It is just beyond me how time can move so fast! I am in my 6th week already! However, I am still amazed by the beauty of the place I get to call home (I will never get over the beauty of Cape Town).
One thing I cannot get over is this cold weather! I know that I am at the southern tip of Africa but I underestimated the level of cold Cape Town gets. Moreover, South Africa is in denial that winter is actually a thing here so it is rare to have central heating. But then God sent me (I bought it at the store but this invention is heavenly) a hot water bottles and things seem to be a little brighter (and warmer). For those of you that do not know what a hot water bottle is, it is a thick rubbery container that you pour hot (in my case boiling) water into and then you cuddle with it at night to keep you warm! It is such a simple concept but it brings me much joy!
Another thing I have learned about in my time here is that electricity and hot water are things to be very thankful for. We went from having 12 people living in the house to 24 people living in this house and 6 that live across the street on Monday (I am in name overload so there is no way I will list everybody out for you; however, I will say that America and Holland are in competition for the most people in the house so far). With these numbers you can understand how having a hot shower can be tricky right now. And let me explain to you how electricity works here. There is a box in the cabinet in the kitchen that tells you how much electricity you have available to you. If the number on the box hits zero, there is no more electricity to run through the house and everything shuts off immediately. To avoid your box hitting zero, you have to go to the store and buy more electricity! That concept blew my mind when I learned about it! The tricky thing is that with so many people in the house we go through electricity like crazy so I am constantly on patrol for lights being left on in rooms not being used (I got dressed in the dark once and it was not fun).
Now let me tell you about what I’ve been up to at work! Last week the organization I work for (The Happy Africa Foundation) took over 100 children from one of the townships we work in to the aquarium! With the help of volunteers from our partners African Impact we facilitated two days work of fishy-fun. The first group on Monday was the younger children and they were more than excited to be coming to the aquarium. The group I lead was called the Starfish and they were awesome (aside from the fact that they think I am lying about not being able to speak Xhosa- their native language). Every time I wanted my group to assemble and move on to the next section all I had to do was yell STARFISH and they would come running and line up so I could count them (I wouldn’t want to be the one that lost a child at the aquarium). The second group came on Wednesday and they were slightly older than the group on Monday. My group name this day was the Crabs! My group impressed me so much because they were so well behaved and filled out their worksheets as we went along. In all I enjoyed both days for different reasons and we didn’t lose any kids!
Other than the field trip I have been doing some planning of events in my office time but I will tell you more about those as they come alive.
I do have a very amazing story I have to share with the world because this was a very rare situation. My roomie Naz left her Iphone in a taxi and we got it back! Here’s how: Last weekend a group of us spent some time downtown roaming around and just taking in the diversity, history, and beauty of Cape Town. After eating mid Saturday evening, we took a cab home to rest after walking around all day. Within minutes of arriving home Naz realized her phone wasn’t in her purse. She had taken it out in the cab the take a picture of Table Mountain (The way the sun was hitting it made for a stunning picture). In a panic, we ran out the front door in different directions to see if the cab was still in the area. We saw the cab turn down the main road headed towards the city but we were not able to catch it. We jumped in the first cab we saw, not worried about price and went on the search for the cab. She luckily left the phone in a car with the wrap advertisement around it making it easy to spot (we googled and found that there are only eight cabs in Cape Town with that advertising on it). Our cab driver was very nice to drive a bit faster and slower when we needed him to. We ended up driving up this road we wouldn’t have thought to go up and we spotted one of the cabs. We quickly jumped out of the cab and surrounded the cab in the hopes that it was the one we took. Turns out it wasn’t but with there only being eight of those cabs, the one we found was able to radio out and find the cab we were in. BUT we ran into another issue, none of the cab drivers responded because they were all watching to soccer (football) game on. We began to describe our driver to the guy helping us and he knew exactly who our cab driver was. He called him on his cell phone and he agreed to meet us so we could look for the phone. To make this a bit shorter, in the end the cab driver had the phone and gave it back to Naz! That is something that rarely happens anywhere you go!
I am looking forward to the coming weeks so I can share with you what I am working on! In the meantime, enjoy one of my pictures from the last few weeks (I would show you more but my computer decided it doesn’t want to download anything due to a SSL network error that I can’t figure out how to fix).
The beauty of Cape Town is unreal!