Now that I am a bit more settled I can tell you all what I have been up to the past couple of weeks!
Let’s start off with the big news... I finally have a new phone! My wonderful, amazing, caring, great mother was able to file a claim on my stolen phone, have it shipped to her house, set up my new SIMS card, package and ship the phone to me AND pay the duty and taxes South Africa charges to import goods all in less than a week! I am pretty sure that is the fastest my mother has ever sent anybody a package but I also just have a great mom.
In the past two weeks I started my office job. I love being out in the community but one of my main goals for this trip is to learn how a NGO is ran and the things that happen behind the scenes. What impressed me about the organization I am working for is that the first thing we did was sit down and discuss my goals. It is easy for an organization to just tell their interns what to do and what they will learn, but The Happy Africa Foundation and African Impact want me to get as much out of this as they are getting out of me working for them!
I absolutely love the people that I get to work with everyday and the relaxed work environment I get to work in. I never saw myself as the business suit type of person so it is great that I can wear jeans and a t-shirt to the office everyday! I have to stay bundled up because there is no central heating or air in the office but it is never unbearably cold (and I don’t have to wear a suit so I am happy!). This internship is really going to spoil me!
The down side of this trip is that I arrived during South Africa’s winter season which is also FLU SEASON! I have been dodging coughs and colds left and right! I made it through Tennessee’s cold and flu season unscathed but South Africa’s flu season has proven to be stronger than Tennessee’s. It also doesn’t help that everybody who was in the house before I arrived has been sick at some point in the last three weeks. I fell victim to the house cold on Monday but I was in denial until Tuesday night when I desperately needed a trip to the pharmacy to get medicine! The pharmacy trip was quite easy, all you need to do it tell the pharmacist what you need and they will get it for you! I spent Tuesday night and all of Wednesday nursing a cup of Flu-ex and drinking Sprite to settle my tummy. A new group of victims... I mean volunteers showed up this past Monday so I tried to stay in my room in hopes that I won’t get anybody else sick.
I am having a great time here in Cape Town! I live in a house with the most diverse group of volunteers, interns, and staff I have ever known ( Hugo, Huguette, Kelly, and Julie are Dutch, Naz, Jenn, Kaylynn, and Lynsey are Canadian, Thuvaragan is from Singapore, Carla and Michelle are from Ireland, Dalia, Michelle L., and Dan are from the UK, Elly is from Holland, Thulani, Sandiso, Jane, and Shecky live here in Cape Town and Zoe, Mara, Lauren, Kristen and myself are American). I enjoyed having a small group of people in the house at first but it has been nice meeting new people this week. I can see how it will be hard to live in the house long term and see people come and go often but I will have so many international friends by the end of my stay!
Moving into a new season in life can be so scary but the people I get to interact with daily make the change so much easier!
Here are a few shark cage diving pictures!
From the top of the boat
It looks like the shark is waiting for him to fall
This is Mara! She went with me on this adventure (These are also her pictures I stole)
I forgot my sea sick pills so I was not a happy camper! But I had so much fun!