Today on Blogroll Roll Call I’m featuring South Africadventures, a Peace Corps oriented blog from my friend Matt Kertman. As one might expect from the title, the blog details Matt’s adventures as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa, where he’s been teaching school since last year. Teaching school, running marathons for charity, going hiking, all the usual Peace Corps stuff.
Why I Bookmarked It
Much like Amanda Jennison’s blog, I started reading Matt’s posts because I’ve known him since high school. He was a Freshman and I was a Senior. I seriously wish I could find some embarrassing photos of him that aren’t also embarrassing photos of me, but what can you do?
I’ve got another personal reason for reading South Africadventures. Specifically, my wife (who also went to high school with Matt) is a Returned Peace Corps volunteer. Reading Matt’s posts I see parallels between her descriptions of her time in Madagascar and Matt’s time in South Africa.
Why I Still Read It
During a recent posting on his blog about an experience he had while waiting for a Taxi, Matt posted this:
As most of us have learned, you never know what will happen in a kombie, and having a sympathetic Gogo/Make on your side, who knows you’re a teacher educating their children, is like tagging a star on Super Mario brothers. You’re temporarily invincible.
Matt’s comparison between the powers of older South African women and those of a video game power-up is, to me, enough to keep reading.
Why You Should Read It
Matt expresses an important viewpoint for many of us. He is a person immersed in a culture other than his own. Matt’s learning from South African culture while simultaneously trying to share his knowledge (and culture) with South Africans. It’s a delicate and difficult balance to walk, with respect and open mindedness on the one side, the desire to share and teach on the other. For those of us (myself included) that haven’t had this experience, South Africadventures presents an important perspective.
I recommend Matt’s blog for more than just the general benefit that the reader gets from his unique point of view, though. I recommend it because he’s a hell of a writer, and expresses himself aptly.
Until next time.