Monday, April 28, 2008

"Good wine is a necessity of life for me." -Thomas Jefferson

Okay so here is an update on the past 2 weeks. The wine course started for this semester. We had the 4 classes and the test is going to be on Tuesday although it doesn’t matter how I do because I have already passed it and I don’t get credit for it anyway but we had 2 different teachers each for 2 classes. One of the ladies was the one that I had last semester so those classes just proved to be a repeat of last semester but when we had the other lady it was interesting because she brought in new facts, which was cool. I liked it one of the facts is why a bottle of wine is only 750mL and not a liter or something that makes a little more sense and they think it is because when people used to blow the glass to make the bottles the biggest bottle that could be made was 750mL. So that is a nice random fact for you guys. On Tuesday the 15th I had a lunchish thing with people from Northwestern University in Chicago here. It was for the HIV peer education group. They are studying here for a quarter and all of them are minoring in world health, which was really neat. They all seemed very sweet and were surprised to meet me well an American in the group. Nothing was really noteworthy this week just homework and school the normal. On Friday though we left for the Cederberg Mountains, which was loads of fun. We got there not to late like around 5ish so we unpacked. I stayed in a Cabin with Alex, Bonnie, Anna, Katy and Morgan. That night we before dinner I played on the swing set and did the monkey bars and a little girl told me I was to big to play on them :( right after I gave up my swing for her because her friend was swinging next to me but that is okay people just made fun of me because I was bullied by a 7 year old. After that I hung out and talked with some of the drivers and the group and helped cut the rolls for dinner. Then we ate dinner, which was boerewors and salad. It was good. After that we just hung around under the stars and talked it was great.


dyer (my hat was a hit thanks Debbie)
Then next day we hiked wolfberg cracks like last semester but this time it was much cooler and it rained. At the top it was freezing we ended up doing like a penguin huddle and rotated who was on the outside and who was on the inside. IT was quite entertaining except for the fact that we were freezing. The hike was nice and it just reminds me how much I enjoy hiking so I should do that more. When we got back a group of us went to this pool where people went cliff jumping.. I did not. Then I went back and took a nap with Chelsea. We had dinner and then we all hung around the fire and had some wine and smores, which were delicious. At midnight it was Kate's birthday so I went to her cabin and sang happy birthday to her it was nice.

dyer and chels


a group of us

yup we hike with our socks up!

the top

the cliff people jumped off of

Katy Me and William

Laura and I

Happy Birthday Kate (our cake is an apple with a candle on it)
The next day we had breakfast and wine tasted at one of the best wineries in South Africa, which was delicious. Then we went to the rock art and had lunch and explored in that area and then we came home. So all in all it was a great weekend.

the rocks were so interesting

The next week I had a normal day of class with the wine class as an extra and then went to Bronwyn's for dinner where bronwyn, Louis and Genevieve planned their camping trip and I just ate. We had salad, potatoes and this good chicken. It was a great meal. The next day was class as normal but that night it was the continuation of the tradition of Tuesday after cederberg where Bethany shaved her head! It was great...she looks amazing I am so proud of her for doing it herself as well. Amazing.

She is getting ready...I borught her some champagne

The next day same as normal but that night I went to a concert at a local bar of Goldfish again. It was great. It was very packed but the music was good and I didn’t get stepped on too much and I made it pretty close to the stage. The next day was class as normal but then I went to Kayamandi to help Katy with her service site where I taught 2 ladies from the community who were entrepreneurs how to use the computer like how to turn it on and off and how to get on to the internet and get to google and one other web page. It was amazing how much I took for granted that people would know but really we just grew up with the computers so things aren’t second nature. It was a great experience. Friday my class got canceled so I had the whole day to do some work and clean etc... It was good and I ended up going to bed early, which is what I needed.

The next day was the wine excursion for the wine class where we went to 3 wine farms and had tasting. It was nice especially since I haven’t really been wine tasting this semester. I ended up buying a bottle of pinotage, which is surprising because normally I don’t like pinotage but this one was good. We had this sweet lasagna for lunch, which was good and then came home where I took a nap. After that I made dinner and then went over to a friends room and watched some music videos and then went to Concordia (where I lived last semester) and hung out with Grant and then watched part of the NFL draft (yeah it was on here crazy) with some guys that I know that live there like dyer, Ryan and Andrew.

at Villera

Morgan, Kate, Dionne

Anna and me


Anna, Alex, Bonnie at Morgenhof


The next day was the Cheese and Wine festival. So it was more cheese and more wine. It was good I ate way too much cheese, my digestive system wasn’t too happy with me, and had some wine. It turned into a nice warm day so it was great to be outside enjoying the weather. That night I went to Emily and Dionne's room and watched a few episodes of sex in the city and then came here and went to bed pretty early again (I am turning into an old lady). Katy's dad, uncle and friend came up yesterday but I haven’t met them yet.

