Tuesday, May 31, 2011

week 2

again, i apologize that this is all for now... but i'll try to fill you in

so to start, we went sea kayaking last weekend . absolutely beautiful!
and then a quick swim afterwards- at least now i can say i swam in the atlantic on the african side in winter

sydney and i. wet and cold but still smiling!
 and a yummy bushman lunch and then mini safari

this lovely woman taught me the clicks of her language
And i worked in the computer lab in kayamandi during the mornings- teaching people everything from how to click a mouse to writing a resume in word

painfully slowwww
and we got a tour of kayamandi
those are what they call smileys. aka raunchy sheep heads
some lovely ladies out on the town

spent friday afternoon in cape town along the water front. needless to say, im glad we're staying in stellenbosch and not cape town

i never said it wasnt beautiful though...
sunset over table mountain and lions head
all day saturday was spent wine & cheese tasting and vineyard touring
ever since i watched the parent trap, ive wanted to live on a vineyard.  being here only makes me want it even more

on our day off, some of us decided to give a try at climbing one of the mountains right around here
struggling at the beginning of the trail


i apologize as this computer is getting more and more difficult to use. so blogging may become nonexistent altogether. i am about to chuck this damn thing out the window. i have spent hourS doing this post. but dont worry, there have been plenty of expletives along the way

it was more of a scramble/climb rather than a nice hike. and it rained. awesome

Sunday, May 29, 2011

funday quote

so we had a guest lecturer/team building class on friday where we all joined together to sing k'naan's wavin flag, which was one of the songs for the world cup last year.  it gave me the chills! 
and then last night we all went to a local pub to watch the barcelona vs. manchester united game. people got so into it- i can only imagine what it was like this time last year.  very cool to be a part of it though. i love it!

"I heard them say, love is the way, love is the answer, that's what they say"
here's the whole song:
**go check out the other songs from the world cup- awesome list! they'll put you in a good mood

Sunday, May 22, 2011

excursion: kayaking

I didn’t wear panties today J We had a bright and early start including sleeping through the alarm- whoops.  Beautiful drive up the western coast of South Africa on a long straight road through grape and wheat fields and mountains as far as you could see.  
A couple hours later we arrived in a small fishing town to do some sea kayaking.  All of the buildings were white-washed and so picturesque against the deep dark sea.  The beach littered in little fishing skiffs. 

Our guide’s (Keith, who will also be our guide for Zimbabwe/Botswana) dog was quite possibly my favorite.  He was a huge dark German shepherd; gnarly looking. 

 Sun faintly rising over the hazy horizon.  The swells were pretty small which made it easier for kayaking.  There was a red tide in the bay where the whales come to birth (not this time of year though).  There were large kelp beds and birds and a couple of penguins among the large boulders protruding from the water.  We only got to boat for an hour L  but it was still beautiful.  Caught a wave coming onto shore. I’d forgotten that feeling; makes me want to surf.  

After we got to shore I pressured Sydney into swimming with me. Now at least we can say we swam in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa in the winter.  Besides my nipples freezing off, it was a lot of fun! I love the feeling of being dry and warm with your hair still damp after being wet and cold, and your body covered in sand. So great.  

On the beach, a white Mercedes pulled up dragging a boat behind it. No trailer, but a rope tied to the hitch.  It was struggling but seemed pretty sufficient.  After we got dry, we went for coffee and tea.  Rooibos with sugar and milk is such a comfort thing for me, even though it reminds me of life living in the barn with Edi where sometimes the tea was all I ate/drank, but also where I lived a life unlike anything I’d ever experienced and built relationships that will last a lifetime. 

Then we drove for a while again through bush land until we got to the restaurant for lunch.  Had delicious couscous and goat cheese.  Very cool atmosphere- stone and painted wood, rustic and homey.  I wish I liked meat; everything is so unique and fresh but it just doesn’t appeal to me at all.  Maybe I’ll try something on this trip like springbok or ostrich.  

After lunch we got a tractor tour of the place and a lesson on the tribe from around here. They speak in clicks! I want to make my own languate out of clicks. 

Ben, Tricia, Annie and I did P90X yoga when we got back.  I didn’t particularly like it and it reminded me of Debi back home, which made me sad.  I’ve been doing some on my own but it’s not the same as class. 

Most restaurants were closed downtown as it’s Sunday night but there are some really great people on the trip that I’m getting to enjoy.  A couple of us were talking music and Patrick asked what everyone’s favorite is.  We all thought (but really I already knew what mine is because it’s always and probably will always be the same).  As soon as I said Grateful Dead, he goes, “I knew it! I was going to guess that!” I’ve known him less than a week. Am I really that predictable?!  And when we were kayaking, someone noticed and commented that I was the only girl in a single and that I would be the one to do that.  They sure are figuring me out fast. Damn. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

excursion: cape of good hope

I think I could live here.  Went to one of the most beautiful plaes I’ve ever seen today.  [I guess the one good thing about being in an obnoxious tour group is the convenience.  You don’t have to think or plan anything.] We had a lovely drive along False Bay where Seal Island is with all the sharks!  Ya know, like in shark week? Planet earth? It was so, so cool! 

We stopped at a penguin place along the way. They’re so goofy.  I could sit there all day watching the little guys try to walk.  Evolution hasn’t been so good to them. 

At one of the beaches I waded into the water because I saw a cool starfish and wanted to get a picture of it.  Rather than join me, people just took pictures of me going into the water to take a picture. Wow.   But the place was still spectacular.

Then we drove on through the Cape of Good Hope.  Ok, within a span of about 15 minutes, I saw penguins, a whale, and baboons.  This place isn’t real.  Sat by Dr. Crepaz and Ben on the bus. We talked about skiing for nearly the whole time. Awesome!

Had a delicious lunch overlooking the sea and mountains.  Ordered some fancy dish that was featured on the Travel Chanel just because we weren’t paying for it.  

After we rolled ourselves out the restaurant, we hiked up to the top where the lighthouse is.  How cool would it be to be the lighthouse keeper up there?! Pick me!  

If that dream can’t come true then I’d at least want to see a big storm roll in and watch the waves crash up against the high cliffs.  I really love all the natural beauty here. Everytime I look outside there’s something spectacular. Where’s Ashton?

One of Mom’s questions: Who would you like to share this with? Well, there are so many! I wish everyone could share these moments.  


I made it to South Africa and am having a fabulous time! But, because my internet is pretty terrible, and pictures are an absolute pain in the butt to upload... I'll only be posting some sneak peaks. sorry!

The trip started with a 6+ hour layover in DC.  Then weather was the cause of our 4 hour stint sitting on the runway.   Then a touchdown in Senegal. and finally to Johannesburg where we had missed all connecting flights to Cape Town.  (Someone calculated that we were in that one plane for over 21 hours! Oh and I only watched one whole movie because my little tv kept failing.)  But we finally made it to Cape Town and then Stellenbosch via crazy vans through the winelands.
welcoming dinner at moyo
 We have had one day of classes and an orientation at the township-Kayamandi where we will be working. Fri and Sat. have each been 'excursion' days. First to table mountain and cape town:
view from table mountain

our lovely group at the top of table mountain
old fortress/castle
 Then to the cape of good hope with a penguin stop along the way...
and false bay (yep, like from shark week)...
speaks for itself...

hiking up the cape

from our lovely photo shoot

not real life
I can't stop smiling!  The views... the people... the food... what's not to love?!