Sunday, May 18, 2008

Time is flying this week brought the one month mark. That was kind of disappointing. I didn’t realize it until the middle of the day. It is crazy how fast time goes. I think that I am more ready to go home than last time but it is still scary to think I will never be back here again or at least not for a while. So that is that.

My week. Monday I had classes like normal and an assignment due that I had to work on and hand in. Monday night we had our final peer ed braai. We had it aandklas and they had a few free bottles of wine for us and we hung out and talked for a while. We devised some plans that will allow me to stay in the country like me hiding out in the dunes of Namibia for a couple of years and then sneaking back in to the country and changing my identity. I also have 2 marriage options. One with Louis because if I am married for 2 years than I get to be a citizen so he said that we could do that as long as it is a cultural marriage so that he can have multiple wives...its legal if you can prove you are part of the Zulu culture. Jean-Marie said that she would be willing to do it if we could live in America for a while so she could become an American citizen (same sex marriage is legal here). So these are just options and part of what we discussed. We also had pasta salad, potato salad and Greek salad and then you could have brought meat to braai but I didn’t. It was great to hang out with everyone. This is one group that I know I am going to miss.

Tuesday I didn’t have my eight o clock class because we had covered everything for the course and therefore didn’t need to have class...this is the last week of classes. But I did have my other class so I went to that and we watched a pretty sad movie called Red Dust, which was a fictional movie about a case brought in front of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It was good. That night I went to Hillbillies house where we had a review session for the Sociology final the next day and spent the evening there studying then hanging out with Chelsea. It was great. Wednesday I didn’t have class except for the exam so I went for a run in the morning and spent the day studying. It was wicked warm this day not like winter. But I took my sociology exam...I think that it went fine and then came back and studied for my GIS exam on Thursday. Thursday I went to my class and went to a lecture called "
Land resources conflicts and prospects for the development of sustainable natural resources use policy frameworks in post-war Southern Sudan" It was pretty interesting but the guy talking was kind of hard to understand but what I could I enjoyed. I then studied for the rest of the day for my GIS exam and ended up doing fairly well. I could have done better but I was pleased enough. I also realized that I had my last class today at Stellenbosch, which is really strange to me.

Friday I didn’t have class but I went shopping to get a shirt for the end of the semester dinner that was that night. I ended up getting 3 shirts and a necklace for R110, which I was pleased about because that it less than $20 and they are nice. I then went out to lunch with Chels and came back here and got ready for the end of the semester dinner. We went to Calcuccio's and could all order a drink under R20 anything more was on you so I got a chocolate milkshake it was delicious but people made fun of my choice. We then drove to an SOS camp (which is like boy scouts here) and had some veggies, chips and dip and boerwors for dinner. We had a slideshow and some speeches and it was very sad. That night I danced the night away and had loads of fun. I didn’t go to bed until 4:30. It was so great. The next day we packed up and cleaned up and then I came home and ate something, unpacked and took a nap. Saturday I didn’t do much I watched a movie read and basically lounged around. Here are some pictures:

on the way to Franshoek


Chels..she looked great

Me, Chels and Michelle

Caitlin and Morgan

Jacqui and Me

William, Grant and Ernst singing us there speeches

Whiteny, Me and Grant

I am pretty gangster now..if you didnt know

I think Laura is a little better than me

Oh some of the dancing

Chels and me

Mathew, Chels, Me and Grants hair

Chels, Me and Grant (Chels didnt get the funny face memo)

Me and Ernst

Grant and I

I promise I do like Chels

Today Chels came over and we hung out. I then showered and Katy and I went to the park where I started to study for my final. It was nice and we saw lightning and heard thunder, which was awesome but only twice. I was hoping for a good thunderstorm. So that has been my week. Stay well.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"I'm thinkin' about my doorbell, When ya gonna ring it"

Okay my past 2 weeks...ready set go!