Bethany, Bonnie, Me, Whitney

Today we don’t have school so I have been getting work done and catching up on stuff. So that is my past 2 weeks. I hope all is well with you guys. Stay well


Sunday, April 13, 2008

short and sweet

Okay so my life this week. On Sunday Katy and I made cookies although the no bake cookies turned out fairly well but the snicker doodles not so much. They didn’t cook well at all and the dough was too liquidy so we have just been eating the batter. And I have done most of the eating of the batter but that is okay. After that we went to Brazen Head a local bar and watched a Manchester United soccer game then went to a friends flat and had a glass of wine and socialized. After that we came home and a few people visited and people started coloring the coloring book that I brought. It was a nice low key but really fun night.

Gary Scott and Ernst coloring

On Monday I had class as normal but that night was the rugby finals! Maties (Stellenbosch) vs. Ikeyes (University of Cape Town). What a game! It was close the whole way through. We ended up being down 9-10 with the last few seconds in which a try (kind of like a touch down) was called back. But with the last seconds of the game we scored a try and right after the extra point was kicked the game was over which means that the Maties won 16-10! It was packed and a whole lot of fun. Chels and I ran onto the field after…man it was amazing. Here are some pictures:

Emily and Katy

Me and Chels

The next day classes as normal but that night was the International Food Evening. When I was there I got food from Gabon, Austria, Finland, South Africa, and Russia. They were all really good unfortunate I don’t know what most of the food that I tried was called but the South African food was milk tart and Austria was an apple strudel. On Wednesday I went to a braai at hillbillies for a friends birthday which was fun. Thursday I hung around I didn’t feel very well and ate chocolate did some work and watched a few episodes of a TV show online. Friday evening I went to a rugby game of a friend of mine in my class. It is a game of a residential hall vs another residential hall. His team won by he got hurt not to bad he just couldn’t play the rest of the game. Then yesterday Katy and I went looking for costumes because our friend, Scott, had a 21st birthday party and the theme was Alice and Wonderland. So that is what I did last night, which was a lot of fun and I realized that it was my first 21st birthday party because I am missing everyone’s back home. This afternoon the boys ganged up on the girls (there were 3 girls and 7 boys fair fight I know) and threw us in the pool…not cool but overall it was soo much fun.

Me and Katy

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (Paul and Gary)

So that was my week. Short and sweet I know.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

"Add life to your days not days to your life" ~Away with the faries back packers

Okay sorry for the delay in this entry but here goes. I don’t have all the pictures because me and the girls on the second part of our trip kind of split the picture taking responsibility and I only have my portion but I can post those when they come.

So 2 weeks ago was fall break. We did the same thing in the beginning as what I did for spring break last semester i.e. the garden route. It was slightly modified but all the same activities were done. So we left Stellenbosch around 1:30 to head for antlers lodge which was about an 6 hour drive. I was in a great car we listened to Disney music and some other random music. We didn’t get to eat until 9 and many people in our car were cranky because of that and I wont lie I was but anyway we ate at Yellow Wood Spur (it is a chain that changes its name to like Minnesota Spur etc through out the country) on Mexican night. This is kind of disgusting as in the stereotypes. They hand out ponchos and sombreros and give you an Indian head dress thing which you can see in the picture below. It was a nice group of people to eat with and sooo nice to eat dinner because I was starving. The waitress asked us if we wanted to have the head dresses and we said yes and then she asked if we wanted coloring pages. She said “serious?” and we were like “umm yes please!”. She laughed at us but it was worth it. We then went to Antlers lodge and I got a cabin with 9 people. One of the girls was in her bed and she thought she saw a bug on her bed and refused to sleep in her bed so Mike(the one in charge) went to inspect it and found nothing and she still was hesitant about sleeping in it so I offered to switch. It kind of made me laugh because we are in a cabin. Another funny story about that girl so when we left for the garden route she had a dead bug in her room and refused to go in her room she left skype, her computer, her internet and her music on over all break! This made me kind of mad because first of all the bug was dead and South Africa is in an energy crisis like there is rolling blackouts pretty frequently so I found that kind of disrespectful because it is going to be like this until 2012. Anyway so that night just hung out outside looked at the stars and talked to people. We tried to stay up for the second bunch who left around 5 but they didn’t end up showing up until about 2 in the morning so I was asleep.

my van: Jacqui, KAte, Andrew, Logan, Catlin

Clifford, logan, ME, Jacqui, Morgan Kate...politically incorrect

The next day I woke up early and just walked around the place and sat on one of those swinging seats and took everything in. Then we went to Monkeyland which I liked better this time around but I think it is because it was after I bungee jumped last semester so I was kind of all about that and it was hard to concentrate. After that we went to the bungee jump where we watched everyone bungee jump, which was nice. Then we went back to the lodge and took a nap and went out to dinner at Enrico’s where we had pizza, salad and a milk shake. Then went back to the lodge and hung out and people went swimming even though it was chilly.

Ernst, Katy, Anna, Chris

Me chels and Katy at the bridge we jumped off

Worku, Katy and Grant hanging out this just made me laugh

The next day we woke up and had the morning at the lodge where I laid on a dock and talked to random people then went to the beach where we had an hour so I hung out there and talked to the people. WE then went to the elephant park and got to touch and feed the elephants. We drove to Buffalo’s Bay and had the rest of the afternoon. We had poikios which is a stew that is cooked on the fire for a couple of hours with lamb and I played pool and hung out.

