Monday, December 21, 2015

Snake Awareness and Other Nonesense

I really enjoy the Basotho culture for many reasons.  They are polite, friendly, as far as political correctness goes they are in the 1600’s, and they are terrified of everything, especially snakes.  I hiked every weekend during training except one.  The Basotho are curious, which took me a while to get used to being asked “U ea kae?” or “where are you going?”.  I would reply I’m just walking or point and name a place such as Thaba Sefekini or that tree way over their.  Almost every time, someone would then ask “aren’t you scared?”.  The first couple of weeks I thought to myself that I possibly should be concerned, I mean I am in Africa after all.  A few more weeks into training and I just came to the conclusion that the Basotho are scared of everything.  

On multiple occasions I’ve seen kids and adults running for their lives from a small dust devil.  I asked one of my language and culture teachers where this incredible fear of spinning dust came about and received the best answer ever.  There is a Basotho myth, that many still believe, that dust devils are caused by snakes spinning in circles in order to transport across land quickly (I’m serious people).  So when I had to teach a life skills class (like home economics and health mixed) with my friend Rachel, she came up with the perfect class, SNAKE AWARENESS.  

Rachel went over the background that snakes are cold blooded and yada yada, while I drew a map of the world.  My turn came and I basically named 3-5 of the most terrifying snakes on each continent (except Europe, where your only fear is French a**holes) and gave a backstory on each.  The material spoke for itself.  I found out there are poisonous flying snakes, spitting cobras, king cobras can stand 6 feet tall to face a predator, black mambas can out run a man and are aggressive, and sea snakes can live on piles of floating garbage in groups of 1000 - 2000.  The kids were taking better notes during the snake awareness class than during any of our math lectures.  I even brought in a string to whip at a girl in order to demonstrate how fast a snake can strike.  It’s kind of fun messing with kids, I mean teaching valuable lessons.

This is my friend Rachel.  Other than her taste in coffee, beer, and music, she's completely nuts.  

- Peace

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