Four Days in One
As you can probably tell by the title of this blog post, today has been a long one, filled with ups and downs. Thinking back, I see that it can probably be divided into four different parts: 1. Delft Today was our second day in Delft. Like yesterday, we continued weeding the garden. Again it felt good just to do something for these people who do so much, even if that just meant pulling weeds out of the ground (even if one particularly prickly weed did give me a weird rash on my leg for a while). After that, we went on home visits where we got to play with children. I may not be the greatest fan of kids, but even I had so much fun. It was great to see the children laugh when I couldn't limbo or jump rope (two skills that seemed to have disappeared since childhood), or to see one particular little girl's face light up when she got to paint our faces. I have pictures of the green and blue smudges left on my cheeks from the girls in Delft. I won't say it wasn't heartbreaking to see some of the conditions in Delft, but playing with the kids left me feeling inspired and hopeful. 2. Fun Delft is a great experience, but it is a heavy one. We had the afternoon off today, so after eating lunch and showering, a group of us decided to head back to Greenmarket Square. I love wandering around the shops and just looking at the things people are selling. I enjoy bargaining with the venders much more than I though I would and overall it is just such a good time. I finished most of my present buying and got the one thing for myself that I really wanted. 3. The Uh-Oh I wrote in an earlier blog that I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and experience something new while here in South Africa. I definitely had a first today, but not in a good way. While at an ATM today, a man came up behind me, spied on me while I was putting in my PIN number, cancelled my transaction, and stole my debit card. The whole thing happened so fast that I couldn't even figure out exactly what had happened for a few hours. Luckily, I was able to contact my mom and the bank (even though I can't place calls on my South African cell phone- thank you to Paige and the Bean for letting me use their phones!) and get the card on hold, but not before they were able to get most of the money out of my account unfortunately. But thanks to my wonderful mama and the good folks at Interstudy, everything will work out. 4. The Aftermath The title I gave this sounds melodramatic, but I think its appropriate. After getting a hold of my mom and the bank. the only thing I could think of was how stupid I felt. Nate, the professor who is here with us, has warned us repeatedly that if we let our guards down in South Africa for even a minute something bad will probably happen. Today I learned this lesson firsthand. I had been warned about petty theft in South Africa, even this exact scam, but it just happened so fast it was unbelievable. However, I'm not going to let this experience sour my time in Cape Town. I thank everyone who has helped me, from the girls I was with at the time, my mom, and the amazing people in the Interstudy program who are helping me. I guess I know now that even while I'm enjoying myself, I have to be hyperaware of what is going on around me.