Let’s begin today with some GREAT news! My Computer is FIXED! I finally got in contact with my brother who informed me that my computer had a virus on it! Naturally I panicked because I have no idea how to get rid of a virus nor did I want to pay for someone knowledgeable in this area to fix it. My brother gave me the easiest solution to end my problem... wipe the computer and start over! That would be fine if I had an external hard drive to save all of my files but I did not so I needed a plan B. Plan B turned out to be a lot less destructive, I refreshed my computer to before I was having my server connection issues and everything is working perfectly again! I was praying extra hard throughout the whole process because I would have been devastated if I lost any of my documents.
I would love to say that all of my electronics are in good shape and in my possession but that would be too easy! Of course as I am fixing my computer I manage to drop my phone and crack the screen severely! But do not worry (mom and dad), there are plenty of places I can get the screen fixed here and I will stay there with my phone as it is getting fixed so I will not have another store of how my phone got stolen (*insert reassuring smile*).
On to more eventful news, last week was #beyondtheroots!!! This was an exciting time for me because I was finally able to return to the place that made me fall in love with Cape Town, Red Hill! Red Hill is a unique township because it is an informal settlement built on private land. This means that there are no permanent structures in the whole community. The government is renting the land off of the owner until a more permanent solution is found but the community has been located there for several years. In addition to uncertainty about where they live, Red Hill’s location makes it a difficult place to live. As the name would suggest, Red Hill is remotely located on top of a hill/mountain. If you do not own a car or have a way to get up and down the hill it can prove difficult to find a job or get to school. I fell in love with this community because I met some of the most cheerful people living there. Not that people are not just as happy in the other townships but I just felt something different up there.
African Impact’s Beyond the Roots initiative not only celebrated Mandela Day this past Friday but also its 10th birthday! Across our many projects, 10 gardens were built to promoted sustainable food sources and healthy eating habits. Each project’s garden was impressive within itself but we had a unique challenge with Red Hill being an informal settlement. The government can choose to move the whole township at anytime so anything built there must be able to move with the community. With the smart thinking of some of our incredible staff we were able to build a hanging garden at Red Hill Preschool. We partnered with Can Grow to plant bean sprouts in hanging cans and we also built a hanging herb garden made out of recycled soda bottles (that myself and Sarah cut and drilled holes in most of Thursday). The preschool is also in need of a new stove to cook lunch for the children during the day so I organized bake sale to cover some of the costs. To make the bake sale fun to the volunteers in the house, we made it into a cooking competition putting four teams against each other in the kitchen. The baked goods ranged from cookies to teddy bear cupcakes and I also baked up a batch of carrot cake cupcakes. All of the treats were sold at the Beyond The Roots celebration and all of the proceeds are going towards the purchase of a new stove! I could go on about Beyond The Roots but I will not make you read an essay right now. In the end it was a great day! Oh and I got to see the little girl that stole my heart! Pinky!
I am having such an amazing time here in Cape Town and I wouldn’t change this experience for the world! It has been hard living in a house that I am constantly getting close to new friends and then seeing them leave a few weeks later but I have to say that this wouldn’t feel the same if I wasn’t getting to know people who live all over the globe. I do know that I will be making a trip up to Canada to see Naznin when I get back to the states! And I have so many houses to crash in if I ever go to Holland I cannot count! After Holland I can hop on over to Ireland or England to see some people. Oh and I cannot forget about Singapore, I have to go visit my (new) brother there at some point! And then I will head down to Alabama to visit some friends close to home! I know that so many adventures will come out of this one trip that I am excited to see who else I will meet! There is so much beauty in change that I can’t help but to be excited about everything! I will just miss all of my friends dearly as they leave!
I ended up writing you a essay anyways but I have so much to tell you guys about! But I will leave you with some picture to look at (FINALLY)!
This was the sunrise one morning on the way to work (yes mom I am up before the sun most days)
I went sightseeing one weekend and had a blast!
I thought these were cool! They sit outside of the courthouse to remind people of where the country has come from.
Here are some of my kids from the aquarium trip striking a STARFISH pose! Oh I had to show that one of the girl’s name is Beyonce!
This is Thuva my Singapore brother! We had a group session to remind him about why he is awesome!
These were some cookies from the bake off!