Monday, June 21st, 2010

Step outside and say hello to my beautiful world

My last few weeks in South Africa were definitely bittersweet.  We were all torn between trying to live it up and do as much as possible while we could while realizing it was all coming to an end.  NMMU set aside three weeks for finals and the way mine were scheduled I had one a week with nothing to do in between. It was the perfect schedule because I never had to cram but I also had time to travel and enjoy the final weeks with my friends.  At first, I was overwhelmed with the looming finals because the three […]

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Monday, June 21st, 2010

And then a Rhino caused a traffic jam…

As our time in South Africa was coming to an end we realized we needed to take one last trip and it needed to be a big one. Rebecca, Lieba, Maggie, Cecelia, and I rented a car and set off on our journey on a Thursday. We drove to Bloemfontein and spent the night at Naval Hill Backpackers just to break the drive up. We arrived around 9 p.m. and were up and out by 5:30 a.m. Friday morning. We were heading to Kruger National Park- South Africa’s most well known and most visited park. Before getting to Kruger Friday […]

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Is this real life?

Last week, a few friends and I took advantage of a public holiday and had a great six-day weekend. None of us have Friday classes and we had off Monday and Tuesday so we were able to get in a car and go from Thursday to Tuesday night.  Our plan was to spend a night in East London, two nights in Coffee Bay, and two nights in Port St. John’s and then drive all the way back on Tuesday.  Coffee Bay and Port St. John’s are in the Transkei — during apartheid the area was designated as a homeland for […]

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Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Spring break

About two weeks ago my parents arrived in Port Elizabeth at the beginning of my spring break. Sitting down now to write about my break has me realizing just how much we were able to do in the 10 days that they were here. There’s a lot to write about so I’ll get right into it. The first two nights were spent in Port Elizabeth where I could show my parents what my life has been like for the last three months; this included the university, my friends, the bar/restaurant we go to at least once a week, the beaches, […]

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Kingdom in the sky

Two weekends ago, a group of six of us went on a long weekend trip to Lesotho, nicknamed “Kingdom in the Sky” for its hilly terrain.  The trip turned into another great adventure with a lot of bumps along the way.  We were leaving  for the weekend with a manual car (that did not have four-wheel drive) yet only one person who knows how to drive stick and with one tent that was supposed to only sleep three people. Since it was a holiday weekend all of the hostels were booked up and could only offer us space to camp, […]

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Friday, March 19th, 2010

Vuka Phile

In the past few weeks, my friends and I have created an after-school youth program in one of the townships outside of Port Elizabeth, and have named it Vuka Phile – “get up and go” in Xhosa.  We remained in contact with our friend Peter who lives in the township and who was one of our counselors from the camp we attended our first week here.  Right now the program is with all the kids – ranging from ages three to 20 – who live on Peter’s block.  We head to the township for two hours every Tuesday and do […]

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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

TIA (This is Africa)

A few weeks a go some friends and I watched “Blood Diamond” (the movie where Leonardo DiCaprio repeatedly says TIA (This is Africa) and ever since have been using TIA as a constant expression. For example, should I jump off the world’s highest bungee jump? Well, TIA, you have to do it. Or, should I spend the extra money on something? TIA, when again will you be in Africa?  So, it goes with out saying that this phrase is great because it has gotten me at least to do things I wouldn’t normally, but also has its fallbacks  – like […]

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Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Life as a student at NMMU

After many setbacks and lots of frustration, my schedule is completely set and classes are in full swing here at NMMU.  From registration, which was done entirely on paper, to classroom dynamics, it has definitely been quite the adjustment from Bucknell.  When registering, you basically just pick classes that seem interesting to you, and hope that your times wouldn’t clash with the other classes you were taking. It also got confusing because NMMU is on a term schedule. I am here for the first two terms, so I had to either register for semester long classes or classes that were […]

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Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The other side of things: A township tour

Well, after being in Port Elizabeth for a little over three weeks I can say that I am finally starting to feel a lot more settled and less like a tourist. I’ve been in classes for over a week, but I’ll wait to talk about those because they still are not in full swing. I figured I would talk about and show the other side of South Africa that I have experienced. On my city tour of Port Elizabeth that we took during orientation, we drove through the New Brighton Township and went to the Red Museum that is right in […]

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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Patience is a virtue

We’ve all had it told to us, but after two-and-a-half weeks in South Africa I’ve realized just how true the saying is.  From the moment my travels started at JFK – when it felt like I wouldn’t arrive in South Africa ever – to the countless time I’ve spent waiting while here I’ve come to learn the importance of patience. From waiting to get Internet then having it be so slow  to no one ever really being on time or in a hurry (when someone says that he will be there “just now” it actually means about a half hour […]

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