Tuesday, January 6, 2009 – South Africa

Today was a full day. Woke up early for breakfast then jumped on the bus for a tour of Pretoria (the town we’re staying in). It’s a BEAUTIFUL place. Big, rich houses (the white people), old Black communities, mountains, hills…ugh just beautiful! I took lots of pictures and had a good time. I started to cry a little when Patrick (our tour host) talked about funerals and we went past the cemetery. But I know that means [Reggie] is in my heart. So I forgot to talk about the pictures I took of the tour. Lots of pictures of the view. We drove up the hills to look over the town. To see the houses amongst the greenery felt like home away from home. I had to imagine living in such a beautiful place and I took a large breath to soak in the moment

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One of the most interesting moments was when we drove past a monument in Pretoria. To whites it symbolizes the pioneers and South African history, but to the Blacks, it symbolizes the beginning of apartheid. Most people see it in the pioneers light because to the victor go the spoils right? Disgusting how history is written.

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We came back, ran to the mall, and then went to a welcoming function at Patrick’s guest house. This house was gorgeous. Old antiques and a sun room with comfortable old furniture. The outside was scattered with seats, benches, and tables for us. The night was fun: a little swimming, darts, and food (all my favorite activities). I’m really getting to know everyone and get comfortable. There’s several girls here I really get along with. I love it. Sometimes I immediately get along with men (because growing up with brothers will do that to you), but the girls on this trip want to bond and I appreciate that.

Anyway, we came back to after our welcoming dinner and 27 out of 30 of us went out to Hatfield Square. Hatfield Square is a giant courtyard of restaurants and bars down the street from our hotel. Also where all the white people in the town hang out. I don’t think I’ll be finding where all the black people hang out because the overwhelming amount of white people on the trip with me probably aren’t welcome. It was fun. Beer is cheap. Chris, the Asian kid, it was his birthday at 12:00am so we took sourz shots (R5.00 in South African rand so $0.50 in American dollars!). However, it was such a hassle coming home. Not everyone was ready to leave at 2am. Some people didn’t want to wait. It was all over the place. Well I know my roommate and closest friend so far got home okay so I’m cool. Our first class is tomorrow and I’ll most likely be hungover. Wish me luck!

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