Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Settling in…again

It really rained last night for the first time since Christmas. Finally. We have been desperate for rain. Our maize is still small and our tomatoes in the garden are nearly as hard as rocks, ripe.

For some reason the rain makes it feel a little easier to settle back into things at home after traveling around for the holiday season. It is like everything was holding it’s breath for the rain, and now that we’ve had some, breathing is back to normal.

The holidays included spending some great time with other PCVs and my host family, though I am sure that next year I will spend much more of the holiday season with my family. I did some awesome hiking with a group of PCVs at the coolest tree/rock house ever. We spent Christmas day cooking a HUGE feast at a backpackers. I got to spend some quality time with Make wami and bobhuti, usually cooking. Since school has been out for the holiday season we have eaten some amazing things: Pizza numerous times, including one time that I may have had the best pizza outside of Italy, Make made the crust and we didn’t even have any cheese, Cinnamon rolls a few times, a few different kinds of banana muffins, baked chicken, sautéed cabbage with carrot and onion, spinach with peanuts (one of my favorite swazi dishes), fried zucchini, onion rings, and fried green tomatoes. I ‘m sure that I am forgetting something but this is what I can remember for now. We also got a chance to watch some Planet Earth together which was quite a hit. After Christmas Make and I did some solid gardening together, mostly weeding. The New Year was also celebrated in good company, with other PCVs.

Since I arrived home after the New Year there has been a definite period of readjustment to a number of things at home, including a rural community where everyone expects you to stop and say ‘Hello’ to them, getting back into the SiSwati, and the fact that school is out until Jan 24th and technically I’m not even sure what I am doing when school does start again, so not exactly having anything to do back at home. Hopefully, now that it has rained, I will be able to help out in the fields a bit. However, Make is, rightfully, pretty concerned about me using most gardening tools with any sort of a point or edge.

Since being home I have read a couple of books, watched a few tv series and movies that I have on my computer, and cooked. Below I will put a list of the books that I’ve read, tv series and movies, and I will give you my recipes that have all been tested a few times.

I started reading a series about Mary Russell, but had to quit in the middle because I loaned out my kindle, but I look forward to picking that back up.

I’ve been listening to Harry Potter on ‘tape’

The Year of The Flood, Margaret Atwood

The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver

Both of these books were interesting and kept my attention. The Year of The Flood was a little sci fi for me, especially with an ending that lacks conclusion. I also was more than halfway through the book and felt like I still didn’t understand what it was about, and what exactly I was reading. Which is a huge reason why I stuck with it to the end. When I got to the end I finally felt some connection to the characters, and then was left with no conclusion for any of them. The Bean Trees was more my speed. It took some time to get into, but once I did I really liked the characters and the story.

TV and Movies:

Season 1 of The Wire
Very good. I had to watch the first episode a coupe of times. I have a problem  with series. I cannot stop myself from watching episodes one after another. I will try to take a break before I start season 2. Season 1 took about 2 days.

Season 1 Suits
Also very good. This is a newer USA series and I highly recommend it.

Classic fun, just watching what I have until I can get some more episodes.

French Kiss
It had been a long time since I have seen this one, and I have a really hard time with Kevin Kline in his role as a Frenchman. I still watched it 2 times

Surprisingly good. I hadn’t seen this one before.

The Invention of Lying

The Last King of Scotland
I was hesitant to watch this one because I was a little tired, I want’ sure what it was about and if it would keep my attention. It did, and I am very happy to have
finally see it. I will watch it again when I can.

Love in the Time of Cholera
Good, but slightly slow and frustrating. Good music.

Planet Earth
With the Fam. They loved it. Make actually had some of the ladies in the neighborhood over and they all watched it together. :D

True Blood
I have seen all of these episodes but continue to watch them over and over again. I am learning to skip the parts I don’t like as much (maenad anyone? Ugh.).

The Tudors
I’m new to this series but to be honest the incredible gender inequality, surrounding the King especially, is really hard to watch here. I think that I get enough of that in everyday life. Generally I find myself watching and asking ‘Why do I care?’.

Recipes: (to come later. I’ve written them and rewritten them a bunch of times for the family and friends lately. I will type them up soon, maybe later today.)

I miss you all so much!!! Please come visit :)

Love you! I hope that you had a great holiday season and that the New Year brings happiness.

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