Village Life

This monochrome photo essay is the first in a series, showing vignettes from my host village in rural South Africa. Photos shot October through December 2011.

Edited 11. January 2012.


4 responses to “Village Life

  1. Howell,
    Do you cook, eat, and clean-up meals communally? The buildings remind me of the homes described by the “quilt ladies” from Lower Alabama who lived so remotely and for many years and pieced quilts from every scrap they could find. The came to Westminster…I think Will and you were still there…know Kathryn was…to show their quilts and talk about their work and inspiration for the designs. They told of shoring up drafty holes in the walls of their homes with newspaper or whatever they could get their hands on since they were so far removed from any town…didn’t have a bridge to get to the mainland for many years.
    Happy New Year!
    Nancy J

    • Hi Mrs. Jungman,

      I typically cook on my own for the day-to-day. For community events, however – weddings, funerals, the end of the school year, tombstone unveilings, etc. – everyone gets together and helps make this enormous meal, cooking the meat stews and cornmeal porridge in three-legged cauldrons over open fires.

      As for the homes, it’s weird. The family I live with lives in a home with a tile floor, satellite TV, and a two-car garage. The people next to us, they live in a tin shack, not unlike the one in the photo essay. But you had better believe they have three-foot tall speakers they love to blast everything from Jo’Burg rap and South African techno to Aerosmith and Dolly Parton from starting at 6 iin the morning.


  2. Howell,
    These pictures enable me to visualize Mama Grace teaching you how to wash your clothes!! I hope you got my last comment. I am not sure it went through. Thanks for these pictures. They are very telling. I would love to see a picture of the house you are living in.
    God bless!
    Sara Chapman

    • Mrs. Chapman,

      I am happy to hear the pictures let you visualize things better. That’s definitely the goal! I will include a picture of my house in a future installment.


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