So, I got high in South Africa this weekend. Don’t worry, there was no illegal activity involved. We had an expectations retreat this last weekend in High Africa, a retreat center fittingly named for their intense high ropes course and rock-climbing wall. We got to go about 40 feet above the ground and walk across beams and hang on nets. It was very exciting and made me realize I LOVE things like this because not only do they challenge us individually, but they really bonded us as a group.
It was a weekend of a lot of play, but also a lot of productive talking about our program, why we are here, and what we want to accomplish during our time here. We were really reminded about how original and unique this type of program is. We truly are learning while serving. We take 3 classes and have a capstone project that the end. Our classes include and language course (I am taking Xhosa, which is the click language!), a research methods course, and an understanding Cape Town course. For the last one we are having excursions with our lectures, so we are going to see and experience what we learn about. I honestly think this is such a well organized program because we get all aspects of learning. We also are meant to design a research project for the end of the term, but that will become clearer later what we are to be studying.
The weekend also included some amazing star-gazing! It was truly spectacular the amount of stars you can see when you get away from a city. And we saw at least 15 shooting stars! I guess the only downside was that it was freezing there!! Winter in Africa is way more extreme than I imagined!
Oh! I almost forgot to mention the AMAZING spoken word performance I went to last night when we got back. It was called Urban Voices and was a line up of famous poets from South Africa, the US, Ghana, and Jamaica. I had never heard of the main performer Stacy Ann Chin , but if you haven’t heard of her LOOK HER UP!!! She was honestly the most inspiring, incredible, honest, and beautiful person I have ever seen perform their poetry. There was also another man, Mark (I can’t remember his last name), who not only recited incredible poetry, but danced, sang, rapped, and acted it out as well. I have never seen a performance quite like this, and I was so inspired I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or sing. Honestly, I recommend seeing a spoken word performance if you haven’t before.
Today we had our first lecture, which was our language course. Needless to say, I think the clicking is going to be quite a challenge, but I am excited that I will be able to kind of communicated with the people where I am doing service. The rest of the week will be full of classes and beginning our service. I will write more on that later!
Ok well I best be going, we are at the local café Cocoa Wahwah, which has amazing food and amazingly slow internet. But I will write more soon about adventures from Cape Town!