The air is charged, all electric. The mood is hyped, all excited. The social media corridors off the hinges with excitement! The idiocy of shared posts and mostly memes about family, on the webs unmatched. The steps we take with spring. Plans made all year taking shape. Money invested all year getting used. I read somewhere once that Disemba (as we now have adapted to calling December in southern Africa) is a whole lifestyle. I agree absolutely. The other months must be jealous.
We all set out, far and near. To the farms, to the in-laws, to the grandparents, to the parentals, to children strewn across the world, to friends across the Atlantics, to cousins at places whose names we can't pronounce but going to. What does it matter? It doesn't, we have Disemba to 'eat'! "Did you call your cousin to see the old man at the farm near ours? We will need another goat, ba Tlokweng bare ba etla. Please get three?" I have wondered how many beasts appease our mood this time of the year; it must be in numbers unpronounceable.
"Girls have you packed sunscreen? You'll need more than one swimming suit, pack several. Please Lesire pack for your little brother. He claims he has but you know how that always turns out, so make sure he's packed well. I am going to be working late tonight and will come home knackered, and I'll need a little lie in. Lord knows why I booked an early morning flight, never again. See you later! And oh take a book or two each; the lay-over in Heathrow is insanely long."
"Passport, check Visa, check Bikini, check Mood, check Issa holiday" Several Instagram and Facebook posts will sound something like that. "Boitumelo, o kae this holiday?" "Owaiii ke mo Moleps ke lwela meriti le bo mmantseane. Where are you?" "Girl, we're going to bokalaka, I'm not sure I know what I'm feeling. This is the first Christmas I won't be home with my family. I've been here but it's always been in and out, now a whole week? How am I going to sleep until midday at my mother in law's girl? This week better hurry! And these guys are all coming, I hear that's forty people if we're lucky, can be more, how do you cook for forty people? Come save me my friend, boo hoo" "You said 'I do'" and she laughs.
"Gents, what time will be at the farm? Are you all sorted with visas (permission from wife to go and be a boy really). Mine is unlimited, I've just left the airport from taking her. I have a bit of time, what else do I need to get? Did you guys send MasterP the nosh for getting the drinks in South Africa? Remember he only has today, baakanyang!" a What'sapp text reads in a boy’s only group.
"Are you still doing the Christmas lunch/reading for the children in Lephepe my friend?" "Oh, always. I absolutely love the way they beam for the day. It used to be about the sweets and the little nice stuff they get but now, oh my word, they really do want to read and learn and that gladdens my heart in ways unknown" she beams herself as she says this. "Have I told you how proud I am of you? You're such an awesome person and a great inspiration, please keep at it. We all really can make a difference however, in the lives of the people we live with who don't have it better. I have another friend in Mogoditshane who has committed to this Christmas lunch for vulnerable kids, for as long as she shall live. She holidays another time. So humbling." I say to her.
"Please tell everyone that the bus will leave at exactly four in the morning. That gives us enough time to be at the border as one of the first. Remember there will be many more other groups and churches, so we must beat the queues. We will also be able to start with the first service and to also get great seats" mma moruti "Ee mma I will tell them. I am SO excited mma moruti. It's going to be my first time. I have never been able to go and this year I started saving from beginning of year. It's my Christmas gift to myself" the excitement on her face is almost palpable. Happy holidays from the Forthrights. Be merry, but also be safe. See you next year, cheers!