It's beginning to look a lot like ... Christmas? No, SUMMERTIME. Mmm, I love it. The days are longer, hotter, sweatier, and I couldn't be happier. Even though there is *some* commercialism and Christmas stuff here, there is not NEARLY the amount here that exists in America. This makes me happy. I stopped giving gifts and doing Christmas cards a few years ago, and it made all the difference between me enjoying the holidays and not. (I enjoy them a lot more now, by the way.) In Africa, many people don't have anything to begin with, so there's not this pressure from around every corner to "buy your special someone that perfect gift," and we all know that special someone is multiplied times 20 at least, ranging from spouse, kids, grandkids, co-worker, secret santa, you name it.
So, I'm spending my Christmas holiday camping on the beach. My big goal for the 10 days is to cook homemade yeast bread on the braai, which is South African for barbecue. Like outside, on the beach, over firewood embers. And to maybe take a surfing lesson, because it only costs R40 where I'm going. That's practically free. It's technically the equivalent of $5.50. And I am also going to continue my fitness regime and run and do yoga on the beach. But that's it. I hope you're jealous, because so am I. Being a volunteer has it's perks too.
Just in case you think I haven't worked hard enough to deserve a vacation like this, you should think again. Having [sarcastically] said that, the work is fun, rewarding, and I try to make it my own. Sometimes it makes me so tired that I go home and do nothing for the rest of the day but stare at the wall, take a nap, or read a magazine article or two. But sometimes, it makes me really energized and glad I left my comfortable life back in Oklahoma. I have a whole new appreciation for clean water and men that don't ask me for my phone number now! I can only assume I'll come up with new appreciations as the months progress.
Happy Holidays from the Kalahari!