My Boss Retires
At the end of April, my boss at the education center retired. Sadly, I can’t say who he is, as it would make me very easy to find and the Peace Corps does not like it when we give away too much information about our location. Nevertheless, he was a good man to work with, and he’ll be missed dearly in many ways by many people.
In South Africa, every occasion of importance is a function and not merely a gathering. These sorts of functions are dreaded by Peace Corps South Africa volunteers and many South Africans as well. Hours sitting through bland speeches in languages you don’t speak, sometimes in the hot sun, and there is no guarantee of food. But this function was really great:
We prayed, a few speeches were given (including one from me), and a gift was presented. Usually these sorts of functions drag on and on, but since this one was just a small group of us it was short and to the point. The speeches were all very heartfelt and endearing, and we had no shortage of wonderful things to say about this man. We appreciated him, and he in turn spoke and appreciated us. It was very touching. We could have easily said much more, but the food was too tempting:
He’ll be missed!
Yes, we’re holding hands. While this is extremely unusual behavior for Americans, in South Africa it is simply a gesture of goodwill. You hold hands with your buddies, male or female. It took me a bit to get used to holding hands with dudes, but once I got past my American cultural programming, I decided that it’s pretty neat. I am very much in favor of more hand holding.
Bonus photos! Some of my coworkers jammed into our little shared office:
And a monkey sitting outside my office window, waiting for a chance to steal my lunch. I hate monkeys.