Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holy smokes! Have I really been in Cape Town for over two months without a single blog post?? Shameful. Well, it looks like you have a lot of catching up to do!

First of all, my plane landed safe and sound. *Shew*

I spent the first six weeks doing a homestay with the delightful Robertsons. I don't have words for how grateful I am for their warmth and welcome. Theirs is a hospitality I won't soon forget.

My work at HOPE Africa is still evolving, but as I learn more every day about the work being done throughout the entire province by this tiny office, I get more and more energized to contribute.

Within my first week, I got to do a project visit to a hospice facility in the impoverished fishing town of Hawston. HOPE Africa also works with a food garden in Cape Town's largest township, Khayelitsha. Both are pictured below.

Here I am with two employees from the Hawston Hospice Care Center, Rev. Ran Chase and Bishop Barbara Harris. The latter two were in the country celebrating the anniversary of the ordination of women. Bishop Harris, the first woman ordained bishop in the Anglican Communion, was the keynote speaker.

Don't be fooled. The carrots are delicious.
We also have a project in Arniston, where I'm pictured below with my little friend, Phoebe. I'm not exactly sure what the project is, but you can probably see why I want to learn more!

Here is a picture of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and I at St. George's Cathedral. I wish I had had the presence of mind to say something profound, but all I could come up with was, "Do you know Brenda Husson?" Of course he does. And he had some really lovely things to say about St. James' Church in New York City :-)

So far, my favorite South African experience was getting to go to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape to visit friends and colleagues JaredCameron, and Steve. The visit was one part of "The Great David Copley South African Tour for the Ages." Well, that's what I'm calling it anyway. My boss, David Copley, made it down to South Africa and Lesotho to visit all the YASCers down here at the bottom of the continent. In one trip, he visited all four of us in our placements, organized a film crew to document some of our experiences, and even attended the ordination of Africa's first female bishop! (I got chills writing that...)

It was really great not just to spend time with good friends, but to see them doing incredible work in their placements. Here are some pictures from the trip...

Jared, Me, Cameron, Steve

Despite working all day with first graders at his day job, Steve spends his downtime volunteering with children in a nearby township. We got to meet some of the kids (pictured above) and I was a goner. Those kids stole my heart.

If I spent the rest of my life here in Cape Town (hypothetically-speaking, of course, Mom...) I don't think I would ever get used to this incredible mountain. Right here, in the middle of this vibrant city, is Table Mountain. I see it every day and just say my thanksgivings to God "for by him all things were created..."

Table Mountain. This picture was taken in the middle of my jogging route. Every morning I run here and am blown away by the natural beauty of God's creation. One morning, I just had to stop and take a picture. It would really be selfish to keep this to myself, of course.

Speaking of Thanksgiving... I made my first turkey this year! And it wasn't half-bad (if I do say so myself)! It was a little tough being so far away from my family on my favorite holiday, but having wonderful friends and colleagues made it a very special day anyway.

When I'm not roasting turkeys, I eat apples and peanut butter as a snack almost every day. Evidently that's not a common combination in South Africa. After much resistance, I think my colleagues are actually starting to warm up to the idea! Maybe.. No? Okay. 

And because God has given me much more than I deserve, I even got to attend a "Friendsgiving"on Sunday. Here is a picture of a Thanksgiving tradition one must never forget: the drawing of the hand turkeys.

It's hard to sum up nearly three months of life changing experiences in one (not obnoxiously long) blog post, but it's a start. And most of you have my email address, so please be sure to send me guilt-inducing messages if I wait so long to update next time!

Lots of love from the bottom of Africa (and my heart),


1 comment:

  1. Great post! Glad to see what's been going on in your life :o)