Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jan 18-25 through Stevi's eyes

So I know it has taken forever for me to post but I have just been so busy getting everything together, seeing everything and drinking. Let me start by saying that this place is absolutely amazing and even more than I thought it would be. So I guess I shall start from the beginning.
I flew from JFK to Dakar, plane was supposed to just stop in Dakar and people could get on and off then continue to Cape Town. Everything was running smoothly until we were about to take off and a light came on on the pilots dashboard saying there was a problem with one of the flaps on the wings (ya know, the thing that helps the plane slow down..kind of important.) Needless to say the mechanics in wonderful Dakar were not able to fix the problem so we were stuck in Senegal for 24 hours. Driving through Dakar to get to our hotel I was freaking out (on the inside) because this place was not the most safe looking or comfortable place to be. I thought to myself, welcome to fucking Africa Stevi, this is what you asked for. But, Delta put us up at a great hotel (someone said it was a 5 star) where they comped our food and drinks, which was awesome. Luckily, there were about 10 other kids on my program on the plane so I was able to get to know them pretty well. The next night we finally made it to Cape Town! I am living in Mowbray in Cape Town. I guess the best way to explain it is (for you connecticut people) what North Stamford is or Shippan or Downtown...just a section of the city. Boulder peeps its like North Boulder or the Hill. Kinda confusing. Anyways, I am living with Laura and Julie and its been perfect. They are getting along great..just as I would have guessed.

On to the next couple days...we basically had orientation for our program where they fed us a lot of information on registering for classes and really important info. It kinda sucks but we have to go stand in line, or as they call it, a cue (sp?) for about 10 hrs on the day of registration for classes. They explained CT (abbrev of Cape Town) as a first world city in a third world country...makes sense. They have most of our technology but apparently not the whole online registration. Ohhhh welll. That afternoon about 10 of took a taxi to Camp's of the beaches in CT. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have seen so far. It is a known fact tat the waters at camps bay are ridiculously cold so I was only able to touch my toes in the water then run away. No swimming for me. They had a little boardwalk with shops and food next to the beach so Laura, Julie and I went to eat at a little restaurant called Caprese that was super good. It helped that all of the people at the restaurant, customers and waiters, were for some reason gorgeous. Oh ya, i forgot! The people here and BEAUTIFUL. It doesnt hurt that they have sexy accents too. But the people are just gorgeous...I wonder what they would think of Americans if they came to the US. I doubt they would think we were a beautiful looking country haha. Laura is very intent on thinking that everyone is very intrigued by us Americans and that they think we are really beautiful too. I think they are just looking at us cause we stick out so much. Later that night we went out to a part of town called the Observatory (they call is Obs...which only helps with our abbreviating...totally awesome). We went to a couple bars. The first was Stones where it was a lot of tourists and the second was Roots. Roots had an awesome layout. You walked in and you were on sand where they was a bar and everything. The next room was full of people and played techno music and another bar. Then the last room was another bar with lounge chairs and no roof so you could see the stars..super cool. I decided that it would be a wonderful idea to take shots with a boy in our program (Robby) called Bob Marley shots. They were really sweet and colorful which is always exciting. My head was not happy with me that next morning. Fun bars though.

The next day we were told to be ready by 9 to do orientation part deux. So as someone that loves to be on time I woke up at 830 and was ready to go by 9. I have learned that CT lies when they say be ready by this time. If they say know you arent leaving until 10. This did not make me happy but I am getting used to it and kinda liking the slower pace to life. After orientation the 3 of us (laura, julie and i) met up with Lauras fam on the last day of their trip. We headed to Stelenbosh which is about an hr outside of CT to go to lunch and a winery. THe wine was super good, as was the food. Laura, Julie and I proceeded to buy 9 bottles of wine between the 3 of us. It's okay though...a bottle of wine costs around 40 rand here which is 4 US dollars. AWESOME. Everything is just super cheap. It's great. I keep thinking Im playing with monopoly money and that it's not real...that will for sure bite me in the ass soon. It's fun for now though. We ran errands for the rest of the day and came back to the apt and passed out. I had only gotten about 5 hrs of the sleep combined from the previous 2 nights.

