed need more than 2 pairs of jeans and 4 shirts to function in professional American society, offer to take them shopping. Start with the Goodwill and the Salvation Army; your YAGM may never be able to handle Macys again.

5. Asking to see photos of your YAGM’s year in service is highly recommended, providing you have an entire day off from work. Multiply the number of photos you take during a week’s vacation, multiply that by 52, and you understand the predicament. If you have an entire day, fine. If not, take a cue from number 1 above, and ask to see specific things, like photos of your YAGM’s host family, or photos from holiday celebrations. Better yet, set up a number of “photo dates,” and delve into a different section each time. Given the high percentage of people whose eyes glaze over after the first page of someone else’s photos, and the frustration that can cause for someone bursting with stories to tell, this would be an incredible gift.

6. At least half the things that come out of your YAGM’s mouth for the first few months will begin with, “In Mexico/Slovakia/South Africa/etc…” This will undoubtedly begin to annoy the crap out of you after the first few weeks. Actually saying so, however, will prove far less effective than listening and asking interested questions. Besides, you can bet that someone else will let slip exactly what you’re thinking, letting you off the hook.

7. That said, speak up when you need to! Returning YAGMs commonly assume that almost nothing has changed in your lives since they left. (This happens, in part, because you let them, figuring that their experiences are so much more exciting than yours, and therefore not sharing your own.) Be assertive enough to create the space to share what has happened in your life during the last year.

8. Recognize that living in a very simple environment with very few material belongings changes people. Don’t take it personally if your YAGM seems horrified by certain aspects of the way you live – that you shower every day, for example, or that you buy a new radio instead of duct-taping the broken one back together. Recognize that there probably are certain things you could or should change (you don’t really need to leave the water running while you brush your teeth, do you?), but also that adjusting to what may now feel incredibly extravagant will simply take awhile. Most YAGMs make permanent changes toward a simpler lifestyle. Recognize this as a good thing.

9. Perhaps you had hopes, dreams, and aspirations for your YAGM that were interrupted by their year of service. If so, you may as well throw them out the window. A large percentage of returning YAGMs make significant changes to their long-term goals and plans. Some of them have spent a year doing something they never thought they’d enjoy, only to find themselves drawn to it as a career. Others have spent a year doing exactly what they envisioned doing for the rest of their lives, only to find that they hate it. Regardless of the direction your YAGM takes when they return…rejoice! This year hasn’t changed who they are; it has simply made them better at discerning God’s call on their lives. (Note: Some YAGMs spend their year of service teaching English, some are involved in human rights advocacy, others work with the elderly or disabled, and at least one spent his year teaching British youth to shoot with bows and arrows. The results of this phenomenon, therefore, can vary widely.)

10. Go easy on yourself, and go easy on your YAGM. Understand that reverse culture shock is not an exact science, and manifests itself differently in each person. Expect good days and bad days. Don’t be afraid to ask for help (including of the pharmaceutical variety) if necessary. Pray. Laugh. Cry. This too shall pass, and in the end, you’ll both be the richer for it.

Favorite South African expressions and Sayings: Lingo for the Linguist

n AllAn Indian expression adopted by most South Africans, meaning “and everything.”“He took my TV ‘n all”, “Things are sometimes better off simple, you don’t always need that ‘n All, ‘n All, ‘n All”

Ag, Nee Man! [ach, neer man]Oh, No Man!

AmpedKeen, full of energy, looking forward to.“I’m amped for the concert this weekend!”

Babbelas [bub-buh-luss]A Hangover (Derived from a Zulu word).

Baggies [bag-ees]What Americans refer to as Swimming Trunks, this refers mainly to surf shorts males wear.

Ballie [Ba-li]Assumed as “Old Man”, also used a term for father as in, “I went to visit my ballie the other day”.

Bakkie [buck-ee]A Pick Up Truck

Biltong [bill-tong]Raw meat, salted, spiced and dried – Similar to Beef Jerky but much better. Bilton is commonly made from Cow, but Kudu, Ostrich, Elephant or any other type of meat will generally do.

BiscuitOtherwise known as a Cookie.

Boerewors (wors) [boor-uh-vors]Thick South African, “Farmer’s Sausage”. It has a distinct flavour and is encased in intestine. Also referred to as “Wors” and used in Wors Rolls, which are like hotdogs with boerewors instead of everyday sausage.

Boet [like book, with a t]Afrikaans word for “Brother” (See Also Bru).“Hey Boet”

Braai [br-eye]Similar to a BBQ, but takes longer resulting in beverage consulting and shooting the breeze.

Bru [Brew]Bro (See Also Boet).“Hey My Bru!”

CampGay“Man, those shorts look so Camp”

CheckTo Look“Hey, come check this!”

ChinaTerm of affection for Good Friend“Hey China!”

