Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!!!!

Thank you all so very much for the birthday wishes! I hate that I didn't actually get to talk to most of you, but the birthday messages and emails really made me feel special! When I first arrived and was unpacking, I found two cards that read "Do not open until your birthday!" and two small boxes. As tempted as I was to peek, I did what I was told and left the boxes and cards in my suitcase. On Friday, at breakfast, I was even more surprised to get a package handed to me! Everyone wanted to know what it was, but I put it in my suitcase with the other items and waited until Saturday to open them all (see mom….I do still listen!). First thing Saturday morning I opened the cards, boxes, and package! The cards were really sweet (yes, I did shed some tears…but not too many). The two little boxes contained a necklace and bracelet from my mom (which I wear everyday) and the package was a R350 ($50 USD) gift certificate to any restaurant in Cape Town!!!! I want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to the BEST parents in the world! My Daddy and Judy also sent me cards, which was another pleasant surprise! Even though he doesn't do computers or the Internet, I wanted to give him a shout out as well! And finally, it would not have been a birthday without Ahinee's birthday rap! THANKS MONI!!!!!

Now, most of you know I'm not really the partying type (…anymore); but since it was my birthday weekend (yes, I celebrated for a whole weekend), I told the group I would go out with them. We started out on Friday night at the club called Zula. I told the guy at the door that it was my birthday, and he let me in free! Good thing too because the spot just wasn't happening! We only spent about 20 mins there before everyone was ready to leave. We walked about a block and came to another club called Jo'burg! This one was right up my alley! The atmosphere was good, and the dj was great! I danced and sang more than I have in quite a while! The group even gave me a shout out at the stroke of midnight to usher in my birthday!

I started out the next morning with a hike up Table Mountain (see previous post for more details). After becoming one with nature, the whole group went over to Professor Lee's flat (or the mansion on the mountain as some of us like to call it) to celebrate my birthday. She had some snacks and drinks for us and the students all chipped in and bought me a double chocolate cheesecake from Charlys (the best bakery around)! Professor Lee even had red and white decorations for me :o) Vernon also came by and brought me his brother's gospel CD!

Later that evening, we all went a spot called Ragazzi. Tabo, a friend of Vernon's son Tiro, was celebrating his birthday (9/13) and the opening of his new club. Ragazzi was a nice, laid back venue. Thomas kept referring to it as a young professional's club! The dj played a nice mix of house, R&B, and Hip-Hop; I also learned that Cape Town is supposedly one of the top places for house music. As the night went on, I noticed a group of guys in the corner dancing. I remember saying to Alexis "All I need is for Single Ladies to come on so they can show out!" Less than 2 minutes later, the song came on and Alfred (or should I say Beyonce) worked it out!!! Oh, what a night! I felt so loved! We all had a really good time, and I want all the students to know how much I appreciate them!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

1 Hour and 20 Minutes

1 hour and 20 minutes… that's how long it took me to climb to the top of Table Mountain. Now, yall know I'm not the 'one with nature' type, but Kaitlin convinced me that it would be the perfect start for my 27th birthday. Now, Kaitlin almost made it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, so I'm still trying to figure out what I was thinking when I agreed to go with her. So, Saturday morning, Kaitlin, Sarah and I set off for what turned out to be an extremely fun and rewarding experience. I should have known that it was going to be hard when painted on a rock at the beginning of the trail was 'R U Sure? IF NOT YOU CAN GO BACK NOW!' That right there should have triggered something that made me turn around! I can honestly say that climbing that mountain was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time. I was pretty much miserable most of the way up, but Kaitlin and Sarah were so positive and kept me going. I definitely would not have made it without them. I felt bad for slowing Kaitlin down because I'm sure she would have made it up in under an hour if I had not been there winded and saying 'Kaitlin, I think I need a break!' To say I was struggling would be an under statement! Kaitlin was singing and dancing, and I was barely able to keep my breath! Once I made it to the top, (and took a second to catch my breath)I was so proud of myself that I forgot all about the fact that my legs felt like jello and my heart was pounding so hard that I felt it was going to jump out of my chest. The view from the top was just as beautiful as I remembered it, but the sense of pride and accomplishment I felt made the experience even more memorable. On the way up Kaitlin suggested I think of it in terms of a step for everyday of my life, and year 27 was waiting for me at the top! I feel truly blessed to have made it to 27, and I can't wait to see what this year has in store! I can say 100%, without a doubt that I will not be climbing Table Mountain again. I may try Lion's Head in the near future, but that's still up for debate...