day/month/year ( how everyone else does it, not to mention the metric system needs to be chucked America!)
Note: a Long and luxurious update….pictures will be arriving next week to compliment!
So guess what! We have an avocado tree in our back yard and I just found this out. Today I climbed the tree, picked like 20, Portia ( my roomate ) and I wrapped them up, and we are going to be living off them for the rest of the time here! I am soo excited. Then I proceeded to sit in the tree and read the tao de ching for a while...
Highlights of the last couple weeks:
Hex River Mountain Hike: As you can see, I've uploaded pictures...it was a blast. We drove about 2 hours north of Cape Town between the towns Ceres and Worcester- where UCT owns land. On the way we drove with two South African girls from Durban: Isabelle and Sarah. We stopped at a vineyard and had wine tasting at 10am in the morning! It was fun! On the way up the mountain we hiked up to a dam about half way- jumped off a 11m bridge- 40ish feet, in to the water- it was scary as hell and swam around to these freshwater waterfalls. Then we hiked up into the mountain, and through a field of pink flowers...it was utterly wonderful. We went swimming at a natural cold spring, with moss and waterfalls flowing down the rocks- the water was cold, but soo worth it. Then we sat on huge rocks and watched the sunset. Ate our sandwiches, and watched the sun go down. And the stars came out. And you could see the entire milkyway. Slept in sleeping bags on the ground- there are baboons around, but they don’t bother big groups of people. and the next day hiked down, swam in the dam again, and peaced back to Cape Town. It was soo relaxing...met some cool Americans, Europeans and South Africans on the way. Chilled with a couple of my good friends: April, Ben, Bubba, and Johannah and Matt
Things I love:
Its sunny everyday, except today was the first day it RAINED! Raincoat= handy
-"Coffee Crushes"- at Cocoa WahWah ( a local cafe chain)- coffee cursh is like a coolatta- but better, and I got Chocochino- which is coffee and chocolate- SO GOOD
-they have weird combinations of things like- banana and bacon sandwiches ( which I did not try)
-everyone walks on the left, and so when your going up stairs you have to watch out, everything is the opposite- although I've noticed that sometimes, people just walk wherever, so your pretty much walking on the wrong side always!
-everyone is friendly
-the other day we went to see "Malakia " at the Botanical Gardens Summer Concerts, they were wonderful
-In the car ride, the IES Program Director, Naomi said to me, " we are just so lucky to be living in such a beautiful place" and it hit me, I'm not just visiting here. I'm living here, this is my new home for the next couple months, and I just had such a wonderful feeling inside.
-The elections are also coming up so the newspapers are full of political stuff happening. SA are into their politics!!
-I cook all the time- I've been making omelets, stirfry, mac and cheese, homemade tomato sauce- its really sweet in the jar- ew-, eggplant rotatini, sandwiches, avocado and mango here are amazing, sweet potato fries! and I'm always in the kitchen cooking something up ( strange how things like that work out)
-To Do: Kalahari Desert- Its been something I've wanted to do, and it looks awesome!!
-Juliann my roommate and total hippy girl friend wrote on of her goals, and its so beautiful, “don’t get caught up, always give back” and “spend time understanding instead of judging.”
Bike and Wine in Stellenbosch, Saturday March 7th and Sunday March 8th:
Saturday we left for Stellenbosch( 30 minute drive east), spent the day in the town walking around. Cutsey town, went to a local cafe, and also went to an Old General Store with antiques, and spicess, and coffee, and jams...my favorite thing. We walked by a Café Specials sign that said: “ Smile: a curve that can set a lot of things straight”. The hostel we stayed at was called Banghoek Place, and my other friends stayed at the "Stumble Inn" both had beautiful rooms with pools, it was pretty nice. That night we went to a restaurant called "moyo" to have the ultimate African experience. Has cool candles, live music, tree houses, face painting, and a huge buffet with all these dishes. I tried Springbok a type of antelope- it was alright- tastes like pot roast, which I don’t like...I'm not a fan of meat. The night was beautiful. The next day we did the Bike and Wine all through the vineyards. We visited 3 vineyards, and biked to each. Had like 5 glasses of wine at each, trying different ones. There were 18 of us. Our tour guides were hilairous and fun.
A really fun Wednesday last week Downtown:
I had some time to kill in between classes last Wednesday afternoon, so I decided to take the Hiddingh campus Shuttle to down town. The shuttle drops you off right by Long St- down town area, and the Company Gardens, with the South African National Art Gallery and Museum. There was an African Instrument Exhibit I have been meaning to go t that was ending on march 15th. As I entered into the front hall, I noticed several photographs on the wall, known to be most famous in South Africa for Photography: David Goldblatt (1971) known for photographing social issues. As I’m looking at the art, this man named Wouter, pronounced “ Voter” approached me, a volunteer tour guide for the museum. We started chatting and he took me out into the court yard, here there was a African Drumming session going on with a bunch of hearing impaired high school students. We listened to them for a while, and I was amazed…the ability to hear the vibrations and hand eye coordination was amazing.
