Friday, December 4, 2009
I can’t believe this journey has come to an end. It’s bittersweet because I’m really ready to come home but I’m also a little sad to leave. The students have been wonderful and I’ve met a lot of really nice people here. I will especially miss Khanyi, Thobeka, and Eric (the crew that works at the guesthouse). This morning, we went to service at St. Georges Cathedral and then had coffee with Archbishop Desmond Tutu! It was the perfect way to end the trip. I head to the airport tonight and go from Cape Town to Amsterdam to Memphis to Knoxville. Please pray for safe travels, and I will see you all stateside‼‼!
Before I came on this trip, I would not have considered myself to be an outdoorsy or adventurous person. I still don’t consider myself to be outdoorsy or adventurous, but I think I might be close. Kaitlin (you should remember her from the Table Mountain blog) and Diana convinced me that I should climb Lion’s Head. “It’s much easier than Table Mountain!” I eventually gave in and up the mountain we went. I have to admit, it was easier than Table Mountain, but it was a bit scarier. Lion’s Head is round, so the climb takes you around in a circle and gives you a 360 degree view of the city! I had heard that there was a part where you could either continue to wind your way to the top or use chains to climb straight up. I made it clear from the beginning that I was NOT going to do the chains. My fellow climbers assured me that we could take the longer way up; and like a fool, I believed them! I’m not sure how they did it, but they convinced me to go up the chains. Looking back on it, the experience wasn’t really that bad. But at the time, I was terrified! I didn’t realize that I’m actually a little afraid of heights! By the time I made it up, my hands were trembling. Kudos to Diana for coaching me step by step and to Kaitlin for the constant encouragement! The view from the top was SPECTACULAR, but I don’t think I’ll be climbing any more mountains anytime soon!
The Mount Nelson Hotel supposedly has one of the best High Tea’s in the world, so the ladies of the house decided to check it out. We got all dolled up and ventured down to the hotel. I have passed by the hotel pretty regularly but had never been in because there are guards at each entrance that only allow guests to pass through. I’m not exactly sure what I expected, but it was nice. There was a spread of different kinds of finger sandwiches (with the crusts cut off), some other types of finger foods and a whole host of desserts. Oh….and there was tea :o)
Back in October, a few of us went to a hip-hop competition called the Cape vs. the Rest. Local rappers and dancers were competing to join a team that will represent Cape Town in a battle against artists from Jo’burg and Pretoria. We went to support Tiro, Vernon’s son, who is a crumper. He advanced to the final round, but we were not able to stay for the end, so I’m not sure whether or not he actually made the team. One of the most talented people there was a beat-boxer (not sure if I spelled it correctly, but you know what I mean). He did five different sounds at the same time‼! I actually got him on video and will try to post it when I get home. He even made it to the final round of SA’s Got Talent (the South African version of America’s Got Talent).
Monday, November 23, 2009
I have been trying to be nice, but that has got to stop! I am convinced that the men here have lost their minds! It started with Prof. Lee trying to hook me up with a guy she considers to be her brother. He's a doctor and is actually a nice guy, but he's way out of my age bracket! I told her that but still tried to be nice when we were in Jo'burg. Before I knew it he was calling my hotel room from the hotel lobby and Prof. Lee was making comments about me staying in Africa for a few more years to be with him! Don't worry. There won't be any Zulu weddings in my future :o) There is also a man that stands in the shopping center where I go to the gym. His name is James, but to be honest, I'm not exactly sure what his job is. I think he's a watchman or some type of security, so when he first started speaking to me, I spoke back thinking he would be a good friend to have if I ever needed help. WRONG! Every time I go to the gym, I feel like I'm a fugitive trying not to be spotted. Whenever he sees me, he tells me that he has been waiting for me. Saturday morning, he actually followed me all the way to the gym (he probably would have come in had it not been for women only)! He kept trying to get my email address and phone number so he can surprise me in the US. Good thing I had already learned my lesson about giving out my email address.
When we were waiting for the cable car to go up Table Mountain last week, a guy started talking to me. He asked for my phone number but I gave him my email address instead. I figured that was safer and that he would be less likely to email than call. WRONG!!! By the time I got back to the house, I had an email from him saying that he wished he could have walked with me on the mountain. A few days ago, he sent me another email asking why I hadn't written back or called. He also told me that this was the happiest he had been since he was born and closed the email with 'I Love You Eboni'! To top it off, his name is Forward! Alexis has been getting some good laughs out of this, but it wasn't so funny this morning when on the way to the gym, she was approached by a man (standing in the spot where James usually stands). She assumed he was after me, but he only had eyes for her! I'm going to try not to be mean, but being nice has gotten me into an uncomfortable situation. Good thing it's almost time to go home! I might have to change my email address though....
Friday, November 20, 2009
Ahinee came to visit me last week, and we had a GREAT time! It was so nice to have one of my best friends experience Cape Town with me. The weather wasn't the greatest, but we didn't let that stop us. The picture above is a view of Seapoint and Robben Island from the top of signal hill. We tried to get up to Table Mountain that day, but the cable car closed due to wind, so we went to watch the sunset on signal hill instead. Some of the highlights from her visit were shopping in Green Market Square, our adventure on the Garden Route (you'll have to get the stories from one of us in person...trust me, we can't make this stuff up :o), the elephant sanctuary, the zipline, and table mountain. Oh yeah....and the FOOD!!!!! We have been saying we are going to take a "Moni adventures" trip every year, so I guess this makes it official! Below are a few highlights from our week:
Egg man in the market on the phone with Madiba! He was supposed to let us know when Tutu called, but we haven't heard from him yet.
Dinner in the wine cellar....I'm still not sure how I feel about that experience.
Cango Caves after going through some love tunnel or something (I can't remember the exact name, but the opening was so small that a lady actually got stuck in there. It took them 10 hours to get her out!) The motivation for this photo was 'What in the HECK did we just do????'
Caution....Baboon crossing!!! Moni was so excited to see them :o)
Posing with Marula! By far my most favorite experience of the trip! I think Moni secretly loves elephants, but don't tell the AKAs :o)
Dressed and ready for the zipline...outfitted with all the gear and a water bottle!
George of the Jungle....No, wait...that's Moni!!!!
Glamour shots on Table Mountain!!!
ZA's Next Top Model!!!
At Nobel Square with Desi and Madiba!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
As part of the excursion, I went on my second trip to Kruger National Park. We only got to go on a half-day drive, but managed to see 4 of the Big Five! The only thing I didn't see this trip was a lion (so that picture is actually from 2007), but getting such a great shot of the leopard made up for it since leopards are usually the hardest one to spot (no pun intended) :o)
Elephant (My favorite of course!)
Elephant (My favorite of course!)