Family and Community:
Late 2003 & Early 2004



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1-R20 veggie bag

2-Neo digging grass

3-Khumo - hauling

4-River hike - Stein

1-Vegetable bags like this are sold by women sitting along the road or outside shops.
2-Neo is working on my yard to clear off any green growth and Khumo is helping by hauling and dumping the unwanted stones and greens.  There is considerable fear of snakes hiding in grasses then entering houses, so a great deal of time and energy is spent keeping yards clear.  Unfortunately all the scraping and digging and raking loosens the topsoil so any breeze or wind blows it into the house. A few of the houses in my village do have planted lawns and some well-placed trees, bushes, and flowers (oleander is popular), but they are ones with easily accessible water – families with more monetary resources.


5-River - Slate

6-River view

7-Buxton limestone

8-Thorn tree - Acacia

9-Weaver birds' nests

10-Cactus

11-Neo's 1st birthday cake

12-Maggie 75; Bonolo 21

Photos 4 to 10 are samples from a walk above one of my schools – a Buxton limestone area where the Taung skull was discovered. The beautiful river was a wonderful surprise and contrast to the area where I live, only a short distance away. There are many beliefs which prevent most of the locals from visiting and enjoying the river – we saw no other people in the area that day.
Photos 11 to 20 are a series of birthday pictures – birthdays are not celebrated where I live and often not acknowledged. I made a cake for Khumo’s 6th birthday and it was such a hit I have made one for each of the family members to celebrate their day.


13-Oratile 8

14-Reatligile 3

15-Millie

16-Ishmael 79

17-Funi 9

18-Botiki 10

19-Serwaledi

20-Tumelo 24
Photos 21 to 29 are from a graduation celebration for my sister Galalatsang – Bachelor’s Degree qualifying her to practice law. She lives in a city but had a big tent installed in her front yard. Lots of food prep in backyard – women cutting vegetables then cooking in big black pots on open fires, men BBQing meat, big wagon like a beer can on side for booze. There was song and processional dance to send her off to the graduation ceremony, then big partying when she returned.  Anyone who came who had graduated in the past wore their cap and gown, walked in a procession, sat at special tables (apparently a common practice to honor and promote the value of education). Speeches, champagne then a big party deep into the night.

21-Nail prep

22-Pregraduation
celebration

23-With Mom and kids

24-Welcome home

25-Tent

26-Party procession

27-Graduation speakers

28-Beer wagon
30 to 35 are miscellaneous photos - Family clowns are Khumo, Oratile, Sade (live-in helper) and Desiree. “Church dress” shows a young girl’s communion clothing, baby’s christening clothes, young woman on left (mother of the baby) in uniform of unmarried women. Different denominations have different uniforms but same basic style. Married women wear same as unmarried except no yoke.  Uniforms are worn every last Sunday of the month and on special occasions. Snoopy transport shows how babies and small children are carried in blankets or large towels tightly secured in front with special twisting of ends/corners.

29-Rebecca and Thelma

30-Family clowns

31-Church dress

32-Snoopy transport

33-Khumo's 1st day of school

34-Homework

35-And Snoopy

36-Storm coming

Khumo starts school. Photos 36 to 43 show storms as they quickly move in and out.  Beautiful skies! Winter months are April to September. This year we’ve been having more rain than the last couple of years though it started too late to help the farmers. I am happy to have the cooler weather and hopefully the draught the area has been experiencing will be over.


37-Storm

38-Storm

39-Storm

40-Storm

41-Storm

42-Storm

43-Rainbow

44-Closet kittens
Photos 44 to 50 - Three kittens were born in my wardrobe last September. Gave two away and just got “Cinderella” neutered. Mom had two more March 19, one white with grey tail and ear tips, other tiger stripes. She got pregnant while still nursing, but I’ll get her to the vet before another batch begins! Good company and lots of entertainment.

45-Patient mom

46-Beds are for Fun

47-Cool cat

48-Local wildlife

49-Climbing up in the world

50-Hangin' out on the roof

51-Where's the beef?

52-Tent by the house
Photos 51 to 66 are a series of the wedding of my niece Tumelo. Tremendous amount of preparation from "lobola" ceremony (money from groom to bride’s family) two months before to formal delivery of bride and all her possessions to groom’s family home about two weeks after the wedding. Very expensive. Lobola was set at R8000. Tumelo had to go live with the inlaws for a couple of weeks as sort of a test to see if she would be a good addition to the family – washed their clothes and prepared food & cleaned house.

53-Food preparation

54-Food preparation

55-Bride's mother and aunt

56-Bride and her uncle

57-Church

58-Inside the church

59-Proceeding up the aisle

60-Signing papers
Groom’s family sent a cow (about R2000) and a sheep (R800) to be slaughtered for the wedding and the bride’s family provided two cows, vegetables, flour, maize meal, oil, sugar etc. to make  bread and "pap" and tea for 500 guests. And of course there is the beer, soda and some liquor. Bride’s dress R1500, groom’s R1500. wedding cake, DJ, transport, as well as tent, chair and table rental. Finding money to spend on events like this is more important than paying school fees or saving for a rainy day. The wedding was a real mix of western world tradition and African tribal customs. There is too much to share now but I’ll save the memories for later. It was quite an event and everyone is still recovering.

61-Speeches

62-Dancers

63-Tumelo and Kagiso

64-Cake cutting

65-Me and a cousin

66-Mrs. Disipi