Lokale leeftijdsgenoten genoeg!

What really stood out for me about myself, is that I somehow seemed to be more attracted to people of my age. This is why I had many opportunities to talk with them about their thoughts on several things. I chose to use two boys of the Palm Tree project in South Africa for the interview-assignment.  Although I've talked to their other siblings as well, these two were the main couple I talked with. They are named Andile and Khulekani.

I don't want to write it down as if it was an interview, because it didn't feel that way. It was just like I was making new friends with a different lifestyle. It feels wrong to write it like a QA-report, so it won't be written that way.

The first thing we talked about was our future. I already am sure about what I want to be, and so was Andile. He wants to be a manager in the future, because he is good in languages and economics. This makes me think that he really does seriously think about which opportunities he will have. Khulekani on the other hand, wasn't sure yet. What they both knew is that they want to travel when they're old enough. They both would love to visit France. They were thinking about leaving South Africa permanently, but I honestly think that will change for some of them.

We also talked about our cultures. I told them that I had just had a so-called 'Zulu-Experience', where a real Zulu-woman told us about their traditions. Marriage isn't going on one knee and ask the girl you love, it's way more complicated. The woman has to make food for the whole family and while serving, she is not aloud to have eye-contact with anyone. The soon-to-be-husband has to buy around 12 cows. When I told Andile en Khulekani this, they shook their heads. No, we won't follow these old traditions. Just a simple marriage, like you see on TV.

Of course we also had a little talk about HIV and Aids. 'Would you have sex with your girlfriend out of the blue? What would you do if you or your girlfriend turned out to have HIV?', were the questions. They say the would first have themselves tested, and of course also their girlfriends would have to prove they were negatively tested. Khulekani told me he has had a test already, because of an incident with his brother and blood could have been exchanged. The others all said the were'nt HIV-positive, but later I heard at least some of them had. 1 out of 3 people in South Africa have AIDS or HIV.

Also they saw no wrong in being homosexual or bi-sexual, although they all are Christian. One of them also is familiar with alcohol and smoking weed. It seemed like they didn't know any taboos, like I (I don't know why) expected.

These people inspire me. Although they had a horrible start of their lives, they grew out to these amazing people with even more amazing dreams. I had a bond with these boys from the beginning and am very sure I will never ever forget them. They felt like my friends, my brothers. That is why I'm going back in two years. To see my brothers again. :)


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