Monday we didn’t have class like I said in the last post. Tuesday of that week I worked on a research paper and went to class. During lunch that day I was sitting on the library steps eating my PB&J like I normally do if it is nice outside. When I was there this girl, Bonnie, came up to me and asked if I wanted to go to Namibia and I said yes. She was like how about tonight. I was thrown completely off guard and was like uhh well I have a paper to do and I am supposed to go to Kayamandi in the afternoon on Wednesday and it is so last minute...she continued to try and convince me and told me that they were leaving after our wine test and that I should really consider it. One of the girls that they were supposed to go with dropped out last minute because she got assigned a group project for over break. So I did and it was in the back of my mind all day but it is a lot of money to be so impulsive with. Anyway I ended up running into Chris who was also going on this trip and he again tried to convince me so I talked to Amy and she was like go for it. But they had changed the car around and ended up getting a 5 person car and with me there would have been 6 people so after the wine test Alex, a boy who was going told me that he would have to talk to the group and then see if they could fit me in and how everyone was feeling. Well it turns out that I ended up going and we had 4 people in the back and then 2 in the I went with Chris, Alex, Bonnie (Americans), Anna (from Ireland) and Jaco (from SA). So here is what I did on that trip:

Just a little random fact. Namibia does daylight savings time so that it was an hour different than South Africa so that in SA it was 7 and in Nam it was 6

the first day we drove to Jaco's mom's farm. We ended up leaving Stellenbosch at around 7 and then got to his house a little after 10. We ate this great dinner that his mom made for us which was so sweet of her. We then went on a game drive through his farm (his family are sheep farmers) but we didn’t see anything except for a small rabbit (although the rabbits here don’t look the same as the do back home) but the stars were amazing. I think they were the best that I have ever seen and it was different than what you see in the Northern Hemisphere it was amazing. We then went back and went to bed.

The next day we woke up and had 2 breakfasts. His mom made these dough balls/ doughnut things that were wicked good. After that we hung around the farm and I got to feed the sheep, which they attach a nipple thing to the top of beer bottles, which I thought, was cool. It was neat and kind of made me want to be a farmer (oh I have a couple career options to tell you about for me but I will do that later). I then played with a little girl named May from England who had been living in SA for about a year and had picked up Afrikaans and spoke that fluently and didn’t like speaking English she was 3 I think. After that it was time for breakfast number 2 where there were scones and homemade bread and homemade jam it was very good and the first time I had grape jelly in forever. We then spent the whole day driving to Windhoek in Namibia and met one of Jaco's friends at Joe's Beerhouse a famous bar there and then went to his house. It was a long and very tight drive but we made the best of it and I was pretty comfortable for the whole ride considering there were 4 of us in the back. Once we got to his friends, Alwyn, we went to bed. Anna, Bonnie and I all shared a bed.

Jaco's farm

Heading towards Namibia

Bonnie, Anna and Alex squished in the back

in Namibia

That big dark bark looking spot on the right of the tree is actually a huge nest that a bunch of birds live in.

The next day we woke up and hung around while everyone showered and got ready for the day. During that time I did some studying, yup I know lame while I am on holiday but you got to do what you got to do. We booked a place to stay the next part of the vacation, which was important. We then went to a craft market of all Namibian crafts. There were some really beautiful things but I didn’t buy any of it. We went to the grocery store to get stuff for our 2 braais that day. We then went off roading in Alwyn's land rover to a river bed and ate brunch/lunch down there where we had a fire and had stokebrojtie (stick bread) which you cook over the fire which is delicious and then eggs and rolls. We then went home and I studied some more. Alwyn had a braai with some of his friends and us. They were all so nice and get this...the blocks of fire starting wood that they had are made from invasive species that have been removed and then they compress them into blocks. I thought it was a great idea because you get rid of invasive species but you still get to use them and the company makes money selling it. Brilliant. We then went to a karaoke bar where Jaco sang a song and I just watched. We then went to bed it was like 11 we were pretty lame.

the river bed

at the bottom of the river bed

Bonnie tending to the fire

The view from Alwyns place

The next morning we hung around the house and then drove to Swakopmund, which is along the coast about 3 hours away from Windhoek. Jaco stayed at Alwyns because he was going to a wedding with Alwyn (he is a photographer and his wife and kid were out of town) so the back was spacious. We then got to the backpackers and hung out there for a while and then walked around town. We had a drink at the beach bar and then had dinner at Spur (chain restaurant) and when to the backpackers and hung out in the bar and I played uno with Chris and talked to some of the other people traveling through and went to bed early.

