Wednesday, October 6, 2010

10/6-Homestay South Africa

Well, my home-stay was great. It was located 20 minutes outside of the port! Semester at Sea definitely brought us to a nicer township then we had previously visited. The township was called Tambo. Tambo had some parts of it where the houses were not houses. They were tin walls and no windows. Most of the ownship mamas had the nicer houses. Emmas mama had a flat screen TV in her house! This is a business for them and by allowing people to come into their homes, they have been able to change their lives.
The house I was in was very small, but it was clean. It was a two bedroom house, there were four boys and a mom and dad. The two older boys lived in the back and had their own house. I also had another Semester at Sea student stay with me, her name was Wong, she was from China. We played outside with the kids from the township, there were so many of them. When I walked outside, one of the girls grab the upper part of my arm and squeezed both sides of it. I looked down at my arm and looked at her very weird. She looked up to me and said, “Why are you so fat?” I was dumbfounded. I just starred at her for a few seconds and was trying to come up with something to say. Just as I was about to open my mouth she said, “You like to eat? You like to eat a lot of meat?” I said, “Yes, I like meat and some Americans are fat.” This did not hurt me, I was just  extremely confused because almost all African women are bigger ladies. My Mama cooked me and Wong an amazing dinner! It was my favorite food to begin with, chicken, broccoli, and rice. I was so happy when she sat it in front of me, however, I was shocked how much food was on my plate! People say Americans eat too large of portions! I have never ate that much food in my life, I was forcing myself to finish it because I was told it was rude to not finish it. The food had so much flavor and it made my mouth water just looking at it. She continued pouring us juice, I do not drink juice, milk, or anything other then water. So I was trying to drink as much juice as I could, but it was burning my throat. Thank goodness Wong loved it and drank mine for me too!
I am so glad I said something about one of the guys shirts. I asked him what his shirt was for, he said it was his work shirt. It is called Metro Kids Africa. I was able to learn about this non-profit organization that has an impact on children and communities of Cape Town. Metro Kids Africa encourages the youth toward positive behavior and ultimately, community transformation. I asked how many people they have supporting this non-profit organization. He said they only have about 150 people doing the One by One program and they take care of over 600 kids. The One by One program is a pen pal program that helps you exchange letters with and encourage one child. The money you give each month to participate in the program goes to the running of the sidewalk site(an outdoor children's club) the child attends. He has such a passion for children and helping them out. One of the participants sent money for him to go and buy clothes for the child and he had the bag by the front door ready to bring to the child the next day.
I have asked him if I could come back and stay for a few weeks and he said yes. That they love to have visitors. I also want to talk to Becca, in the field office, and see if I could get it set up so Semester at Sea could go there. Then all of the money that they charge could go to Metro Kids Africa and hopefully then other SAS students will do the One by One program.
I did not sleep well that night and only got a few hours of sleep. Once I got back from the home-stay I showered real quick and then I headed to the red city tour bus with a few friends. We bought a ticket for the red line bus and took that route to Table Mountain. It was cheaper than a taxi plus we got to see the entire city. We were worried that the Table Mountain cars were not working because it was cloudy, but we decided to try anyway. I am so glad we did because, we were able to go up the mountain and see the beautiful view! It was so amazing and gorgeous. We decided to have a slice of cheesecake on the top of the Mountain. To bad it was not that good of cheesecake. However, it was still really cool to say I ate a slice of cheesecake on top of  Table Mountain! We headed back down and went through a market and ended up not buying anything.  A tough task for me!! We had a great dinner at an Italian restaurant and had a drink. By the time we finished our dinner I was so tired, I went back to the ship, took a shower, and went to bed.

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