Sunday, July 3, 2011

Molweni! (Hello to many in Xhosa!)

This blogging thing is unfortunately becoming a once a week think and I'm sorry! I always have lots to say by this point though so expect this to be pretty lengthy.

This past week was our 2nd and last week of IT training with the adults in Khayelitsha. They now all have email accounts, and facebook pages. They can operate Microsoft Word and have an up-to-date resume. Pretty impressive for two weeks, huh? On Friday, we had our farewell with them and both my friends that I was working with wrote me notes goodbye. Corentia thanked me for all my hard work and everything I taught her. Thozama mentioned how patient I was with her and how everything she learned was so valuable to her. Patient? Me? Mission accomplished! I never thought I'd see this day. It honestly shocked me how much of an impact I had on their lives - not to mention the amazing impact they've had on mine. I hope to keep in touch with these two inspiring women, now that they have email accounts!

This week we start tutoring sessions in the same township. Our group has been paired with 9th graders which means I have to remember 9th grade math...this is going to be interesting. Maybe they'll end up tutoring me.

Last Wednesday we went out to a restaurant called Mama Africa. It's known for being a very touristy place to go but we wanted to explore some different foods. Traditionally, South Africa does have some native dishes but they really do eat similar foods to what we eat in the States. I ordered mango chicken kebabs simply because that sounded perfect to me. But, I did taste someone else's crocodile and ostrich! I've never been known to be an adventurous eater so I'm sure this surprises all of you. I enjoyed both of them but definitely the ostrich more. The dinner included live entertainment from an African band. They were really good and played, "the lion sleeps tonight." It was really fun. After dinner we headed down to Long Street Cafe for Karaoke Night! Taryn, Jill, Ryan, and I sang, "I've had the time of my life," from Dirty Dancing and it was a huge hit. Everyone was standing, singing along, and cheered loudly for us at the end.

This weekend was yet again, amazing like the past. On Saturday we went to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. This is the southern and western most part of Africa and is also where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean. We saw baboons from the car, which was pretty funny but I'm glad I was in the car because I've heard that they're known to be pretty vicious animals. We hiked out to the point and as soon as we got there, it started to pour. It was pretty funny yet incredibly beautiful. The views were breathtaking. I'm sure it would have been gorgeous on a sunny day but there is just something about the rain. During our hike we rain into a wild ostrich along the path. Joe apologized for eating him at dinner the other night, the group got a laugh out of that. When in South Africa...animals aren't just at the zoo...

Saturday we also went to Boulder Beach which is where the wild penguins are! They are just too cute. We saw a bunch of them pretty up close and tons on boulders out in the water. The beach was beautiful and the boulders were enormous, hence the name.

Today we went downtown into Cape Town for Indian food. There is a pretty large Indian population in South Africa and lots of delicious Indian food. Tandoori chicken, naan bread, and rice for 7 dollars? Not bad at all.

After lunch I headed down to Claremont to meet up with an old friend that I worked with at Camp Horizons. David's first year working at camp I was a camper, the following summer I was a counselor-in-training, and the third summer we were working together as counselors. He is originally from Johannesburg and currently living in Brisbane, Australia but is in Cape Town for the week with his mom. I met up with the two of them and had a cup of coffee. We then headed up to Signal Hill to watch the sunset. It was gorgeous and we could see all of the city from there. We went out to dinner after and all enjoyed a heaping plate of prawns soaked in garlic butter. Definitely did not have anything to complain about today. It's always great catching up with old friends and we were both just in shock that we were both in South Africa at the same time.

We have big plans for the 4th tomorrow and I'm excited to celebrate America's independence with other American students here!

Happy 4th to everyone and have a great week!

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