As described in earlier installments, the sangoma celebration was a long event. My host family had their share of fun I'm sure but they could never have too much fun because they were the hosts. This also meant having to take care of the after party clean-up. I helped here and there but every time I asked my host mother how I could help, she would just get mad and tell me, “it's all womens' work”. In most circumstances in Tswana culture, all manner of cleaning is considered “womens' work” but there were plenty of men cleaning since almost every detail after the party was a cleaning detail. I think she just didn't want me pestering her because she was dog-tired and figured it would go faster without having to explain things in English. I should mention that the cleaning started just as soon as the last drunken soul left. So that would mean that the family had been up for roughly 34 hrs and now they were doing heavy duty clean-up. Under my super-vision, the first priority would have been an extra-strength power nap and then maybe...maybe cleaning would be discussed. This might be why nobody calls me to plan sangoma celebrations.
Imagine washing that many gigantic pots! This is another reason why I would not be asked to organize a sangoma celebration. Only one gigantic pot would be allowed.
Near sunset, most everything had been taken care of. You wouldn't have been able to tell that a little over a hundred people were revelling in the same spot just a few hours prior. Impressively, most of the family was still awake at this point. They must have hit their second wind because they were now sitting around telling stories and reverting to old childhood roles. The sangoma celebration was assuredly a special event and a smashing success in itself but it was also something special for this family. It was a great excuse to come home and be with each other.