I have been awful at updating this blog. ALREADY. I just get so bored and lazy I don’t want to do anything but sit on the porch, eating a juicy peach and reading a book… or sit in my room with the fan pointed on my face because this heat can be killer. I just got back from the movies. The cinema is only a short walk from here and its fairly new movies for only 22 R which is about 2.50$. You better believe I will be at the movies ALL THE TIME. Right now RAG is happening. RAG (Reach Out and Give) is a student volunteer group, and the procession today includes shutting down roads and having a parade. Its then drinking time. From noon until 3am. The road outside of my house is filled with people tailgating and getting drunk and being extremely loud which started at like 10:30-11am. Apparently well known South African DJs will be playing tonight in the “Square” and many dance parties will ensue. Ill probably head over in a few hours to check it out. There’s just ALL DA PEOPLE.
The most important news though is that 4 days ago Hannah had her baby and now I am Auntie Em. I couldn’t be more happy. I’m sad that I won’t be holding her as a newborn, but I know we will be close later on. Hannah has been so good about updating me on everything and sending me so many pictures. She finally sent me one of Layla Bug crying yesterday and it was hilarious. Hopefully soon I will be able to Skype Layla and then we can take our very first picture together. So Presh.
Last week I was able to go on holiday to the Wild Coast with some other International Students here. I went with Lisan, Cannelle, and Daphne from my house, and Christa from house 6. First we took the Greyhound to the bustling city of Durban. It was so exciting because South Africa had just won against… Angola I think? in the Afcon. There was so much traffic because the police had to shut down a road because everyone was celebrating. I wish we did stuff like that in America. Unfortunately, South Africa, days later lost against Mali so they wont be in the finals tomorrow. We stayed at the Happy Hippo Hostel which was bright and colorful- and even had a bar on the roof! I spent most of my time on the balcony because it felt so nice, especially when it rained. We stayed there for 3 nights. Some of things we did was visit the Indian Spice Market, roam the streets for like ever, went to UShaka Marine World, looked around a museum about the era of Apartheid and the mandatory pass books that all blacks had to have- less they face imprisonment or banishment, ate bomb Indian food, had a picnic in the grass. We also enjoyed the wind from the beach and just good conversation.
Then off to Coffee Bay! The most relaxing of our destinations. As we hoped off the shuttle at the Coffee Shack, Cindy greeted us and gave us the grand tour and afterward treated us to a Welcome Drink. The atmosphere of this place was amazing. It was all outside- the tables, the bar, etc. And I stayed in Rond Thatched Hut. Everyone was drinking, listening to music, laughing, and having a great time. The Hostel took a group trip to this big hill where we watched the sun set and we had a beautiful view of the beach, and of course I treated myself to a Savannah Dry. Nom Nom Nom. Then the Mamas showed up (two local women) and sold us some of their homemade jewelry. They were so silly and sweet. Before dinner some of the local girls danced and sung for us. AND THEN WE FEASTED. We met a lot of interesting people. Like the Australian man and his English girlfriend who are traveling before moving to Australia together to go to school. And then the HILARIOUS American Lesbian married couple. Every time they opened their mouths I was in tears. The next day we just hung out on the beach. It was a lazy day. Ate and talked. It was nice. The next morning before leaving we ran into the other group of girls from Tuksdorp who were just arriving. So nice to see them.
Then we took a local taxi cab to the stop where another shuttle would take us to Bulungula. Local transport won’t go to Bulungula because the roads are that bad. The Taxi driver turned up the music loud to Nikki Minaj, Beyonce, and Usher. I sat and watched the hills roll by as more and more people packed into the taxi. We were like sardines. The shuttle was late by 2 hours which was frustrating. BUT we got to meet this 17 year old guy who dreams of studying at Harvard and becoming an astronaut. Very confident and ambitious. I hope to see him in the media some day. Then the shuttle arrived and the roads really were that bad. Everyone got sick but me, but thats because the driver asked me to sit up front for 1/2 of the ride. We talked about Obama and he tried to teach me some Xhosa, but I am horrible at clicking. We arrived at Bulungula, and it was instantly my most favorite place in the world. It reminds me of the Shire- even though they are really quite different. Rolling green hills, roaming cattle, round huts, a view of the beach. *Sigh* They had compost toilets and paraffin lit showers which was amazing and scary and smelly and incredible.
We didnt do much the first night but eat and chill. The next day we did Women Power. We went to a local woman’s hut and she painted our faces to protect it from the sun. We then fetched water from the spring and carried it on our heads (I WAS THE BEST). We gathered fire wood and also carried it on our heads. Then she made us a traditional Xhosa meal of rice, cabbage, and potatoes. Then we went horseback riding on the beach and through trees and on the beautifully green hills. Everyone else went galloping but apparently I had the crazy satan uncontrollable horse so I opted out and was led back to the lodge with a little boy who was actually quite afraid of the horses.
Then me and Lisan walked the beach for like an hour and half. And I really don’t know how to accurately describe that. But I literally felt like I could stay forever. I never wanted to leave. I hope to visit again. Also I made best friends with their cat and we had a photo shoot. Here’s a glimpse.
Our last stop was East London. We stayed at the Sugar Shack. Our door wouldn’t lock. It rained. And we ate dinner with a crying baby. But it was nice. We visited a lovely Art Gallery and another museum about paleolithic fish. We also went to a small aquarium which was so small that my heart hurt for the animals. Especially the seals and turtles. Then we tooked a 14 hour bus ride back to Pretoria. It was so good to be back. I had only stayed in Tuksdorp a week but it already felt like home.
School starts in two days. So hopefully that goes well and I live to tell you all about it.