Most of the 10,000 people live outside the main village on their family compound. We arrived on the day that government checks are issued to the unemployed. This is a big day in a region with 70% unemployment, so the village market was busy even if small. Food, clothing, and material were for sale along with a variety of cooked meats and vegetables. We walked through after our guide taught the proper Zulu greeting. When meeting someone, you say, “Sonnybona. “ The proper response is, “Yabo.” We got to practice as we walked through. The people were clearly used to outsiders like us.
|The Hill Where School Began in Nompondo|
We also stopped in the little store next to the market where you could get cold drinks and larger staples like rice or flour. A mother was taking advantage of the coolness of the shop to bottle feed her young baby.
Land rights are interesting and we are still working out the details. It seems that all the land belongs to the king who grants the right to occupy the land and farm it.
|Nompondo Village Market|
|Nompondo Village Store|
We visited one family compound. Sadly the grandmother who lives there and accepted our house greeting is unable to walk because of her bad knees, she gets around on her hands and knees. As visitors we were expected to speak a greeting to the house to show we come in peace. Then the occupant would reply and we would be allowed to visit. We went into the ceremonial building where we could see the incense used to prepare the building for use and the bones and gall bladders of goats which provided evidence that the ancestors were well-honored. Among other things, we learned that women would eat more because they worked harder and men drank more beer because they did not need their energy.
|Zulu Home Compound|
|Our Guide Showing How Men Drink Beer|
We also visited the separate building used as a kitchen. The stove in the corner is no longer used because it uses more fuel than the open fire. Getting firewood for heating and cooking is a problem in much of Africa as is access to clean water – or in some cases any water at all. Some women still walk daily to get the water from a river or water hole. Things are much better in South Africa, but there are still areas where getting the basic water and power needs is a problem. We left the village with a feeling of thanks for what we have provided for us so easily.
|Checking the Corn Meal for Dinner|
|Inside the Kitchen|
On the way and back, we came upon African stop lights – cows, donkeys and goats in the road.