Monday, November 23, 2009

No More Nice Girl!

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

Moni and Me

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 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

The Big 5

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!)




Thursday, November 5, 2009

You Don't Look Black Anymore

The Tuesday before the excursion, Alexis and I both had a day off from work, so Monday night we decided we would take our hair down and made appointments to get it redone on Tuesday morning. I started taking my hair down at about 5 Monday afternoon and did not finish until about 3:30 am Tuesday! After 8+ hours of taking my hair down I just could not see myself getting it done all over again. The only problem was that I didn't bring any hair stuff with me... no blow dryer, no flat iron, no brush, no scarf, no shampoo...NOTHING!!! Alexis and I got up the next morning on a mission to find some products to help us tame our wild manes. We found most things pretty easily, but the head scarf was the hardest to come by. We ended up walking halfway across town before I found something that I could use! It took me another 4 hours to wash and detangle my hair, but in the end all my hard work paid off. I'm back to looking like the Eboni you all know and love (:o)

When I went back to work on Thursday, most of the staff didn't recognize me. One of the counselors told me I didn't look black anymore! She actually thought they had hired a new person! She said that my hair was too straight and that I now looked coloured. Since then, she has asked me when I was going to put my braids back in and go back to looking black! I'm sure it seems like a weird thing to say to someone, but that's a prime example of how race is viewed here.

Apartheid ended 15 years ago, but the racial divide is as strong as ever. Blacks are still viewed by whites and coloureds as the lowest of the low. If you walk through town, you will see that white people are the ones shopping and eating in restaurants and the blacks and coloureds are the ones working and serving. The dynamic between blacks and coloureds  is also very interesting. Here, grouping non-whites together as a minority will not suffice. In fact, some coloured people get very offended if you call them black or tell them that they would be considered black if they were in the US.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stay Tuned....

This is a picture of Archbishop Desmond Tutu stepping down from the Tutu Tester. He came to visit the crew and celebrate having tested over 1,000 people! I thought it was going to be a laid back day, but it was an absolute media circus! There were TV and magazine reporters galore and a film crew shooting a documentary on his life. We had drafted a letter inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner at our guesthouse, but there were so many people there that I did not get to speak to him (though I did get to shake his hand!). I gave the letter to his assistant and she promised to pass it along. I was not holding my breath on that one, but she actually called before the day ended. Apparently the Archbishop already has two commitments on Thanksgiving and will not be able to do a third. She did tell me that there is a possibility that we could attend one of his services in December and have coffee with him afterword. I'm still waiting to confirm, but keep your fingers crossed! I'll keep you updated on how it goes...

Last week was the group excursion to Jo'burg, Pretoria, and Kruger Park, and I did not take my computer with me. I am back in Cape Town and am getting back in the swing of things. I will set aside some time this evening to blog and will have some posts up in the next day or so.