TIA 30-JULY

As our team members slowly make their way into the country, we have at this moment 5 who have already arrived after their arduous excursion.  Unfortunately, one of the team members missed her connecting flight in Washington, D.C.  If there were more than one flight to South Africa per day with that carrier, it wouldn’t make such a big deal.  However, she is now delayed a minimum of 24 hours if the airlines will be accomodating to her travel disruption due to weather.  The downstream cascade results in her roommate will now bear the full brunt of the nights lodging at the already WORLD CUP inflated rates by herself.  OUCH!!  Since she wont be arriving until late Saturday, the other team mates will already be making their way to Vredeforte Dome area, and likely settled in by the time she clears through customs.

One must always look at the bright side and MAKE a PLAN (TIA)!  Tomorrow, I will be “slaving” over a hot LCD projector and computer in an all day Professional Workshop at the University of Witwatersrand (where I also hold a Research Scholar post in addition to my UTD post) while my team is frolicking in the COLD and SUNNY S. African skies touring Soweto, Sterkfontein Caves, Chris Hana Baragwanath Hospital (more about CHB Hospital on another day), and Vredeforte Dome.  Consequently, I will delay my departure from Johannesburg a few hours to retrieve our wayward (and likely exhausted) team member from the O.R. Tambo Airport.  So, not to worry – we won’t leave a team member behind!

Churchill’s observation that our language can often separate us English speakers becomes so humorous here in S. Africa.  Here are some humorous translations of English terms:

S. Africa        Amercian
Tackies    =    Sneakers
Robot       =    Traffic Lights
Braai        =    Cook Out/BBQ
Boot         =    Car Trunk
Buckey    =    Truck

It’s not unusual for many of the local folks who are entrenched in their customs to visit “Traditional Healers” who will mix up a potion to cure what ails you.  We met one last year who claims she has an excellant record of curing HIV/AIDS in the Hazyview area – unfortunately, sometimes her potions expiration date causes some problems, though.  The Traditional Healers are also keen on telling their “patient” that the illness may be due to making the Ancestors unhappy.  The local belief is that an Ancestor (those family members who have passed on) should be well kept in their own homes which you may see at the edge of the family compound so that they can watch over the family.  Any help seeking behaviors (such as getting a hearing aid, going to a modern doctor for medication, etc.) must always include consideration of what the Ancestor/s would want.  Sometimes the Ancestors reportedly do NOT want people to get help from the modern doctors, but rather go to the Traditional Healer.  Of course, the Traditional Healers are MUCH MORE in-tune with what the Ancestor/s want.  Sounds funny in the contemporary world, but reportedly a large number of the rural Black African’s adhere to these deep seeded cultural beliefs.

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