Thursday, February 21, 2008

soundtrack of my day

Whirring fan: I woke up after a night of tossing and turning to the whirring of the fan. I left it on the highest setting all night – usually I have to turn it down a notch or two because I get a bit of a chill at night so it was proof of a very hot night.

Chickens: They are always apart of my day and this morning I did not put any music on so I listened to them rustling around the dried corn and clucking to each other as I washed up and ate my breakfast.

Sepedi greetings: During my walk down the main road of my village, I was accompanied by kids on their way to school, granny’s walking to their friend’s house, women off to work and men meandering along. As part of the daily routine, we all greeted each other. Greetings are apart of their culture and something everyone does even if you’re just passing by. It’s not just hi or hello but consists of four parts: First ‘Thobela’, answer with ‘Agee’, respond with ‘Le gae’, then say ‘Re gona’; Sometimes I switch it up and say ‘Thama’ or ‘Dumela’ to start the greeting off, sometimes they greet me first, but always there is some form of this exchange.

Thumping house music: The taxi ride to work at 8 am, enough said.

Praying and singing: Every morning at the offices, doesn’t matter which one, the staff gets together and prays in Sepedi, someone preaches to them and sometimes they will sing a song. I don’t actually participate but I respect their rituals and think they are beautiful. While I was working on installing Norton360 on the computer, I listened to their prayers and song, feeling content.

Drew Johnson: Ledile, the boss, wasn’t around and Colin, the guy that works in the main area where the Phedišang computer is located wanted to liven up the place a bit. Tanya had a cd that her boyfriend Austin made for her that we played to start the party. Sounds of her friend Drew Johnson playing guitar and crooning away (with a really good voice) were playing in the background while I waited patiently for Norton to finish its quick scan.

Mirror Mirror on the Wolf, Tell the Story Right – Alice Russell: This was playing when I had an argument with one of the World Vision people. She came to me as a messenger delivering information about an issue and instead of just dealing with the issue I vented to her about the problem. This was unfair because she has absolutely no involvement. She took offense and stormed off and when I asked her to help again she refused, quoting the things I said. Ouch. And then before I could set the record straight, both our voices were raised and the damage was done.

Africa – Toto: Into hour 6 of the “quick” scan, I was completely roasting sitting in front of 2 computers that were generating tons of heat, the sun was starting to beat on the window next to me and there was no cross breeze. I was frustrated at myself for not being patient, for loosing control and letting my emotions rule my behavior instead of listening to my better judgment. And while Toto was singing about sending rain to Africa, I wondered when it would actually get here and give us a break from the heat.

Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol: As the sweat glistened on all exposed skin and soaked into my clothes in all the other areas, I realized that I wasn’t going to get much of the other computer work done. The song ‘Chasing Cars’ started to play and I started feeling remorse about the argument I had. But I also felt completely stubborn about apologizing. I wanted her to apologize to me as well and that doesn’t happen often so I started to feel a bit of self pity as well.

Wind: During my ride home from the office, I had a nice chat with a man that works from the hospital. After the initial questions of where I’m from and what I do, we sat in silence, watching the road go by and listening to the wind whip past the windows. The wind helped cool me off and melt away the bad feelings that I was brooding over.

Giggling boys: After I walked home, I sat outside to cool off and eat a bit of comfort food –cereal with LOTS of milk. Matome and Masilu were there with Setlau, beating each other up and laughing when the bigger one would out smart the others. They would walk by me and I would playfully smack them with a milk carton. They love to play this game.

Culture Spears: I went to gather the girls to talk to them about a project I want them to do. When I got to Refiloe’s house, I sat down with a few of the older ladies and watched a bit of the Culture Spears video – good African music with singers dressed in fun traditional outfits and dancing with lots of hips movements.

Special Star – Mangogroove: After explaining to the girls about the Scenarios from Africa contest and talking over the rules and a bit about HIV, Desire played the popular Mangogroove song on their cd player. All of the girls know the dance routine and got up and danced, even Desire and Natacia’s mom got up and danced a bit. Toward the end of the song is a solo and little Chantelle, who is barely 5 years old was in the spotlight singing then broke out into giggles when she discovered that we were paying so much attention to her.

No One – Alicia Keys: It was after dark by the time we walked home but the moon was shinning and I was surrounded by my girls. One of the girls started to sing part of this song and so I whipped out my phone and played it. We started singing and when I realized some of the older girls were dragging behind, I turned around and blared the song in their direction. As soon as they heard it, they screamed and ran to catch up. We serenaded each other for the rest of the walk to my house.

Red, Red Wine: After washing up and relaxing, my phone started to sing Red, Red Wine, which is my ring tone. Katie called to share the good news about her job interview and job offer. I love that even though I am so far away, she still wants to share this kind of stuff with me. I’m proud of her.

Crickets: After I turned the music off for the night, the crickets chirped as I settled into bed to read. I reflected on the day’s events and thought maybe tomorrow I would listen to my mom’s advice, swallow my pride and apologize.

Jason’s voice: Right after I turned out my light, Jason called to say goodnight and tell me about something funny that happened. He is so close but so far away…

Whirring fan: The last thing I heard before I fell asleep.

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