Next day...we hiked up table mountain!!! I had wanted to do this so so badly and I was able to accomplish it with the program planning a trip for us. The hike took us around 6 hrs altogether...4 and a half of those were spent getting up. It was a tough hike but so so worth it. The views from up there were stunning. The top of table mountain is the highest point in CT. People really enjoyed saying they were the highest people in CT (funny because everyone smokes weed here so they thought it was hilarious.) Everyone was ridiculously tired after the hike so we all took an hour nap, woke up and got ready to go out once again. It was a kid on our program, Chris's 21st birthday so some of the mentors (the people helping us out with everything...they are awesome and around our age) filled up an entire bathtub of alcohol in a couple of the kids rooms and we partied there. The drinking age is 18 here but for some reason they Safricans love to celebrate the not complaining. It was a lot of fun. Julie and I decided it would be a great idea to stay out till 5 and 6 AM. Really smart choices. I have found that people here start their nights of drinking earlier and end later. It kinda puts Boulder to shame...doesn't replace the people though. I still love you guys so no worries!

The next day around 20 of us went to Leesenberg beach. Surfing is really huge are sharks and shark attacks (2nd highest in shark attacks in the world.) It really put me at ease to swim in the water. I did though and this water was much warmer than at Camps Bay. I decided that day was not my day to learn how to surf though. I will learn by the end of my time here! I am determined. Luckily, no shark attacks on this day. The sun was gorgeous and hot and we all learned from the day before that the sun is really strong. people were getting burned through their clothes...pretty crazy. I did pretty well with the sun...i have a good base but everyone else seemed to get toasted. Totally spolotchy in really weird and awkward places. It was funny. So it was an amazing and relaxing day at the beach. We left to take the train home around 5. The program had told us not to take the train after 6 just because sketchier people tend to ride the train at later hrs so we wanted to get out of there. We finally got on the train where we met some weirdo people...but we were in a group of about 10 so we were safe. BUT...(sweet story). Our stop came up so everyone was filing out. In Africa...apparently they dont believe in stopping the trains for a long period of time to wait for everyone to get off. Instead, they stopped the train for literally 5 seconds. People were still getting off of the train and they started closing the doors and moving. 5 of us still were not off of the train. So i thought, what the hell, I'm getting off this train. I didnt think twice and I jumped (the train was still somewhat crawling but def moving.) I jumped and cleared it but Laura decided she needed just jump a second after me, tangle my feet up and fall on me. Lets just say the concrete and I became close enemies. I scraped up my knees and foot...luckily I didnt face plant. Laura and Julie both fell as well. It was quite a sight to see. The people at the stop just kinda looked at us and laughed at the stupid Americans...figures. And the train just kept trotting along. I have always wanted to jump off a moving train though. So it worked out well! I got my wish and a sweet story out of it. Side note..Laura is sick right now. Im thinking she has the flu or strep throat. She slept all day at the beach yesterday, passed out in her bed once we got home last night and has been in bed all day today sleeping. We are going to the doctor tomorrow. Pretty shitty. Last night a big group of us went out to dinner at this really yummy restaurant in another part of CT called Green Point. We finished dinner at 1145 or so and took a cab to Long Street, where they have a lot of fun bars. After a couple failed choices of bars we finally made it to a place called Cafe Baghdad where they were mixing some amazing house music. We danced our asses off for a couple hours...a good time to say the least.

On to today..we went to the flea market and ripped some people off with was awesome! haha. And now I am here...writing this to all of you. Anyways, CT is everything I hoped it would be and much much more. The scenery is beautiful, the people are incredibly nice and gorgeous and life is great. Until next time...I love you all!


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