Although I am excited to visit Simon’s Town and the Eastern Cape, I’m realizing that I am not ready to leave Langa! Three weeks is not long at all. It seems like only days ago I was nervously thinking that three weeks living with a family I had just met would seem like ages. I was quickly proved wrong. My family welcomed me immediately, and has been incredibly accommodating ever since. I have my own room, with a gigantic, cushy bed (much nicer than my awful bed at home!). The food is delicious, the conversation is good, the soapies are addicting…
Before my homestays started, I was happy to have four mini-homestays. It would have been brutal to be stuck with a bad family for three and a half months. However, I genuinely love my family, and I feel like I’m just now completely used to living with them, and it’s time for me to leave! It’s a good thing I’m really excited for the rural homestay, or I think I’d be really, really upset.
This weekend, I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my family (and work on those papers I’ve been neglecting…). Friday, a girl from the program’s family threw her a birthday braai (cook out), and I brought along my younger sisi. The family was incredible. It isn’t safe for two girls to walk around alone at night, so my older sisi arranged a ride for us, which was so sweet. Saturday, we went to Claremont, where we watched a movie (which may or may not have taken place very close to my usual Claremont) and shopped. I bought some things from Langa, too—I want to buy something to remind me of each of my homestays, so I bought a wall hanging depicting the township. I also finally went to the famous Mr. Price, which is essentially a South African Forever 21 but with better quality. On our way back, I got to ride in the front of the mini-bus/taxi! That means that everyone thrusts money into your hand and tells you how many people they’re paying for, so that you can make change. Thankfully, the woman on the other side took pity on the poor American girl who didn’t looked really confused when people started thrusting her money, and did it for me. I am, after all, still a mini-bus novice. All of the ones I’d been in had people working in them that made change, so I was confused as to why the people were paying me.
The best news of the week, however, is that I AM DONE WITH XHOSA LESSONS. I have to do a written test for it still, but then NO MORE XHOSA EVER. I love the language. When spoken correctly, I think it’s beautiful. I like trying to speak it, and I didn’t even mind our tutorial sessions. Our actual professor, though, was brutal. He’s a very nice, adorable old man…who taught me nothing. It isn’t his fault—he’s used to teaching students who speak Xhosa already but have never taken a Xhosa class, so they can’t write it. However, being able to write in Xhosa is essentially useless for me. I need to speak it! He would kind of just write words on a board without telling us their meaning or say a word and have us guess how to spell it…not very useful when I’m trying to help my sisi with dinner. BUT it’s all over! No more language classes…ever for the rest of my life. So weird. I’ve been taking a language for 8 ½ years…but my Spanish requirements are done (including foreign lit!) and my Xhosa is over so…no more! Weird.
Anyways, tomorrow I’m headed to Simon’s Town. More updates to come from the Cape of Good Hope. Sobonana!