Visiting Rural Limpopo

After National Science Week, I made a quick jaunt up to Limpopo to visit my buddy Mike. His site is extremely rural.

This was my welcome dinner:

Mike’s life is a little strange, as he has two sites. The first is accessible by taxi from a major city. The second, however, requires an adventure…

 

Clearly, we’re up for an adventure.

There’s a bus, but it only runs on certain days (and only leaves the village in the morning and returns at night). So we had to slog:

But we made it and hung out with chickens:

And I got to meet Cat:

With some local kids, we went on an adventure:

To climb this:

It was harder than it looked.

Check out this aloe:

At the top:



Here’s Mike’s village, where we started:

And back down:

On the way down the mountain, our traveling companions brought a bunch of logs down:

We couldn’t figure out why they wanted the logs. They were really working hard to get the logs down, and didn’t seem to be enjoying themselves. When we got back to the village, we realized that the logs make good improvised fence posts. There aren’t a lot of trees in the village, so if you want a fence but don’t have the money for posts, you have to slog to the mountains and fetch logs.

The next morning, we played with kids while waiting for school to open. They were extremely confused by me. My insistence on continually running in circles probably didn’t help the confusion.

Mike, as you might have noticed, is ancestrally Indian. That makes him much less exotic in a village than a white dude.  Many of the rural shops in black villages are owned by Indians, but you almost never see a white person.