Wouter told me that he saw this picture once of a Zulu man taken by: , with an apron on in the fields, and it was supposed to be a representation of a poor man, and a social issues. When asked why he took it the man said, "I've never seen a Zulu man wearing a skirt!"- Sometimes just remembering the simple things about life is soo wonderful…even art!
We also walked by a Famous sculpture piece called “ Butcher Boys” by Jane Alexander (1985-1986) about violence in Joburg in the 1970s during the beginning of the Liberation Struggle in South Africa. If you have a chance, look into this piece. It challenges the idea of how humans are treated like animals or become like animals. How they are identified as violent and become non-human because of it, therefore treated as such. Also embraces the separation of the human race in relation to the earth. Very interesting stuff….
Quote altered by Wouter: “the earth is a loving, living breathing organism”
Last Weekend: Skydiving and Mission Town!
Last weekend on Saturday we visited the town of Genadendal- an old missionary town, responsible for the first printing press in South Africa. The day was beautiful and we visited the museum, an old pear tree, some gardens, and old indigenous huts. Overall relaxing day.
On Sunday was the big deal though, 18 of us, went SKYDIVING!
I know what you are thinking- WHAT! Susy went skydiving and didn’t tell the world! I actually really didn’t understand what it was. We drove about 9 miles out side of Cape Town, where we could still see Table Mountain. We went up in this little tin airplane , I went up with my friend Juliann- roommate, and we are strapped to these other two guys, and we just watched as the meter went up, 3,000 feet- level with the mountain, 6, 000 feet you can see Robben Island and past the mountain and all of Cape Point, up to 9,000 feet. Whoosh we open the air plane door, the wind is roaring and pressing against my face. I see Juliann jump….whoosh they disappear into the air, Ok we shuffle over to the door, my turn, we jump out, for 30 seconds and 3,000 feet we fall down, hold out our arms and dive, then G, my instructor pulls the chute and we float,. He also let me do spins with the reigns and flips. We float down down down all the way to the site. While were floating, you just get the most amazing piece of mind. Like you are going to float away and everything is extremely calm. Everyone should skydive once in their life.
Last couple days of this week:
SHAWCO- my community service at Manenburg a township was awesome this week. I’ve been getting to know the kids I work with. They are all between 3-5th grade, and about 8-10 years old. This week we did painting and a drum circle and it was loads of fun. I actually wore my other jeans and a t shirt, so I let the kids paint all over me, it was awesome. Overall it was a better day than the last ones have been-Shawco needs to work on their art curriculum!
Also- Tuesday was our friend Johannah’s 21st birthday so we all wore green on St. Patrick’s day and went to a neighborhood around the corner called Obs. We went to this bar called Mojo with acoustic night guitarists, and then headed over to “Scruffy Jack’s” a little Irish pub that was serving green beer, I guess it was inevitable we were going to have the American Irish experience in Cape Town on St. Patrick’s day!
Wednesday we went to the Slave Lodge with my Social and Economic Development class, and learned a bit about the Slave Trade and its impact in the Cape and in South Africa. There was a mini exhibit promoting a larger exhibit being showed at the Apartheid Museum about Steve Biko- a revolutionary killed in the 1970s.
A quote, “We have set out on a quest for the humanity, and somewhere on the distant horizon we can see the glittering prize. Et us march forth with courage and determination, drawing strength from our common plight. In time we shall be in a position to bestow upon South Africa the greatest gift possible- a more human face, “ Biko- The Quest for a True Humanity.
Last night we went into Rodebosch- neighborhood a couple blocks away and went to a bar our friend works at and watched the first couple basketball games of March Madness. A couple of my friends and I also went to Café Sophia and saw UCT Music Jazz Students play some improv. This might become my normal Thursday night plans!
This weekend we are doing a homestay in Langa- a Xhosa township we visited during orientation. I am excited. I made an apple pie for them!- so American….
Exciting things for the next couple weeks: Social and Economic Development class will be placing us in Non-profits to do community work and research, Friday- Sea Kayaking on Cape Point, Weekend: Overnight hike with the Mountain Club, Human Rights day- Tomorrow, Jazz Festival- April 4th and 5th, Kruger National Park, Joburg and Soweto Spring break TRIP! April 5-9th.
That’s a rap. See you next week!