On Tuesday, September 8, I finally arrived in Soweto, South Africa, just outside the capital city of Johannesburg. I entered Soweto filled with apprehension as well as excitement. It was time to meet my new seSotho host family. Many different thoughts were shooting through my head. Would we get along? Would my new family like me? How would they react when I accidentally broke their social rules?
Once I actually met my family, I was so relieved. They were absolutely wonderful. We live in a small four room house and my roommate, Justin Reesor, and I are sharing one room together. Our family showed us around the small, but nicely maintained house and tried to make us feel comfortable. ‘Me Pinkie, our host mom and the ruler of the house, had met us last week and took it upon herself to introduce us to everyone else. There was Pinkie’s forty-year-old daughter, Mawo, and her children, Bahloli and Lesedi. They are one year and eight months, and seven years old, respectively. Bahloli is the cutest toddler imaginable. I think that these living arrangements are going to work out wonderfully, and I am now more excited than ever.
– Nils Martin
Everywhere we go here in Soweto we are bombarded by many greetings and questions, the most popular question being, “What do you like best about South Africa?” Every time my answer is the same: the people. Every day the people of Soweto continue to bless us all as a group with their overwhelming love and hospitality. The primary school children all want to give you hugs, hold your hands, and buy you sweets, the high schoolers greet you warmly and ask many, many questions about our families, school, and what’s popular in the United States. Women on the street are constantly stopping us to invite us into their homes for a cold drink or tea and to “tutor” us in seSotho. Wherever we go, we are greeted with love. That is what I love most about South Africa. The people.
– Rachel Yoder