Thursday, October 11, 2007

6. October Violins & Snoek

The kids and I have at a few days of living as Hout Bay homeschoolers. In our own little neighborhood one afternoon, was yet another magnificent & complete rainbow that literally the closest we’ve ever been to one. We were nearly underneath it as it bridged the cul-de-sac. The kids were ecstatic and ready to go bounding over walls and through security systems to get at the pot of gold that was surely in the neighbor’s back yard.

We went to a few more ensemble sessions with the Hout Bay Music Project. The kids have learned a couple of new songs - traditional South African folk music. “Sawe” and, our favorite, “Jikela Moweni” which we’re told is sung at the end of the day and is about going home, climbing up the mountain - so the piece also includes singing and dancing. The Music Project ensemble itself includes violins, cellos, a 7-year old on drum, and, some days, marimbas! The marimbas are less frequent due to the fact that they are quite cumbersome and require lengthy set-up time. Because the Project doesn’t have a dedicated space, all of the instruments need to go into locked storage at the end of every session so cannot be left prepped for play.

Yesterday was warm and lovely, so we went to the beach downtown, where the kids found beautiful anemones and not just giant, but Enormous Kelp. It looked like the same variety that the didgeridoo woman used to make her dried kelp didgeri/horns.

Bailey returned from Mozambique late last night with, as always stories galore, with which I will let him regale you later. So today, we got to spend time as Family Tourists shopping the crafters stands on the waterfront. We found some antique wood masks from the Congo and, more locally, a Zulu piece. There were a number of more contemporary carved wood pieces as well - from little safari critters to chairs. As always, there was fabulous beading in jewelry and wire crafts, and plenty of weaving. There was also a woman selling crocheted lace “tablecloths” - although I can’t imagine eating on one - they each take her about 16 weeks to make.

We watched a 20 foot Tonka-truck of a little fishing dory come in, and a small crowd gathered as the fishermen and local buyers haggled over the Price of Snoek (pronounced “snook.) It was a sincere and heatedly friendly interchanged that was narrated with chuckling punctuation by an older gentleman whose feathery white hair was barely contained under his knit cap. Snoek are long and thin - about 4 or 5 feet long with about an 18” diameter. They were tossed one by one unceremoniously from the boat to the dock pavement, many of them still wriggling, until there was a pile of about 30 or so. After the brief negotiations, they were tossed into a waiting pick-up truck lines with burlap and tarps. We were then allowed to buy one from the buyer - 40 rand, or about $6 for the entire fish. A nearly toothless woman wearing a headwrap and protective garbage bag down to her ankles cleaned the fish in about 30 seconds for an additional 5 rand. Maddie requested that we instead give her 10 - adding another 1.50 to the cost. We also picked up some enormous crayfish that would give legal-size lobster a swim for their money. So, we threw our snoek on the braai with some periperi and had a feast! (braai=barbeque, periper=spicy marinade)

No comments: