Avi and Naomi2
Originally uploaded by Naphiri.

Congratulate me. My organisation’s first official screening of a film was quite successful. With +/- 90 people packed into the tiny space of the first floor of our building, the only minor glitch was small and technical, and nothing I had control over.

For those who don’t know, I managed to organise this event that featured Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis, from Canada, as the Director’s of the film, The Take. They flew from Toronto to Durban for a screening but attended our small event as a favour to me and my organisation. It was intimate, interactive, and absolutely perfect for a long weekend/Father’s Day audience.

After the show, and the Q&A to follow, I said goodbye to the directors/writers and escorted my dearly beloved to the airport for her flight. Ton left for Canada last night around 10pm. I still haven’t slept much since then given my heightened energy levels over the last week. While I’ll miss her I know that I’m really going to make good use of the alonetime to just chill out and de-stress over such an insane rollercoaster week (long story – I’ll spare the details in the short space of this blog).

In addition to the screening I managed to achieve excellence in being given the opportunity to project manage an international gig that we’re working on. I’ll be responsible for the design and implementation of a website enabling workers to get information about wages, rights, responsibilities, and so on. Another bonus of this is the free trip to the Netherlands halfway through the project! It’s a lot of work given that I have 3 weeks to complete over 3 months of work. It’s a challenge, but I’m thrilled that I’ll be moving on to do something more than just write and manage small communications projects. It’s nice to be given more responsibility and I’m excited about the whole thing.

And to what do I owe these great achievements? Well, me, obviously. And the great support that the organisation and staff continues to give me. But beyond that I’ve recently discovered the Buy and Braai. Here’s the ‘sights and sounds’ portion of my communique – for all who’ve been asking for it.

The Buy and Braai.

You walk into a butcher choose your slab of meat – wors (pronounced ‘vors’ – a really long coily sausage), steaks, flatties (whole chickens split down the middle and spread-eagled), and lamb chops are sold in individual serving sizes. You take your meat of choice, spend R1 (about 20 cents Canadian) for a packet of spices, and go outside to where a huge BBQ grill and about 5-10 hungry men stand waiting. You muscle your way through the salivating masses and throw your meat down on the grill (while ignoring the various stares by the men who are amazed at a woman braaiing – apparently a ‘man’ job). A couple older women in the doorway sell you pap (like Nsima from Malawi – think of polenta with a playdough consistency) and cabbage salad for about R4 (about 80 cents). When your meat is complete (and you’ve had enough of doubting men asking you dumbass questions like, ‘is someone watching your meat for you?’) you grab it and throw it onto the pap and salad. The whole meal (more than enough for two) costs less than R12 (about $2.40). Cheap, tasty, fresh, and filling – all for the price of a cup of decent coffee in Canada. Ahh, I’ll miss the Buy and Braai when I eventually leave.

I wish I could be in Canada right now. While I’m happy with a lot of what’s going on professionally, I’m definitely starting to feel the stress of being so far from home. I’m tired a lot and, since it’s bloody cold with night temperatures of one degree and no central heating, I could really use a bit of summer. I could also use a familiarity injection.

Adam will be coming in August and I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a friend visiting – I miss him a lot and am looking forward to some of that familiarity coming along with him. I’m hoping we can maybe head out to Cape Town and/or Durban. It’ll be good to get a bit of beach – warmth and water always sort me out.

And on that note I’m going to wrap up and get back to the piles of work awaiting me in this new-found ‘responsibleness’. And thus I say to you: May your braai always be hot and your flattie always be well-marinated. Bon appetite tout le monde.