Monday, August 10, 2009

Hey all! Don't worry, I'm still alive... although some might think I'm a little crazy since I did the worlds tallest bungy jump (216 meters) today!

I've been traveling down the coast slowly making my way back to Cape Town. It's been great! Lots to share but the internet is a HOT commodity down here. All my stories will have to wait till I return to the States.

Two things are to be mentioned before my internet time runs out... 1. I've been bit with the travel bug and 2. Am already planning my return trip to Africa!

Cheers! Angela

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Next Stop-- Wild Coast and Garden Route

Just finished a week at GGA, the 'after program' group is traveling back to Cape Town by bus via the wild coast and garden route.

Talk to you all soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Week 12- 17 Highlights

Over the weekend we visited Constantia for a wine estate luncheon. We took a tour of the winery and learned about how the wine is made. The end of the tour (for most) was the best part--we got to taste 5 types of wine.

They were all very interesting... especially the Port Wine which was very rich (a dessert wine). On our way out to the lunch location, we were surprised by Baboons jumping from the overhang to the near by trees. Not going to lie... it made me say, now this makes me feel like I'm in Africa!

Another FYI... for all those who think that if you visit Africa you will be seeing Lions roaming down the middle of the streets... it doesn't happen. Ya, I know, Bummer right? But it's probably safer that way. =)

Also this week, we've been meeting and consulting with our Entrepreneur (a caterer). This past week has been spent talking to him and his partner, getting the feel for his company and what's all about. To get a better idea we all decided to go in field to his Khayelitsha Kitchen Shack. I hope at the end of these two weeks, he'll benefit from my 3 years of NU Business schooling. It would be great to come back to SA and see him and his business doing well and thriving.

That's all for now, time for bed. Hopefully the Nation's Internet won't be out again...

OH well--T.I.A.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Informal Shacks... Do they get Mail?

FYI... for the most part there is no mail that is delivered to the informal settlements (Shanty Town Shacks) if you ask a resident where their house is, they'll tell you ' the fourth one down the 3rd row next to shack with the yellow door'. I'd imagine that would be a postmans worst nightmare. The townships do have police stations, however sometimes they are slow to respond. What happens, is that the residents tend to rely on 'street justice'. Residents have taken matters into their own hands (ie crime)--which may not be best way, but it's made Langa safer. The flip-side, 'street justice' in Langa has brought the community together, grouping the community together against criminals. Other community buildings within townships are clinics (to assist in the HIV/AIDS problem in SA) as well as rec centers.
Some shacks have electricity only because it's wired and shared/spliced from shack to shack.--Look similar to a Maypole with electrical cords for ribbons. The ceilings leak and you have to go to down the street for bathrooms. Some of the richer residents have 'houses' i.e. brick walls and they have primitive kitchens and in house plumbed bathrooms. The past week the weather has been really nice, but the last day and night (12-13) there was a storm that came through... violent winds whipped about and rain poured from the skies. I couldn't help but think (as I take shelter within my hotel) that some South Africans may come home to find their shack washed away, their beds wet, and the inability to dry their clothes out until the next sunny day...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Days In Between

Between the other days and now...

...We practiced our clicks-- learning some Xhosa and of course the names of the TSiBA students. (Why couldn't their parents name them John and Jane?!)

We've had a few guest speakers like Ahmed Kathrada-- a political prisoner from the Apartheid days. And it was only appropriate to conclude the day by visiting Robben Island (Mandela's jail cell below)

We've been eating at lots of great South African restaurants like... Mzoli's located in the Township Khayelitsha -- a well know meat place to have a South African Braai (BBQ).

And at almost every venue there is some type of music, whether it be the bongo drums, wooden xylophones, or a group of people singing/chanting together. The other night we went to Mama Africa. The music was great and hopefully the video of me dancing to the African beat won't surface on Youtube. HAHA. I just might have to buy a bongo drum to bring home with me so I can bring it out during house parties. Anyone up for a late night jam session?!
Cheers to the night-- see you in the morning for our group sunrise run!


A Taste of Township Life

First off the last few days have been so packed with good stuff, I haven't found the time to write down everything that's been going on--so here are the highlights.
Day 1
July 05, 2009

The View from our hotel...

On the first day in Cape Town we wasted no time in jumping into South Africa's history... We loaded the buses and traveled to South Africa's oldest township -- Langa.

We've arrived just in time to catch the "HappyFeet" dancers. This type of dance passed down from the mining days. The boys and girls chant in different languages while stomping and slapping their hands on their mining boots.

After watching their performance... we got the chance to learn a few moves... as seen below.

Visiting Langa was eye-opening. The residents live with hardly anything. And they've been living like this since 1929. Even though the Apartheid years are over, many still are 'forced' to stay since they can't afford to live elsewhere. The homes can vary in the townships... they can be from a small house to its extreme opposite-- a shanty town shack.

We took a walking tour of the town. Going from road to dirt road, and around piles of trash which if possible (since there are no environmental laws) get burned at night. Some of our stops along the way ranged from eating Lamb's Cheek to drinking socially from a bucket in a hut--Yay for shots.

One thought constantly flickered in my mind... they may not have much, but it seems that there is such a strong sense of community.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fresh Off The Plane

After the 18 hour flight... I'm finally in SOUTH AFRICA!

The plane ride was long. Didn't get too much sleep since I was O-So lucky to get the aisle seat on both the 7 hour red eye to Amsterdam... and the 11 hour flight to Cape Town. The food was good, the wine/beer and movies made the flight slightly more bareable. But enough about the plane ride... the best part is that... I'm in SOUTH AFRICA-- Safe and sound.

Our apartments that were staying in are pretty sweet, and I can't wait to catch the view in the morning when the sun's up.

That's all for now.