Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy Birthday and the Mother City!

Recently here in South Africa I have been enjoying some new events, new places and new friends! Just two weeks ago on May 27th, I celebrated my 23rd birthday in South Africa! It was a beautiful day, cold and sunny. I started the day by visiting the kitchen where my friends Sakhile and Jane grabbed me and sang happy birthday and then proceeded to try to pour water on me! A strange birthday tradition. After enjoying breakfast, I had a simple day at work just hanging out in my office and doing some writing, making photocopies and of course, visiting friends around the center. Trevor, one of my favorite pastors here in SA, was visiting the office on my birthday for a meeting so it was great to sit with him during lunch and enjoy the conversation.

That night, I went out with three of my friends here, Mantsha, Mpho and Mahlodi. We went to a seafood restaurant and I told them that probably more than half of you at home in the states have no idea how beautiful and modern some places here in South Africa are. So they demanded we take a picture so you all can get a better idea of what this corner of Africa is like =) SO here is a picture from the evening:

After enjoying their wonderful company, I came back to my place and began packing for the next big adventure! In the morning, I would be leaving for a few days in Cape Town! How can one spend an entire year in South Africa without at least seeing the beautiful city known as "The Mother City". So I was off to experience this awesome city that I have heard feels nothing like the rest of South Africa.

On Saturday, May 28th, I landed in Cape Town and was immediately struck by the beauty of the city between an ocean and a mountain! Gorgeous. The weather for my 5 days and 4 nights there was not ideal but that's why it's called the off-season! I was appreciative of the lowered prices for accommodation and most attractions. And I got to see most of the big attractions in the city including a trip up Table Mountain, a tour of the Cape Winelands, a ride through Camps Bay, many museums in town, the infamous Long Street and the penguins of Boulders Beach on the southern peninsula.

And yes, I was traveling alone! I was a little bit worried about it but I think that just as in any other major city in the world, one simply just needs to be smart about things. I was just fine for my stay in Cape Town and I enjoyed the freedom of doing things by myself! I could change my mind at any moment about what I was going to do next or what I was going to have for dinner. =) It was sort of nice not having to consult with a travel buddy. Figuring everything out on my own also made me feel very independent and accomplished.

By the end of my trip there though, I was missing Johannesburg! Which, when I said this to a man in a restaurant in the city, made him laugh uncontrollably for about five minutes "You miss JOBURG??? Seriously??? You're telling me you're in Cape Town right now and you MISS Joburg." Hahaha. Seriously though! Joburg has such character and a much more "African" vibe if I can say that... Fruit vendors, people yelling, music in the streets, almost getting hit by taxis... there was nothing like it in Cape Town! =)

It was a nice escape to experience this metropolitan city. Parts of it felt like NYC or a european city... but I was glad to get back to my friends and my life in Joburg.

I hope to post pictures of my Cape Town adventures some time next week! =)
Thanks for reading!

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