Thursday, February 23, 2006

Too Much to Summarize

So...its been a while. Haven't had too much time to write. I don't even remember when I last wrote, but I'll go from my birthday on. :)
Okay so the next day we started work projects. I was in a group at a church in a township near Stellenbosch. Seriously, it was Extreme Makeover Church Edition. We scraped, sanded, and completely painted the outside of this church. It looked gorgeous once we were finished. It was rewarding work, but I was sick all morning the first day (almost vomiting) so I fell asleep on the floor. Yeah I was such a huge help. It was alright, the guys on site were mean and somewhat obnoxious - saying stuff like 'what, you going to cry? Go on girly, cry. Too bad your mom isn't here' and the like to Jenn when she was frustrated...yeah they were very picky as well. One of the old men called himself "The General"...yeah, it was a challenge but I liked it all the same.
On Valentines Day (Mae's birthday!) we were treated to a theatre in Cape Town to see a performance of Umoja, a South African history musical. It was AMAZING! Look it up, it was SO good! The music was incredible, I almost cried...yeah it was so good, I bought the DVD so we can watch it together. Yeah it was great. Terrell, Ash, Mae and I went out for cake to celebrate Mae and my birthdays. It was fun as well. Hey, I got presents from people! Ash gave me a necklace, Larissa gave me underwear, and Terrell gave me a towel. Its sweet!
We went on the wine tour on Friday. It was so gross! All it taught me really is that I hate wine. It was funny though, because most people hated it and the looks on their faces after a sip was priceless. It was fun, I spent most of my time taking pictures of people. It was so hot that day (+45!) and was hard to enjoy. That afternoon we travelled to Bonnievale, to a wilderness camp where we slept outside under the stars. On the way there we stopped, were told to put on clothes we could get wet and walked 5 minutes to this cave. We had to walk through it, which was a huge challenge for me - small, dark space; spiders; water up to my neck and BATS. Oh my word, millions of bats! I hate them! I was so scared, they were flying at my head and yeah I was so freaked out that I cried the whole first half of the cave. One hit me in the ear! It was SO gross! But so cool...I hated it and loved it at the same time. If there weren't bats it would've been so much better.
The weekend was fun, really hot and humid, but fun. We woke up to rain only once. I did this killer high ropes course with a zip line, which was cool and we swam to this deep part of the river where we swung off a rrope into the water. So fun! And painful - biggest swimsuit wedgie of my life. Yeah it was good, we had a church service there ourselves on Sunday morning. And on Monday at 4:30 am we left for BUNGY JUMPING! No I didn't do it, but I did like cry watching Ash do it - I was so proud of her! Only 8 of us didn't do it, but we watched them all go and cheered our heads off. So good, everyone as so pumped after it, including me!
Now we are in Jeffery's Bay, its so nice here by the ocean and not too much wind. I like it! There are all these Quicksilver and Billabong outlet stores, so everyone went shopping like crazy (except me, pretty much!). Sizes here are so whacked. Like a large and small is practically the same size..yeah its weird. Anyhoo...yesterday I went on a horse trip (I know!) and we got to gallop by the ocean. It was INCREDIBLE! I loved it, it was so beautiful and liberating! Whee! It was a little scary but mostly cool. The best part was riding on sand dunes...I felt like I was in Hidalgo. No Viggo,!
Well, I should go, we leave for an Adventure Camp tomorrow. It should be okay, I'm slightly adventured out though. Oh well. I'll write when I can, sorry its been so long! I love and miss you guys so much!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

