It's hard to believe I've been in Cape Town for over a month! I haven't been doing a very good job of keeping you up to date, but I'm going to make a conscience effort to do better! I've been keeping a list of things to write about, so some things will be current and others will be a bit dated.
The students and I are staying at Hillcrest Manor Guesthouse in a pretty nice area of the city called Tamboerskloof. The guesthouse is actually just about a 7-9 minute walk to where Eni and I stayed in 2007, so I'm pretty familiar with the area. The neighborhood is a relatively safe place, but I still try to keep walking at night to a minimum and I definitely don't go out alone after dark.
Before coming, I was not quite sure about staying in a house with 15 undergraduate students, but I was assured that I would have my own room and bathroom; and that was enough for me. When I first arrived, I must admit I was not too happy with my room. It's not actually in the house, but out the back door. My first thought was Great! They stuck me in the servant's quarters! Above my room, there is the 'Annex' where three other female students stay which is much nicer than the servant's quarters. My doors open directly to outside, so it gets extremely cold in here at night. After the first few nights, I was so miserable that Professor Lee let me borrow one of the heaters from her flat, and that made all the difference in the world! My room went from feeling like the servant's quarters to my own little oasis!!!! Gerda also came in and fixed my TV, so in addition to the three stations I had been getting (SABC1, SABC2, and SABC3), I now get E! TV and M-net. Who would have thought the DVR queen would be excited to now have 5 TV stations??? And just when I was finally getting comfortable, my twin bed was switched out for a much bigger double bed! If I didn't need food, I may not ever leave my room!!! (just kidding)
Breakfast consisting of cereal, toast, juice, and coffee is provided for us each morning. It's not the greatest, but it's better than nothing. On some Fridays, we get a special breakfast which is usually something like French toast or pancakes! Needless to say, I'm up extra early on Fridays! Dinnertime at the house is usually interesting. Some of the students are pretty good cooks, while others could use a little help. I had a good laugh last night when one of the guys told me about is failed attempt at pasta. He decided that since baked beans were packed in tomato sauce, they would go good with spaghetti noodles…. I think I laughed for a good 5 minutes straight on that one! There is a cute little café called the Daily Deli right down the street. The food is relatively cheap and it's good too!
One of the down sides to Hillcrest is that we don't have access to the washer and dryer at the house. So every couple of weeks I pack up my backpack and grocery bags and walk down to the Laundromat. It's fine for now I suppose, but I'm definitely looking forward to warm and hot water cycles once I get back!