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Adjusting to Africa time

  • Story Highlights
  • Josh is still unable to get started officially, he must meet Jozini's mayor first
  • He has moved out of the town planner's house into a "Jozini chalet"
  • He is also getting to know his new house and workmate, Lindsay
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By Josh Macabuag
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JOZINI, South Africa (CNN) -- I think I'm slowly getting used to the concept of "Africa time" as it's been explained to me -- i.e. everything's a long way apart and nothing happens quickly. So again, the initial days at work were spent acclimatizing, this time to our new place, car and office.

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"I'll be spending the next six months sharing one of the "Jozini chalets" with the other volunteer, Lindsay."

I'm in a Zulu province of South Africa and as I understand it, one thing that Zulu culture really emphasizes is respect for authority. That means that we have to meet the Jozini mayor before we can officially join the municipality offices. Since we haven't yet been formally introduced, we aren't officially working at the moment.

Ignoring this, we've been skulking about the offices anyway, getting to know the people here, tagging along to meetings and site visits to get our faces known, and to try and get a feel for the place.

We also moved out of Kobas' house and into our new home. Kobas is the town planner of the Jozini Municipality and seems to have been charged with the (not-so-simple) task of keeping us alive during our stay.

He's a funny guy, he didn't seem irate over us busting a tire on the company car and driving back in the dark, and he managed to stomach the thank you korma that Lindsay and I cooked. So, he's okay in my books.

Anyway, I'll be spending the next six months sharing one of the "Jozini chalets" with the other volunteer, Lindsay, who I should probably introduce. She's from Northern Ireland, finished university a few years ago and has been a consultant on waste-water (poo) management since.

Prior to coming out here we met once briefly at a training weekend, and now we're living, working and eating together. It'll be interesting to see if that'll make us the best of friends or savage enemies. I've already warned her that I'm a terrible cook and get extremely grumpy without copious amounts of sleep, so we should get by fine.

So after way too many introductions, a welcome drink and a clamp-down on a minor cockroach infestation it was a fairly easy first few days. Very keen to get on with something useful now. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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