Just some pictures of antlers lodge

antlers lodge

me doing some work at the beach

Dyer feeding the elephants

Guinea Fowl

pictures at the backpackers we stayed at that night

On Easter we went to Cango Caves in the morning and I did the adventure tour. People ere being ridiculous and acting like the stereotypical obnoxious Americans so I was kind of embarrassed but it was still enjoyable. I found out that it was one of the 7 wonders of southern Africa. Then we went to the ostrich farm and got to fed them and some people rode them same as last semester. Then we went to a drumming circle and went back to the backpackers. We had boerwors (sausageish) roll and salad and a Rasta band came ad played it was so neat and relaxing although sometimes they were hard to understand because of there tendency to mumble.

female ostriches

Male ostriches in heat..their beaks and shins were more orange

we stopped along the road and took some pictures

At the drumming circle

We hung out in the morning at the backpackers because we didn’t want to go to the township so Ryan and I hung out in bed reading and then Katy and Chels joined and we all took a nap. We then went to featherbed nature reserve where we did the walk down. We then had champagne on the rocks by the ocean as a toast to the end of the garden route and went to dinner where we got R100 to spend. I got a whole pizza and ate all but one slice I am such a pig and then had dessert. On the way home one of the guys was talking about how he thinks that we do things for others as a performance and I thought that was a neat concept because I do do that sometimes. We then sat on the couch and read Maniac McGee which was great and such a blast from the past and talked to people later in the night.

featherbed nature reserve


me I have become a body builder..cant you tell?

We woke up and hung out at the backpackers and left for Stellies. We got home by about 4:15 and picked up the car almost immediately. This part of the trip I was with Chelsea and Katy from last semester and this girl Emily who is not in my program but she is NJ. We then switched out some of the dirty clothes for clean clothes and wrote a few emails and left for Mossel Bay. We drove until after 11 and stayed the night at the Sanots Express Train Lodge which was an actual train right off the beach and we stayed in a train cabin it was pretty neat but small. You could hear the ocean from the cabin, which made me very happy. Not everyone else was thrilled about it as I was but no worries.

Chels and my train room

The next day we drove to East London, well actually Gonubie which is a suburb outside of the city and stayed at a Garry, a friends, house we ate dinner which was finger foods and hung out on the porch. We then got ready and went out to Numbers which is the 4th best night club in South Africa. Wont lie I was not dressed appropriately but I got in but I didn’t pack nice clothes because of the whole traveling thing. It was very nice and people were dressed up so we danced and had a few drinks.

beach in Gonubie

The next day we slept in and showered and went out to breakfast/brunch with Cary, Keenan, his friend who went out with us, and Carolyn his mom. I got an omelet it was wonderful. We then drove to Hogsback where the roads were all gravel. Checked into the backpackers and walked around and climbed to a tree house which was amazing with an amazing view. This supposedly inspired J.R. Tolken with the Lord of the Rings. We then drove into town which didn’t really exist but then drove some of the back roads. We then ate laid in bed looked through a few books and wrote.

Katy and Emily climbing up the tree house

Chels climbing up the tree house

The next day we ate breakfast and went for a hike where we saw Samango monkeys and saw some sort of parrot and some beautiful waterfalls. We then had a late lunch ad drove to Jeffery’s Bay which is a beach that is known for its wave so there are lots of surfers. While driving we saw a monkey just chilling on the road. I also got a flat tire from going over a pothole. We had trouble getting the jack out of the car because it was like hooked in by metal and was wicked difficult to pull out but we figured it out. Chels had to stand on the wrench to loosen the jacks but it was a fun experience. We got I late and had a delicious meal which was snook (a fish) with apricot jam marinade some potatoes and s great salad. That night I laid in a hammock and relaxed.

Emily, katy, Chels

Me holding up the rock

800 year old tree

Chels, Katy, Me, Emily

The next day we woke up and walked around town and laid on the beach. Then left to head somewhere closer home. WE were driving past the bungee jump place and Emily hadn’t done it so we stopped and she did it and we walked out on the bridge with her. It was great. Then we drove to Wilderness and when we got there it was dark and we went to this backpackers that seemed like in the middle of no werhe because all of the sudden the road turned to gravel so that was kind of strange but when we woke up the next day it wasn’t sketchy at all. We went out to dinner at Monks a pub and I got an ostrich burger and a Hunters cider. We then drove to the backpackers and went to bed.

Jeffery's Bay

The next day we drove home and went to the grocery store with the car which was great not to have to carry all the groceries home.



Coming home
After I did work that I had to do. So that was the trip. Monday I had class and went to the semifinals of rugby which the Maties (Stellenbosch) won in double overtime which was wicked exciting. The final is tomorrow night here so I can go and watch. I signed up for courses next semester that day and nothing too memorable happened the rest of the week. I had a class presentation on Thursday. Friday night I found out that I should have 2 boys and a girl when I have kids. Umm last night I talked to my family. So that is an update on my life.