Well, it is Thursday afternoon, just before 4:00 as I type, though I won’t be able to post until morning. I thought I should jot down some of my successes while they’re fresh.
I had a good chunk of time at GHS earlier today and got quite a few pictures from Swaziland and Kruger posted. It is not all of them, but it will have to be it for now (I had to upload them in groups of five, and it was very slow!). I also caught up on some email. I sure take for granted having wifi everywhere back home! I will miss it this weekend.
Then Brenda and I walked to the guest house where our classroom will be, at least for the first half of the time. I was wrong in naming it “Aberdeen” – it is “Abbadale.” Not sure if you can find it online or not. A very formal hostess, Judy, greeted us and briefed us on the security system (which, by the way, I set off when I returned to Sheila’s). Anyway, she took us upstairs, and Reed will be glad to hear that I was able to connect to the TV in the classroom to display my Powerpoint files and videos from my iPad! (I think I hear him saying, “I told you that there was nothing to worry about.”) Yay, what a relief!
Then I walked to the Pick ‘n Pay or PnP (a store with everything…kind of a Target or Walmart but it seems way cooler to me). I was unable to convert my travel phone there to a South Africa number, but there was a Vodacom store right across the way that took care of it. I think I have the sim card switching system figured out so I’ll still use my UK number to make calls home, but this will be good to make local calls to GHS, Sheila, etc. should I need assistance, as well as to receive calls. You have to register with your passport to do this, so it feels kind of official. I purchased 50 Rand of airtime and the guy told me how to check my balance. Hope it works if I need it.
Then I bought some leggings and slippers (see pic) at the PnP clothing store (for a grand total of about $14…things are cheap here). It was good to see racks of warm clothes should I discover I didn’t pack well enough for Cape Town’s winter. Then I entered the grocery portion to get lunch supplies (bread, Skippy!, yogurt, apples, crackers, etc.) and a restock of shampoo and toothpaste. I also “splurged” on a box of Kleenex as I haven’t seen any since arriving. And I bought a washcloth…also MIA in Africa. Still not sure how to solve my stinky towel problem tactfully…
I trudged home with a heavy load. It is warmer here today, so that feels nice. I actually got hot walking and had to stuff my coat in my backpack. Funny story…when I was waking to GHS this morning, I heard someone call to me from the road. I kept walking, assuming it was a street peddler (there are many here). Then I looked and it was Stanford, the GHS driver, and Brenda, who had just picked up some groceries for the students. I hopped in and rode the rest of the way. Brenda said I already looked like at true Cape Tonian by the way I was waking. That helped my confidence as I kinda feel like a bumpkin. Speaking of which, the PnP checker commented on my accent, which she described as a drawl. 🙂 And, did you know you have to weigh your produce and place a label on it before you pay? Now I do.
I am very excited to get my students here…I’m hoping to be able to ride along with Stanford to fetch them this weekend. The main purpose of GHS is teaching English to college-agers from around the world. There are many from South America here now, as well as parts of Europe (especially Germany), Asia, and the Middle East. I’m not sure how much my students will interact with them, but it may be quite interesting…there are social outings they can tag along with too. Hopefully they will stay out of trouble. 🙂 My main observation of the GHS students here is that they smoke a lot. A lot. I think they are from fairly well-to-do families as Brenda told me that they often buy cars while they are here for several months, especially the Asians. The Colombians think it is REALLY cold here. It’s great to be in such a diverse area for awhile, though it feels light years away from Corbett. Still, we are all the same in some ways I suppose.
I feel better about things (I was pretty sad after talking to Reed and the kids last night). I still am not sure why I thought this would be a good idea. But, I think God is working hard on me, and being “alone” here will help me be a better student of His. This down-time in between segments of my trip is not the best, but there wasn’t really a way around it since World Vision set the dates that started this whole thing. I am trying to get rest, orient myself, read (Bible and Catching Fire too, I admit), and journal (in addition to this blog), so I guess I’m accomplishing something. I will wait to explore the downtown, true Cape Town, & the train until I can go with the group.
I really miss my daily life back home…I miss making school lunches, getting the kids to baseball/softball practice, tucking them in, checking on homework, doing our laundry, texting, watching TV, and feeding our pets. Even more I miss the voices and hugs of those I love. I miss my husband – my friend – and his loving smile and kind (& often silly) words. I deeply miss my children…I hope they somehow understand my absence and how it honors this part of me that God (for some reason) created. I miss a lot of things (like my morning coffee…the way I make it with Winco double French roast, ground fresh, steeped in a French press, with nonfat vanilla creamer!). But mostly I miss people…I miss home.
I don’t really miss driving…or cleaning the litter boxes.
P.S. Friday mid-day now and I haven’t yet walked to GHS to post. It is quite rainy today so I’m hoping it lets up a bit before I venture out. For pics, in addition to my R19.90 (<$3.00) slippers, I’ve included the view from my window, as well as a couple of special messages. 🙂
P.P.S. Sheila drove me. 🙂 And, just a reminder that I can’t post over the weekend as I have no wifi (& haven’t seen evidence of any nearby my home stay). Back online Monday…