Easter Weekend

So it’s the Easter holiday and that’s apparently a big deal here in South Africa. Yes it is a big deal back home too, but the entire world seems to shut down here for the days surrounding Easter. School had two weeks off! So in the meantime I’ve more or less been on vacation since I had no school to go to.

Every day was pretty relaxing. I could go down to the beach and enjoy the sun, take a train anywhere I wanted, work in child care, or go hang out with everybody at the mansion of a house in town. Because we have a good number of new volunteers, most everybody just wanted to hang out.

Wednesday I drifted into Cape Town by myself, which was a first for me. I went to go get a phone fixed, and I had plans to meet up with Josh King, a friend of mine who has been here for a good while. I finally met up with Josh and his model buddies at a pretty good burger spot on Long Street. This was moments after I had been threatened to be robbed by some man. They have the strangest tactics for getting money, because he was asking for change, which they say to simply ignore, so I do, and he soon goes into saying “I’m not a bad guy, don’t make me rob you man, I will rob you.” The thing I disliked most was the fact that he was trying to grab me, so I continually shook his hand off my arm, and then made sure to stay very close to other people and was finally able to rattle him in a wide open space. They most definitely target white males about my age, and it seems like the scare tactic is what they go for – maybe a lot of guys are scared enough to be easy targets. Anyway, dinner was nice; it was good to catch up with Josh some. It’s crazy how you can meet up with somebody so far away from home, and it’s somewhat comforting to do so.

The train ride back to my place was a bit scary, as I witnessed some pretty strange things on the train and was completely alert the entire time. It’s like new senses come to life when you’re in a foreign environment or out of your comfort zone. But all was good, most of the scare was me freaking myself out, and I made it in safe that evening.

I opted to go to childcare Thursday morning to hang out with some of the little children again – definitely a good choice. I visited the little kids room with one of the new volunteers, Jenna, and she already knew most names and had a girl clinging on to her after a day or two. These kids are extremely playful, and absolutely adore new faces. Once again, I became a jungle gym for them. They just used me as a device to climb on. They really liked hanging from my limbs, so they just wanted me to hold my arms out as they’d jump and dangle.

We took them outside after a while, and I’m going insane because I’m trying to keep track of everybody but it’s just too hard. My head is on a swivel, and I’m mostly trying to watch the one-year-old girl who apparently is a wanderer. She does get away to the other side eventually but I see her safe in a teachers arms, so I let her be – one less child for me to keep up with. Now that we are outside they just want to be pushed down the slides and helped across the monkey bars. I made the mistake of lifting one of them up over my head and spinning them around so their legs went flailing out, and as soon as that was seen all I hear is a crowd of “Do me teacher!.” So here I go, dizzily spinning each one of these kids, then making sure they don’t run off as I set them down; this not only protects them from falling but lets me recollect my balance as well. Eventually I tell the kids I’m exhausted and unable to do any more, and they oblige pretty easily. It turns out to be a fun day with the little ones, and now the afternoon is free for me to do with it whatever I wish – beach time.

A large group of people is hiking up Lions Head to watch the sunset up there, so I of course hop on board. It’s a good little journey up this thing; it takes about an hour and some parts are pretty intense climbing spots. It’s incredible on the way up though, and I can’t wait to see what’s waiting for us at the top. Once I finally reach it, dripping with sweat and longing for my water, I realize the anticipation of reaching this height definitely was worth the struggle. Gorgeous. That’s the only thing I can really say about the view. It’s a complete 360 degrees of beauty. I rip off my shoes as to be one with the earth, let the Chi form this massive rock actually run through my body (I don’t really know what that does but I thought it was cool while I was up there) I was so happy to finally pull my camera out and start snapping away. The sunset was the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. California was nice, but this view was indescribable. I’m so blessed to be able to come to this place, to have such a majestic view in such a serene setting.

Friday was exciting as I joined a number of volunteers on a Western Cape tour. We were driven all around the Western Cape, visiting places like Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach, Camps Bay, and a few other spots. The weather in the beginning of the day was rather foul, but as we moved onward and got away from the very southern points of the cape it turned out to be beautiful. It’s hard to say what my favorite part of the day was, but I definitely was excited to go see the penguin colony at Boulders Beach and also had great views from Cape Point’s lighthouse.

So it’s been a good week, a lot of relaxing here and really just living the dream. This country is beautiful, so it was great to see a bit more of it. But, I’m ready for this next week of school! I’m very excited to see all of the kids, as I haven’t forgotten what I came here to do. See you all in school on Tuesday!