We started off by going to a memorial service on Friday night for a man who was over 100 years old when he died this week! There were four or five hundred people there, and we were the only whites. Nevertheless, Mrs. Naidjala, the teacher we were with, told us to come up to the front with her when it was time for the tribute from the grandchildren. We protested, but she said, "Come, come, no one will notice." No will notice?!! Once again, four hundred people, and we were the only whites. I'm pretty sure they noticed. But we went up to the front and stood awkwardly and then heard to our surprise that the whole group of us (maybe 30 grandchildren) were going to sing a song dedicated to the dead man...in Oshiwambo. So we lipsynched that too. One of the craziest things we've done here I think.
Well, that memorial service started at 4. We got there at 6. It finished at 11, at which time we went to another room for dinner. We were pretty anxious to get out of there by that time, but first we had to find a toilet. As it turned out, we met the Minister of Education himself - the man who died was his father - and he let us use his toilet. =) We got back to Mrs. Naidjala's house around 1am.
We begged out of the funeral service the next day. Good thing - the ones who were going left at 7am and didn't get back till almost 6pm! We spent the day sitting in the sand and marking and playing with our puppy, Snickers, and cooking and making awkward conversation in English. =)
There was no electricity in the village, but we were lucky enough to have a flushing toilet! My bucket shower on a cement floor with a drain was reminiscent of Rwanda. We were mostly left to do our own thing with food - we had bread, some meat, macaroni, eggs, and an onion. But on Saturday night they killed a goat and gave us traditional food - oshifima, a sticky substance made from millet, and bean soup, along with ALL portions of the goat. We ate some of the goat's blood (apparently it congeals if you cook it), its liver (best part in my opinion), and its lungs (a bit chewy). I think we had some actual meat also, but I wasn't entirely sure as it was dark by the time we were eating.
In the morning we were offered dinner leftovers but we had egg sandwiches instead. I know, maybe not the politest thing, but they had also given us the bread and eggs, which was definitely preferable especially first thing in the morning.
We spent some more time sitting around on Sunday. Used our small small bit of Oshiwambo - basically greetings and a few words introducing ourselves. On the way out a woman stopped us and said we should give her our puppy (that was translated for me). I surprised everyone by correctly responding, "yanjye!" (It's mine!) Which happens to be the same in Kinyarwanda. =)
We made it back home by 5 and treated ourselves to a "normal" meal of pasta and cookie dough for dessert. Snickers was happy to see his mom (Other Dog) and brother (Rolly), who were also happy to see us. The only sad thing is, it seemed like the weekend went by in a flash! It's Monday already and we're back in school.
Only two more weeks till our COS (close of service) conference!