on the way to Swakopmund


It was so barren

Chris and Alex with a dead sea turtle that was on the was huge

Anna and Bonnie on the beach

angling off the dock

the dunes in the disatance

The next day I woke up and studied and then we had breakfast at the backpackers (it was included in the price) and then studied some more and then went sand boarding which was awesome! I don’t know how to turn or anything but it was so cool and it was soft if you fell. There were 2 different types of boarding there was the lay down and stand up one. So we did the stand up which meant that you got to do 2 rides on the lay down ones. There weren’t any lifts so once you went down you had to walk back up which sand is hard to walk up on and it was definitely a work out. After that the girls went to the beach and took a nap, Chris and Alex went quad biking and Jaco was still with his friend. We then walked around town and people watched a little bit and then went back to the backpackers and met up with Alex and Chris. We then went to the Swakmound lodge to see the sand boarding video that they produced of us and gave us a copy as part of the price. We then went out to dinner and went back to the lodge for a drink and then went back to bed. I had a headache that night it wasn’t the most comfortable.

Alex after sand boarding (that isnt hair on his face it is sand)

me walking back from sand boarding

the dunes we were by

i thought that this was only in pictures

the dune we sandboarded down

Swakopmund light house

Anna and Bonnie

The next day we woke up and packed and went to the shipwreck with Jaco. That day I didn’t feel well at all my stomach wasn’t very happy with me and things were just running through me. But the shipwreck was nice and we then left by about 10 and drove to Windhoek to pick up things and then headed home. We crossed the tropic of Capricorn which was cool there was a sign. We drove till about 2:30 in the morning and again stopped at Jaco's farm and slept there and left around 8 30 the next morning for Stellenbosch which we got home around 12, so I missed all my classes on Monday but I did go to the computer lab and do some work. So overall I would call it a successful holiday.

the Skelton Coast...lots of shipwrecks

sun set as we head home

Oh and the title is lyrics from a song that was played quite often on this trip.

Tuesday was normal I had to study for an exam and do some work. On Wednesday I went to the Concordia Braai which was nice oh and Laura and Sarah got there computers and camera stolen which was awful but I think that they both have a good outlook on it and the police are going to look into it but who knows how much good that will do. On Thursday I went to the Stellenbosch Choir concert during the lunch break and that night I had an exam which went from 7:00-10:30 at night so that was a long and exhausting thing so I came home and crashed which was nice. Friday I had my last class for the module so I am done with that one and went out to lunch with Chels and went shopping and then came home and did work. I have lots to study for this week. Saturday I got up and did work but at 3:00 I left for Cape Town to go to Newlands to watch the Stormers from Cape Town play the Waratahs from Australia in Rugby. We went to a pub before the game and watched some of the other games that were going on and had sausage rolls for dinner. It was pouring rain out like was soo amazing though I would do it again in a heartbeat. My feet and top half were dry I just needed to have water proof pants and I would have been fine but it was so awesome. The stadium was great and we were so close. I also met some really nice people. The game ended in a tie, which was kind of disappointing I wish there was overtime but they don’t do that so oh well. I got home and immediately changed out of my pants. My purse was soaked through and my pants and purse are still wet. I then went over to Block 4 to say happy birthday to Elaine and played catch phrase and then came back and went to bed.

The stadium

The Waratahs

Me at the stadium..this was from our seat

Go Stormers!

Today I have just been doing work. Next week is the week of classes and then finals it is amazing how time flies. I can’t believe I am going to be a senior soon.

Oh my career options so I think that I may become a farmer...I really liked feeding the sheep so that is a possibility. The other is I am going to be a sand boarding professional or teach sand boarding like our guides although I think I may have to learn how to steer on the board before I can get anywhere…I can work on that and the last one is there are these 3 really nice old men that work at the Stellenbosch post office and I want to work with them because they are so sweet so I will get a job there but you see it has to be there because they are the reason I want to work at the post office.

Anyway stay well and Happy Mother's Day.