Well, I finally had some outlets installed in my hut! The first thing I did after they were installed? Blow a fuse. But one of my host brothers fixed it and now I'm all set. I'm not gauranteeing it, but its possible I'll post more blog entries now that my computer battery won't die every few hours. However, just having outlets won't solve the problem of slow internet connection and expensive internet based on data usage, so I can't promise more pictures. Next time I'm in a town with an internet cafe, though.....
I'm still having a lot of fun living it up in Zululand. I'm taking it pretty easy at work, under the ruse that I need to have an initial observation period, but I recently talked to one of my supervisors about what they need from me, and I'll actually have quite a bit to do with my organizaiton. I'll focus a lot on staff development - computer trainings, writing letters, taking minutes, things like that - but also work on developing a youth program/group, which my organization has been trying to do for a while, but has had some issues due to external factors. Also, I'm working with a couple other staff members on starting savings groups to strengthen our already-existing networks. We're using a program designed by a group called Save Act, which basically creates small banking initiatives, where group members save together and use their savings to make low-interest, low-risk loans to eachother.
I've been really lucky with my whole assignment so far. My organization is great and in a really good position to host a Peace Corps Volunteer. I get to work on diverse assignments that just so happen to be in areas that I'm really interested in - youth development and microfinance. I was concerned at first that having such a big host family (Chief, 10 wives, 20 someting kids, can't count all the grandkids) would be too much, but I actually really really like it. It makes me feel like I know a lot of people, and they're pretty traditional so I get a lot of "cultural experiences". Love my village, love my house, so far so good.
Last week was pretty eventful - the cheif's daughter was married and the wedding was pretty much a three day blowout. The day before, tons of stuff was happening at the house (killed a cow, lots of people I didn't know around, lots of stuff I didn't understand going on, etc.) and I was a little overwhelmed. We left at about 3am and took a bus to another village where the wedding would be held. The traditional wedding was first, and it was actually really cool. I was a full participant in the traditional dance (also a little overwhelming, but fun at the end of the day), as per I'm the chief's daughter, and then everybody stayed the night for the white wedding the next day. Now, here are the things that my night entailed: 1.) several marriage proposals (actually that happened all weekend, not just at night.) .2.) really good food that I didn't have to cook 3.) more traditional dancing 4.) sleeping on the floor of a rondavel with 50 other women 5.) waking up at 4:30am to go to a different house for tea and breakfast with the younger girls before the white wedding the next day (I'm still not really sure why that happened).
The next day was spent pretty much just hanging out. Two more cows were slaughtered, which by the way I'm a little obsessed with. I shouldn't enjoy watching it so much, buuuuuuut I do. There was some more gift-giving and dancing and stuff, and then the wedding. Overall, it turned out to be a really fun weekend, and a good way to get to know a lot of people and have people get to know me.
I'm really sorry for the lack of pictures - I personally skip the blogs with no pictures, particularly if they are from Peace Corps Volunteers. But it can't be helped - I tried and failed to load some for this post. But I promise someday you will see them, so don't lose hope!