Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 20th

My mom spent the last two weeks with me at my site in my village. She lived my life with me for a couple weeks and never complained about anything. She carried water on her head, did a lot of hiking, and cooked me good food on my two burner stove. We had an amazing time together and it went by all too fast. It was nice to share my life with her and now she’ll know that I’m safe and sound in my village. My mom met all my friends and even learned a little Sesotho.  I want to keep her with me, but I guess she must return back to her husband and to her job.
Cape Town Vacation
I just returned from a vacation in Cape Town. Wow, the vacation was absolutely perfect. I’ll remember it forever. My vacation went a little like this.  On April 4th I got a ride from my nearest town to Bloemfontein and took a flight to Cape Town.  On that flight there were 3 other PCVs who were also visiting Cape Town for the Easter holiday and the Two Oceans Half Marathon.  We all had our catching up time and were extremely excited to be re-introduced to the little things in life that matter…electricity, running water, good food, coffee. I stayed in a backpackers (hostel) that night and went out to Mexican food with another volunteer. The following day I picked up my mom from the airport. I don’t think I had ever been so nervous. I was just waiting in the airport pacing around until my mom came through the departure gate.  We then went to a super cute B & B called La Rose B & B and relaxed for a little bit. Since last Thursday was so beautiful we knew we had to go up Table Mountain that day because the weather is so unpredictable. We went up to the top on a gondola and took lots of amazing pictures.  The weather was crap the next day, so we spent Friday at the Two Oceans Expo and picked up our race packets. The Expo was a really good one and they gave VIP service to the international participants. We were able to skip the big crowd, get our packets, and then sit in the international room and eat cookies and get free drinks.
Last Saturday was the big race day. My mom and I were goofing off the night before and were eating tons of chocolate and laughing instead of sleeping. We decided that since we really didn’t train for the race, we were just going to have fun instead. We called a cab to pick us up at 5:45 for the race at 6. Of course we knew we were going to be late..I just didn’t know if I could tolerate the start line crowd. Typically that is the worst part of a race for me and since I live such an isolated life I knew I was going to get overwhelmed by the crowd. We ended up being over 20 minutes late and when we got to the start line the half marathon runners were long gone and the ultra marathon runners were just starting. I got lost in the crowd and after about 30 minutes I realized that I had missed the turn for the half marathon route. I decided I would continue to run with the ultra runners until I got tired. I just kept going and going and ended up finishing the ultra marathon – 56 Km (around 35 miles). I had promised myself I wouldn’t run another marathon..but I guess I lied to myself and completed an ultra somewhat on accident. I’m thinking next year I could run it again and if I train the next time around, I’ll be able to run it faster.

The next day, I got a massage and then we moved to a nice hotel at the waterfront. The waterfront in Cape Town is really swanky and there is a huge mall, lots of small cruise ships, and good restaurants. My mom and I took a little day cruise with a bottle of wine and did a lot of shopping. Overall, the trip was amazing.

March 2nd

I love being back at my village. Especially because I know I’m not going to leave for a while. The transportation out of my village is so hectic that it’s nice to know I won’t be spending a ton of money and several hours in an organ-jumbling taxi ride. The ride is so bumpy, that sometimes I have bruises on my arms or legs after my journey. I’ll tell you why I like my village so much. First of all, I can get everything I need here. I have a vegetable guy that delivers all types of produce to my door. I can get tons of spinach, potatoes, onions, and mushrooms all for under 5 dollars.  Also, I go to Sesotho tutoring about 4 times a week and I love my teacher. We typically joke about my dog and talk about my life in Sesotho. We always talk about this mythical dwarf called a tokalosi and I tell my tutor about how my tokalosi cooks and cleans for me. Learning Sesotho keeps me sane and really has helped me adapt to Lesotho.