ChopIdiot (See Also Doos, Plank).“You’re such a chop you know that”

Chuffed To be happy or pleased with (See Also Stoked).“I’m quite chuffed with the results from last week’s exam!”

DodgeIf something is Dodge, it is suspect, derived from the word “Dodgy”“Hey bru, that last pie looks a bit dodge”.

DoffStupid.“What were you thinking, are You doff ?”

DoosIdiot (See Also Chop, Plank).“Doos!”

Dop [dawp]Alcoholic Drink or To drink.“Buy me a dop” or “I’m going to the bar to dop”

Dos [dors]To sleep or nap.“I’m buggered, I’m gonna go dos”

Eish [aysh]A Zulu word used to express shock, wonder, sympathy and on occasion “sigh”.Peter : “My car was stolen yesterday…” John : “Eish! Sorry Man”Hendrik : “I got an A+ on my exam!” Owen : “Eish! Well Done” (Really!)

Hectic Meant in the usual Chaotic sense, but can also mean to have a chaotic good time.This word can even be used to express sympathy.“Traffic was hectic today”“That party was hectic bru, man you missed out!”“Hey, I heard you didn’t pass your drivers test, that’s hectic bru, I’m sorry to hear it.”

HeyUsed for emphasis in South African slang.“What you up to, hey?”

Howzit Greeting for “Hello” can also be a combination of both “Hello” and “How’s it going?”, commonly used in the sentence“Howzit My China!” or “Howzit My Bru!”

Is it? [izzit]Commonly used in the sentence “Is it hey?” Translated into “Really?”

JaAfrikaans for “Yes”

Jislaaik [yis-like]An Afrikaans expression of outrage or surprise.“Jislaaik, did you see how that taxi just cut me off!”

Just Now In the “near” future (See Also Now Now).No promise of exactly when, a much longer time period is involved than with Now Now.

KlapTo hit or smack (See Also Bliksem, Donner).A.A.K – Attitude Adjustment Klap.

LankA lot or extremely.“This lecture is lank boring.”

Larny Posh or expensive. Can relate to anything from houses, cars and clothes to any other possessions.“That’s a larny house hey”

Lekker [lekk-irr with a rolling r]The Afrikaans word for “Nice”, has more zing to it don’t you think? Nowadays it can also be said to mean Great, Good, Cool or Tasty. Often heard used in a sentence such as “Lekker soos a Krakker” which answers the commonly asked “How are you doing?” question in a most hearty manner.

MealieWhat Americans refer to as Corn on the Cob.

MiffedAnother term for the commonly used phrase “Pissed Off”.“Wow, what did you say to her?! She looks pretty miffed.”

Mission Used to describe when someone is not taking advice from anyone else or if someone is very determined.Can also be used to describe undertaking a task which is a lot of effort. (See Also Schlep).“I tried to talk him out of it, but he is on his own mission.”“She is on a mission to find out what happened last night.”“Taking out the garbage is always such a mission.”

MozzieA Mozquito.

Now-NowIn a bit (See Also Just Now).Quicker than just now, still no guarantee of exactly when.

OkeGuy or Bloke, “He’s a good oke”, (See Also Ous).On a MissionVisible determination to complete a task. Cannot be persuaded.“I tried to stop him from doing it, but he was on a mission.”

One Time More of an Indian term, used to describe something being done quickly and easily.“Don’t worry, I’ll wash it for you one time!”

Pitch UpTo arrive (See Also Rocked Up).“I pitched up wearing my new jacket”

PlankAn Idiot (See Also Chop, Doos).“I felt like such a plank hey!”

Rock Up To arrive somewhere. (See Also Pitch Up).“I rocked up at the mall around 9am”

Robot What Americans refer to as a Traffic Light.

Sarmie A Sandwich.

ShameThis word is often used to express sympathy in a cute manner.“Ag Shame Bru”, “Look at that cute little kitten, ag shame man!”

ShotThank You.“Shot hey!”

Slap Chips [sl-up chips]Fat french fries, usually soft and oily. Slap is Afrikaans for “limp”, which is how French fries are generally made here. Except for at McDonalds, where they only serve anorexic chips.

SlopsA type of sandal, you can’t go to the beach without ‘em!

SortedTaken care ofHennie : “Did you do the dishes?”Hendrik : “Ja, it’s sorted!”

TakkiesWhat Americans refer to as Sneakers.

TuneTo backchat or insult someone in an effort to cause trouble.“Hey Man, Don’t Tune Me Grief!”

Voetsek [foot-sak]Afrikaans for “Bugger off!” or “Get Lost” / “Go Away”.

Vol Kak [fol kak]The Afrikaans way to say “Full of Sh!t”“Jy is vol kak my bru!”

Yonks Ages. "Hey China I haven't heard form you in yonks."