Sunday, July 7, 2013
Christmas Holiday Part 2: Christmas in Machipe
Having spent a mere two days visiting my PST host family before IST in June, I was looking forward to spending a full four days there enjoying the holiday season in the village. I arrived after about 2 hours on a taxi and found my 12-year-old host brother, Sello, waiting for me on the side of the tar road off of which their house is situated. I jumped out of the taxi as quickly as my huge backpack would allow me and went to greet him. He welcomed me with a controlled nonchalance. “Hi Goitsi!” he said, giving me a one-armed hug as I had to harness all of my willpower to match his coolness and keep from smothering him in a bear hug. Neighbors began to laugh at the exchange. “Eish Sello say hello to her! You’ve missed her!” they urged then, turning to me added “Goitsi, he’s been sitting there ALL DAY LONG waiting for you!”. Sello looked mortified as his friends began to tease him so naturally, I used his embarrassment to give him the twirling hug that I had been planning for days. So much for staying cool!
Holidays in the village are enormously different from the cozy, warm, fire-lit, tree-side, eggnog saturated affair that I had grown up experiencing. My entire stay in Machipe was embellished markedly by visiting neighbors, cooking parties, and daily trips to community centers nearby where the children, who were out of school at this time, could frolic around in the open spaces and go swimming while the adults proceeded to get absolutely annihilated with ‘holiday spirit’.
It was a blast. We spent hours braaing, drinking, socializing and dancing, Ashma and Tebogo ever watchful of me and the invariable line of inebriated suitors who would follow the “white girl” around with coolers of hard cider and beer balanced somehow on their lurching shoulders. As much fun as I had there, and as joyous a reunion as Christmas inevitably was for me, after three days of straight village partying I found myself in desperate need of a break from the 3-day hysteria of celebrity, and decided to depart a day early and allow myself to unwind with a “buffer” 48 hours in Pretoria preceding my flight to Cape Town.
Next Time: Bringing in 2013 Cape Town style!