Wow - where has October gone? I can't believe I've been here over a month already. I guess that means I should fill you in, eh? (Yes, people totally say "eh" here - more on language later.)
I'm living in Rondebosch, which is in the Southern suburbs of Cape Town and where the University of Cape Town is located, nestled in the foothills of the majestic Table Mountain. I live in St. Paul's Anhouse - the UCT Anglican student house - with 12 students. My room is very small, but I have it to myself which is nice. We share a nice large kitchen with plenty of refrigerators/freezers, cabinet space, and two stove/ovens. We also share just two showers, which is sometimes inconvenient, but my schedule is pretty different from everyone else's so I can manage.
|St. Paul's Anhouse - my home for the year|
|I've covered practically all of my wall space in photos and memorabilia|
Even though it's the Anglican student house, not everyone is Anglican or even Christian. One of the women in the house is a Muslim from Tanzania. She has a husband and a child there and is in a PhD program here so she can get a good job where her husband lives. Mad respect for her independence and ambition. Three of the students in the house are from Zimbabwe - there's actually a pretty huge Zim population here. The rest are from different parts of South Africa. It's been cool getting to talk to some of them, and everyone has been really nice and welcoming. One even let me borrow his University student id and password to access wifi on campus.
The school year here runs February-November so everyone will be leaving for their summer holiday soon. During that time some people will stay for graduation in December or will stay for internships or jobs. It's kind of strange getting here just as everyone prepares to leave. Some of the students will be back in February but a couple are graduating or moving out.
I work in Kenilworth, another Southern suburb, and I take the train to and from there everyday. Monthly train passes are R250 which lets me save a lot of money (it costs R10 for a single trip). I'm still getting used to thinking in rands instead of dollars, as well as Celcius instead of Fahrenheit and the metric instead of the imperial system. Everyone here says the US likes to be different even when it's more confusing. They are not wrong.
|My ride to and from work each day - each ft. impressive graffiti|
|The HOPE Africa office building in Kenilworth|
Oh, and in case you were wondering about the title of this post... On my flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town my seatmates were a lively (read: drunk but harmless) duo who started referring to me as Miss America. I was amused by it and told Iggy about it, and he still calls me that sometimes.
|The HOPE Africa staff after our silent retreat|
There is so much more to tell you, but I'll stop there for now. I promise to post soon about the work I'm doing and some of my adventures here so far.