After Table Mountain

I do think I'm spending too much money on these internet cafés...but at R10 an hour you can't really go wrong! Here I am at yet another. We are doing homestays this week, I'm staying with a beautiful 64-year-old widow named Judy with CARYN!! Yay I was so excited! Judy is hilarious, she is a chocolate loving emotional headcase just like us. She's really nice, and her oldest grandson turns 20 on my birthday! Cool or what? Her house is really small, but really girly and cozy - lace and stuffed animals EVERYWHERE. Hilarious! I'm having so much fun, this homestay has turned out better than I thought it would.
So where was I last e-mail? Table Mountain. This longest, hardest and steepest hike of my life! Ridic! It took us from 2:00 until 4:30 to get up, and from 5:15 to 7:00 to get down. It was really windy, and really scary, I wanted to quit SO many times! Especially because the trail we were on was burnt to a crisp from the fires last week. But the view made it almost worth it. Too bad I can't walk now.
Now we're in our host family's homes, doing service work. Yesterday we painted 4 houses in a township. Other people were putting in windows, doors and ceilings. It was really hot, and their were some gross local guys around making us uncomfortable, making obscene gestures etc. It was gross and made me want to leave. The leaders and the guys were so mad, and really did their best to protect us and make sure we were never alone, so that was good. Last night Caryn and I watched TV (SA Fear Factor is SO weird!) and that was about it. Tonight I hope to read and perhaps watch The Amazing Race - its the one where they go to SA. All we're doing is work projects for the rest of the week. Today we got done early and here I am in Muizenbug, eating ice cream and going online. I should go soon, though. I really missed not being able to call home on Saturday, I'm excited to call soon!
Well I should go. Please e-mail me whats been going on with you! I miss you guys!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Table Mountain

Hello there once again! How are you guys? I'm at another internet café, killing time before I hike Table Mountain. The fires seem to have stopped and I hear its one of the most breathtaking views in the world, so I thought I should probably take this opportunity and run with it! I'm not really looking forward to the actual climb, but thats alright. Its only a group of girls going, so that should be fun. Hopefully I'll find someone to go my pace.
This week, what have I done this week? Well, on Sunday we went to this incredible church, I want to go there always, it was so good! I loved worship and their pastor(?) had a really powerful message. They gave us donuts afterwards, and random people came up and hugged us. Then we went to Robbin Island that afternoon, which was alright. I mean cool to see but it was a long day, and the tour guide was hard to hear, but it was still interesting. Everyone got sick on the boat ride back to Cape Town, Zach even puked. SO many people on out site have been sick (vomiting, explosive diarria ) and it seems like that boat ride didn't help. But yeah, I've been feeling alright, really tired though.
On Monday we went to the District 6 museum, which was cool. Then we went to Muisenburg, and visited a church run by reformed gangsters, and we learned all about the gang wars in the areas. We actually weren't allowed to get off the bus in some areas b/c a shoot out could occur at any time. It was intense, kids followed us everywhere and were all commenting on my shoes (the Nikes), which was sort of scary b/c I mean people get shot for their shoes! But it was alright. On Tuesday we began Conflict/Resolution classes, which were really interesting. I liked them alot actually. And the lady who did them, Micheline, is a councellor and I just loved her, she was so good at reading where we were at and what to do next. She led the exercises really well. So we had class until yesterday. We had the afternoon off, so we went to the beach and had a picnic. I slept on the beach and almost got taken out by the tide.
Today is table mountain, tomorrow is church and market shopping. Then we get divided up into host families again. I'm not totally looking forward to it - I mean I liked it last time, but this time I just don't feel like being seperated from the group again. I dunno, I'm sure it will be fine but I'd rather stay here with everyone. I appreciate all your prayers - your continued prayers for our site would be incredible! So if you could pray for them that'd be sweet.
Its my brithday in 8 days! Crazy, I feel excited but kinda not b/c its on a travelling day :( Yeah that kinda sucks. Oh well, its the day we reunite after homestay and it'll be exciting. Plus people have told me they will make it special for me, so thats nice. I'm really good though, healthy and pumped to build houses next week!! Thats what we're doing it will be sweet. Well time is of the essence so I should toodle. I think all the girls are going skinny dipping tonight! It should be fun. Well I really should go, I'll call today when I can.