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Archive for March, 2013

I’ll be back on March 31st with lots of stories to share!

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I climbed a mountain!! YES!!

Okay, so this past Saturday, I climbed Table Mountain. A group of about 15 of us got up early and took the “easier” path called Platteklip Gorge. It only took us about an hour and a half to get up, so I guess that is easy. The only slightly annoying part was that it was all those makeshift-rock-stairs again, which just makes it seem never-ending. We took a few breaks, but it was amazing. About halfway up, the wind picked up and it got SO cold. I had heard that it could be like that, but I decided against bringing a sweatshirt because I figured no matter what that I would be hot and sticky. Wrong. It was freezing! The wind was whipping like crazy, but it was actually kind of nice after the hike; I’ve always been more able to tolerate the cold than the heat anyway. J Anywho, every time we stopped, the view was absolutely gorgeous. You could see out over all of Cape Town. Also on the way up were these little spots where water was dripping down the rock. When you get close to the top, the wind whips water off the mountain that I guess have been collected from rain and the moisture up there. But in two places, there was this beautiful trickle of water coming down. Another amazing break from the heat!

When we got to the true top, the view truly took my breath away. I almost started crying, it was incredible. Again, you could see Cape Town on one side, all the way down to Cape Point on the other side. And then of course there was this expanse of ocean in front of me. Happy to have been there with a group of friends, but while I was up there, I was thinking about how much I wanted to share something like that with the people I love as well! (Miss you guys…) I could have spent so long up there just looking out over everything.

View from the Gorge!

View from the Gorge!

View from the top!

View from the top!

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There’s a big kind of “station” at the top as well. A gift shop, a restaurant, and the cable car! A few of us decided to take it down. I was a little nervous about it at first because of my fear of certain heights. Being at the top of the mountain—totally fine. The thought of riding down the mountain in this potentially rickety thing suspended high up with the very strong winds—not so fine. But I needn’t have worried. The cable car was very secure. No swinging at all, an incredibly smooth two minute ride down. I guess I was expecting something like a ski lift. Silly me!

Tuesday was Dad’s birthday! Sent him a few JibJabs as well as a little video I made him. Thanks to everyone who made his birthday back home special! I know he loved it.

Wednesday’s SHAWCO was pretty fun. I’ve stuck with the 2s and 3s now. It still can be a little frustrating sometimes. The project leaders don’t always have things organized in the way that my perfectionist/obsessive mind would like. Ah well! We did some coloring, which was kind of hectic. Then we went outside and played around a bit. Some of the girls taught me a hand clapping game, and then I taught them Crocadiley Oh My. They loved it! I actually looked it up on Wikipedia once I got back. I had no idea there were so many different versions! Apparently I follow the one from Needham, MA. Who knew?

Last night I went and saw an Athol Fugard show at the Fugard Theatre: Master Harold and the Boys. Athol Fugard is an incredible South African playwright, opposing apartheid and writing about issues of race, class, and the like. During that time, most of his plays couldn’t be produced in South Africa. But now he has a theatre in Cape Town named after him! The show was incredible. I had only read the script and never seen an actual production. The boy playing Hal was a little stiff, but the two guys playing Sam and Willy were so charming and moving. I loved it. The Fugard is also a beautiful space. They have multiple theatres in there, two bars, and a piano that you are actually allowed to play. Overall it was just a wonderful night at the theatre. Definitely something I needed!

Not much else to write, but I’ve decided that at the end of every post I’m going to provide some anecdotes/observations. So here we go.

There is technically no such thing as an Iced Coffee (very sad day). They don’t really exist. If you ask for an Iced Coffee, you will basically get a coffee milkshake. I’ve only found my favorite coffee drink at Cocoa Wah Wah, and they call it an “Americano on Ice.”

Hectic=crazy, awesome, cool

Late=terrible, kind of like “oh that sucks”

Shows at the theatre actually start on time! Seriously though. They do.

In the states, we sometimes call vacation something that sounds like “vay-k.” Here, a lot of people refer to it as “vac,” as in the same sound used in the word vacuum.

I know I had more little things to say, but I’ve forgotten them, so that’s it for now! I’ll write them down next time.

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Oh my lord!! On Monday, the temperature at one point reached 107. It was hot, there was no breeze, and I could not function.

That is all I have to say about that.

This past Saturday, I went to the Holi One festival! This was the first time it came to Cape Town, but Holi is a Hindu festival to celebrate the beginning of spring, and everyone throws colored powder into the air. It gets all over you, but that’s the point! The website says that this will bring people together “to share in music, dance, performance art and visual stimulation.” There was music, there was dance, there was food, there was drink, and there were a TON of people there. We only stayed for about three and a half hours, but it was a lot of fun. The powder is a dry kind of powder, but it sticks on you. When you first start out, it looks really pretty because all these vivid colors completely cover you. Once you’re there for a little while though, it kind of just blends into this yellow/green color that just looks dirty…but I enjoyed myself! It was definitely something I’ve always wanted to do.

Monday, I had a very new and very strange experience with a guy. Let’s name him Frank. Frank seems to like me, I find Frank attractive, Frank wants to hang out, I say sure, and Frank comes to hang out with Shaina and me. Frank brings up the fact that his sister, who is 22, is five years older than him. Most first years at UCT are 19, but with my math skills, I figure out Frank is 17 years old. Okay, not going so great. Somehow, we get on the topic of being vegetarian because Shaina is a vegetarian. Frank doesn’t understand, and mentions how he and his friends in high school once pinned down a good Hindu friend of theirs who was vegetarian and shoved a sausage down his throat. But it was funny, says Frank. Shaina and Alex start to think Frank is very strange, almost creepy. Then Frank brings up what would eventually make me want to punch him. “What do you think of gay guys?” Shaina appropriately states that she would not date one, Frank then proceeds to spell out his homophobic views for us, bible says this, bible says that, Old Testament doesn’t matter to Christians, homosexuals are living in sin……BUH BYE! GTFO (if you don’t know what that means, google it). I eventually coaxed Frank out by saying I had to work on an important paper—only half true since it’s not due until Friday and it’s only 500 words.

I guess I’m writing about this because it is a completely new experience for me. I’ve been so privileged to grow up with a very open family and live in such an open community like Newton; I’ve never actually encountered someone whose views  are so completely different from everything I’ve ever believed in. And he kept pushing it, trying to convince us with some ridiculous arguments that he was right, but whenever we brought up a valid point, he kept saying, “Well, that’s different.” I was just dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, I was so shocked. How could this guy believe that people I know and love are so different from him, that they don’t deserve the same things, that they aren’t his equal? I don’t know, I just…couldn’t comprehend.

Sorry to end on a dour note, but I just felt really passionately against what this guy was saying that it feels good to write it out to you. Again, I feel so lucky to have grown up where I did with the family I did and knowing the people I do.

XOXO to you all.

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