A Village Called Kanye, Part 2

My host mom and I talked about a great deal about coffee. She was kind, but definitely reserved and a bit stern. Gaone’s friend spent the night and the next morning, my host mom woke her up at 6:30 to wash dishes! I didn’t know you could do that.

On Saturday, I was up at 6am sharp. We were going to a cattle post. The dogs had barked all through the night and unlike in Block 9, where the barking is distant, the dogs were right outside my window. And don’t get me started on the chickens. Lucky for me, I’ve adjusted to the sound of both.

At the cattle post, we were unsurprisingly able to see a number of cattle, the kraal (corral, basically), chickens, and goats. One of the workers there demonstrated how to milk cows before we were informed that one of the goats was giving birth. We headed over the goat pen to witness it, although it made a couple people a little queasy. The birth wasn’t as gnarly as I had expected it to be. The mama grunted and head-butted the other goats who were simple enough to get in her personal space. She would alternate between standing and lying down. The birth itself only took 30 minutes. If human birth were that short, I might reconsider!

We left soon after and re-gathered a few hours later for the wedding. I brought a long skirt for the occasion. When we pulled up in our kombi, a lot of people started feeling uncomfortable. Were we actually invited? Was it weird that a bunch of lekgoa (foreigners) were dropping in late? But our worries were for naught. The wedding was a pretty open and communal affair; when we entered the white tent, they sat us at different tables so we could mingle and then they fed us. I chatted a little with the women at my table, but they were pretty quiet. A girl kept coming over to take pictures of me with her cell phone – I’m not sure why. The people were friendly and while a lot of the kids were shy at first, they warmed up to us. Food, special drinks, nice people, dancing. All in all, it was a fun time.

One funny thing happened, though. A co-ed group of 6 dancers performed inside the tent and slowly moved outside. I followed so I could take a few quick photos. And as soon as I took out my camera, a group of guys pointed at me and started saying, “Lekgoa! Lekgoa!” which has a dual colloquial meaning of foreigner and white person. Oops, blew my cover. Later on, one of them pulled me into a selfie photo after saying, “Lekgoa” again. I honestly expected to get bothered the least in the village since I’m black, but people surprise you.

As we left, someone filched the hand sanitizer out of my bag, but I’m just glad it wasn’t my phone or coin purse.

On Sunday, we did a driving tour of Kanye, checked out a dam, visited a plant nursery, climbed in a gorge, and grabbed lunch. Everyone was pretty tired by the time we headed back to Gabs, but what an interesting weekend!

* more photos to come!

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