Week of Freedom Numero Uno

I can already tell I’m going to love ISP time. Even while keeping myself busy with work, I’m still finding so much time to relax and enjoy myself! I feel like I’m finally seeing the city I’ve technically been in for two months and I’m loving it (with two exceptions: it’s not quite safe, and I miss DC/NY/Boston public transportation)!

 

Let’s see, what have I done…

 

Well Wednesday was my birthday! And the election! And Obama won! So it was the best birthday ever! Exclamation points galore!!!! But really, Obama winning was the best 21st birthday present a girl could ask for…and spending it in Cape Town was a close second. The girl I’m living with and I went to the V&A Waterfront in the morning. The Waterfront is essentially a beautiful area on the water (obviously). It has a mall, an aquarium, a craft barn, a clock tower, another mall, another mall, restaurants, boats, more boats, another craft barn, a scratch patch, and more. On Wednesday we really only went to the mall and then wandered outside. It was beautifuuuuul outside. After the Waterfront, we went to the Frat House—aka the house with 12 people from our program currently living in it—for a little fiesta. It was, of course, a blast.

Thursday was also wonderful. I just kind of hung around in the morning, and in the afternoon I went to see some old friends from the last time I was here! It amazes me how much the kids have grown. Not all of them remembered me—some were about 2 years old the last time I was here—but it was still nice to catch up and see how things have changed. Their new home is awesome. It’s a beautiful space. I’m looking forward to going back this week.

Friday I had my first interview for my ISP! I think it went well—she was so nice and helpful. It was nice to see someone who totally gets the 5Cs too (I feel like even if you’ve heard of them, you don’t totally get them…). Sadly, afterwards, I got a bit sick—a bug was going around our program—and I stayed in bed until Sunday morning. No me gusta.

Sunday was absolutely lovely. I woke up and the girl I’m living with and I went to the Waterfront again. She was meeting her host mother, and I really, really wanted to see the aquarium. It was so cool! I thought the ATL aquarium would spoil me, but it hasn’t. Every aquarium is awesome, and this one had a ton of cool information. As I was leaving V&A, I saw the scratch patch—I hadn’t noticed it before—so I went in, because if I was going to act like a 5 year old all morning (why yes I was the only non-parent-or-child in the aquarium), I was going to act like a 5 year old all morning. It was also pretty awesome, because who doesn’t love getting 10 beautiful minerals for R15 (less than $2)? After I finished at V&A, I went to meet some girls on the beach. The weather was not so great when I got there, but it cleared up, and I got a lot of ISP reading done.

 

It’s A Small World/VOTE

Sooo it’s ISP time! Today, we moved into our new home and started our research (or rather, pretended to). I’m living in this awesome, artsy suburb of Cape Town in a house with 4 other people–one from the program, 3 from the area. The three seem pretty cool, although the house was disgusting when we walked in this morning. They had a party last night and I have no idea what they cooked, but it was everywhere. Either way, the area is awesome…young people and students, jazz bars, comedy clubs, etc etc. Super awesome.

It’s election day, so of course I’m freaking out…when I wake up tomorrow (aka my 21st birthday) I will know who the new President is! Yikes. This will either be the best or worst birthday present of all time… As a side note, everyone in SA seems to be for Obama. And everyone cares. Honestly, I think more people in SA care than in America…everyone has an opinion! After all, as woman said, the President of the US affects most countries.

Speaking of the President affecting most countries, I’m doing my ISP on PEPFAR, the US’s global AIDS relief program, and today I received an email from the Western Cape (the province Cape Town is in) about meeting up. She also mentioned she went to a Claremont College for undergrad. Between that and running into a girl I met over the summer last week…it’s a small freakin’ world. I am across the world, 10 hours ahead of the CA time zone, 7 hours ahead of the US…and people from Claremont or my summer are popping out of the woodwork? Yho.

 

Anyways, now it’s time for my voting plee…vote vote vote vote vote! No matter what you believe or who you’re voting for or how strongly your state leans, VOTE. Be happy you can and be happy there’s real competition (no matter how petty that competition may be). You may not care if you affect politics, but they’ll still affect you, so VOTE. On EVERYTHING you understand. Your state may be red as a rose but some ballot measures etc may be contentious. The same goes for blue states…and my goodness if you are in a swing state and don’t vote, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

 

VOTE!

Peace.