Cape Town's Date & Time

Monday, February 15, 2010

(2/11) Long street, (2/12) New book Friday, (2/13) SHAWCO training, (2/14) Devil's Peak

Thursday (2/11) : Today marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from his 27-year long imprisonment. Exciting day in South African history! In 1994, Nelson Mandela became president after the first elections were held in which all adults could vote. Today is just one of those days you feel the need to reflect on the past and present.

Since tutorials do not officially begin until next week, I had no class. Tiffany and I decided to take the train downtown and do some shopping and see if anything exciting happens in celebration of the day.

Long Street is the “party” street in Cape Town and it also is a great shopping street during the day. Different cafes, boutiques, antique shops, and corner markets line the street. I found a beautiful boutique and bought two dresses (my first clothing purchases since being here). I am really excited to wear them out sometime soon, maybe even to Long Street.

The train proved to be super easy. It is a bit sketch after rush hour, but it was a great alternative to a taxi (price wise) and minibus (comfort wise).

Friday (2/12): I just had two classes today (Liberation of Southern Africa and Africa: the Making of a Continent), so it was a rather relaxed afternoon. Apparently, no one really attends class on Fridays (shocking), so our professor had a librarian come in and talk to the kids who made it to class about sources and the problems associated with sources written during times of liberation (propagandistic, dirty editing, etc.).

I stayed in and began reading 'The Lost World' by Sir Arthor Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, since I needed to be up early for the SHAWCO training the next morning. I am in good hopes that The Lost World will be a much better read then Wicked. Lets face it, it can't be worse.

Saturday (2/13): We had to be up bright and early for SHAWCO’s training orientation. SHACO stands for Student Health and Welfare Cenres Organisation and is the main student run volunteer program on campus. I have joined the education sector, in a program called KenStep. Every Tuesday afternoon I will be busing to the township of Kensington to tutor 7th graders in English. Apparently the older kids are a little more “unruly,” but the curriculum seemed more stimulating all around. I guess I am up for the challenge.

We had a lazy afternoon on our porch reading and relaxing in the sun. We (Daniel, Tiffany, Ben, Lindsey, Lina, and myself) decided to head downtown for dinner to Miller’s Thumb for seafood. I was really excited to go out because I was sporting my new dress from Long Street. We basically ate like kings. Lindsey and I split a Cajun spiced calamari appetizer before I moved on to a seafood stir-fry. Holy yum. We may have splurged for some dessert; I mean it was the day before Valentine’s Day so it basically was our job to get something chocolate covered. Following dinner we headed back home because Lindsey’s family had just arrived in Cape Town from New York and were going to stop by and check out our flats. Despite their 6 hour plane delay in JoBurg, they were in great spirits and made me SUPER excited for my mom and Lee to come visit next month.

Above: Lina, myself (rocking my new dress), Tiffany, and Lindsey at Miller's Thumb
Below: Best dinner ever. So good.
Sunday (2/14): I woke up nice and early to start my day off right with a hike up Devil’s Peak. I had only peaked Table Mountain and had not quite conquered the peak that shadows our university. Ben and I headed off and by 10 o clock it must have been at least 80 degrees. I made the mistake of wearing black, which was literally drenched in sweat by the first check point, the King’s blockhouse, one of the three preserved 18-century stone forts that were built during the first British occupation of the Cape. The hike to the 1000 m (3,280 ft) peak took a total of 3 hours up (5.5 hours in total) and was really exhilarating. Most of the way there is some form of path; however, there were some points we were just trying to find the best way up. I am thankfully not afraid of heights, but I had a bit of a freak out towards the top of the peak. We passed a cross (presumably marking the spot someone had fallen and died), which was a little spooky. Well the only way up from that path was about a 15-foot freelance rock climb to the path and Ben easily made it up, but I froze halfway up (literally froze for 5 minutes) and could not get my body to take another step upward. The cross was staring at me. So, I climbed (gracefully slid) down and found an alternate path up. I was not pleased (note: no tears or hyperventilation, just a slight moment or two of panic). From there it was clear sailings to the top for lunch. The way down proved to be almost as tricky as the way up. While going up is a physical test, heading down is much more mental. Each step has to be carefully chosen and I had to resist the urge to run down to make it easier.

Starting point. We climbed to the lower right peak before heading to the higher peak on the left
View from the trail
The top! Cape Town in the background.

Once down I headed straight to the corner 7/11 for some yogurt and cheerios. I was famished. Only home did I realize I have completely destroyed my running shoes, not only are they black from dirt, but also there are literally chunks missing from the bottom. Tear. My socks were so black they may just end up being tossed. A cold shower was defiantly refreshing before consuming around half a box of cereal. Then nap.

I hadn’t started on my paper due tomorrow, ugh, must get into school mode.

No comments:

Post a Comment