I am constantly laughing here. I have opportunities every day to laugh at myself, at funny things my children do, and at language mishaps (in both English and Sesotho!). Once in a while, I want to share a quick list of things that have made me laugh recently. Here goes.
- I asked my Grade 7s to choose from a list of Life Skills topics and anonymously write down the ones they most wanted to learn about. Most students chose safe sex, HIV/AIDS, or drugs/alcohol, but this kid went off script a little bit:
- Every morning at assembly, one student reads a Bible passage and another student summarizes its message. One day, the passage warned against befriending people with hot, violent tempers. The summary? “Today’s scripture teaches us not to make friends with hot people.”
- Little kids don’t use latrines here. My host brother is 5, and I think he’s old enough to be trusted not to fall in. Regardless, he does his business wherever he wants. One time I caught him peeing into the tiny opening of a (hopefully empty) box of milk. Another time he was going #2 in front of the house while holding a bowl of food. My dog took the opportunity to chase him around the yard, while he ran with his pants at his ankles, holding the food above his head.
- There are dozens of peach trees on the grounds of my school, and while students aren’t allowed to pick the fruit except on designated days, teachers can do so whenever they want to. In fact, the teachers know which handful of kids frequently steal peaches, and they commission these students to gather fruits for the teachers since they know which ones are ripe.
- We have a uniform at my school, but lots of families can’t afford it. Those children come to school in the closest approximation they can, usually sticking to our school colors of red and black. This means there’s 3 second graders who wear Star Wars shirts every day, and one boy who frequently shows up in dress slacks and a pink tank top that hits above his belly button.
- The Grade 2 and 3 classroom doubles as the teachers’ lunchroom, so every day I get to hear the hilarious prayer the little kids say before eating: “Thank you God… About food… That we are going to eat. Amen.”
- There are a lot of bizarre topics on the government-created syllabus, and sometimes my coworkers assume that I know about the ones they’re unfamiliar with. For that purpose, I’ve been asked how to play Monopoly, how to make advertisements using puppets, and how to waltz.
- I went with some friends to the Catholic church in my village, as part of my quest to check out every church in town. The building doesn’t have seats, so we brought our own, a process that looked like this: