• 08Apr

    Art Visit from hell …to heaven!

    I haven’t done many art workshops at drop-in centers lately because school registration uses the bakkie, but Fikiswa helped me find a location that we might be able to drive to in the Mauve-A-Tron. So I gathered all my supplies and we headed out to Njijini to visit a VHW named Cecelia. We drove out there without a real clear idea of where we were going and had to pull over a few times to ask for directions (something that happens a lot. Everyone knows everyone in the rural areas). Finally a young boy jumped in the backseat to show us the way. He told me to turn down a tiny dirt road, which I was skeptical of, but thought I’d give it a try. We stopped in front of one house, but it was the wrong one, and when I tried to drive forward again, the car got stuck! The wheel went in a ditch, and when I hit the gas it just spun in the air.


    Uh-oh. Poor Mauve-A-Tron!

    Several kids came over to see what was going on, but they were all about 5 years old and too small to help. They ran off to get help, and a two teenage boys eventually came to assist. Yes, it was a little embarrassing. The car didn’t need to be pushed, it needed to be lifted up off the ground while I drove in reverse to get the tire back on the road. Shu! I would have offered to help with the lifting, but I was the only one around who knew how to drive a car.

    Once the car was out and back on the main dirt road, I refused to do any more off-roading. That meant we had to find somewhere to park the car before walking the rest of the way to Cecelia’s house. We pulled though a random person’s gate and parked in a field. Then we knocked on their rondaval door to ask if we could leave the car for a few hours. You should have seen the looks on the woman’s face when an umlungu walked in. Her eyes almost popped out of their sockets, wondering what a white person was doing at her house in the middle of nowhere. She let us leave the car there, but all was not well: as we were leaving, I bent down to pat their dog — bad idea. He bit my arm! The bite barely tore through the skin, and I have a big purply bruise now (not so bad), but Andy’s going to keep an eye on me to make sure I don’t start showing signs of Rabies. Fingers crossed!

    Finally we got to Cecelia’s. We were there in time for nutrition, which is always fun. I got some great photos, and also some video footage which I’ll edit into the VHW video piece I’m working on. They were eating semp & beans, spinach, and soup (they use dried soup and make it really thick so it’s more of a gravy for the semp).


    Kids eating semp & beans with yummy veg from Cecelia's garden.

    After nutrition we got to do a fun art project! We made masks, cutting eye-holes out of paper plates and then painting them; and then I got out a big bag of beads (to a crescendo of ooohs and aaahs) and elastic string so we could make a strap for the masks.


    Such adorable, creative kids!


    Badass in a painted mask.

    As usual, they all seemed a bit tentative at first — nobody wants to be the first one to start — but by the end they were practically devouring the supplies. Everyone looked very fabulous in their masks, and looooooved having their photos taken, as usual.


    13 masked OVC, plus Cecelia and two of her kids

    ps — Oh, I almost forgot the last bit: After we were done, we went to pick up our car. It was still there, to our immense relief. A boy took us to a different rondaval on the property so we could say thank you, and Fikiswa knocked on the door then went in. It was bath time! The lady of the house (a rather large mama) was standing in the middle of the room, completely butt naked, and washing herself with a cloth. She wasn’t the least bit embarrassed that I was standing there, trying not to stare at her ginormo boobs. I didn’t take a picture, but I’ll leave it to your creative imaginations. teeheehee.

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